Sam Maurice of Auburn watches his drive during the first round of the Mike Ryan Memorial Tournament at Derryfield Country Club in Manchester on Monday. Maurice advanced to Wednesday’s Boys Elite Championship Flight match but was beaten by Jascha Johnston of Stratham.
MANCHESTER — How much was the home-course advantage worth in this week’s Mike Ryan Memorial Junior Golf tournament at Derryfield Country Club? If you posed that question to Sam Maurice he’d probably tell you, “Not enough.”
Maurice, 16, will be entering his junior year at Trinity High School. Although the Pioneers play their home golf matches at Derryfield, his course knowledge wasn’t enough to overcome 15-year-old Stratham resident Jascha Johnston in the championship match of the Boys Elite Championship Flight on Wednesday.
On one of the hottest days of the summer, Johnston’s victory required some extra effort as he defeated Maurice in 20 holes.
“It was a great match,” Johnston said. “Other than playing in this tournament three or four times, I haven’t played here.”
Johnston, who shot 73-71-144 at Beaver Meadow Golf Course to win the NHIAA Division I individual golf championship last fall, won the match when he made a three-foot par putt on the 11th hole – the second extra hole.
“Maybe I had an advantage on some of the hills knowing the difference in yardage, but other than that it’s a pretty straightforward course,” Maurice said. “Other than high school I don’t play here much.”
Maurice, a 16-year-old Auburn resident, was three down after four holes, but pulled even on No. 7. He went 1-up by winning the 10th hole, but Johnston evened the match when he won the par-3 12th with a birdie. It remained tied until Johnston won the 20th hole.
“I didn’t hit a good approach shot there (20th hole),” Maurice said. “I tried to be too aggressive and came up short (of the green). It was hot and pretty tiring. I just tried to drink as much water as I could.”
The three-day tournament, which features 18 holes of stroke play followed by two days of match play, is named in honor of longtime Derryfield Country Club golf pro Mike Ryan, who died in 2018. Ryan was committed to the growth of junior golf in New Hampshire.
Maurice entered match play as the No. 3 seed. Johnston was seeded fifth.
“On the first day I didn’t play too well,” Johnston said. “I feel like I knew more about the course (Wednesday).”
The other tournament winners, by division:
Girls Elite Championship Flight: Julianna Megan (Hooksett) defeated Teagan Nadeau (Lee). Nadeau beat her sister Delaney in the semifinals.
Boys Prep Championship Flight: Maddox Ketelaar (Windham) defeated John Hallisey (Windham), 6 and 5.