2019 State Am: Brett Wilson

DAVID LANE/UNION LEADER FILEBrett Wilson of the Golf Club of New England, shown at the 2019 State Amateur, is a five-time winner of the Seacoast Am. This year’s event will be held this coming weekend.

OUTSIDE of the New Hampshire Golf Association’s Amateur Championship, you’d have a hard time finding a better golf tournament in New Hampshire than the Seacoast Amateur, a three-day event that begins Friday.

One of the things that separates the Seacoast Am from many tournaments is the number of quality golfers in the field. It not only attracts some of the top players from New Hampshire’s Seacoast, but some from Maine as well.

Entries are accepted from golfers affiliated with the following courses: Abenaqui Country Club, Breakfast Hill Golf Club, Cochecho Country Club, Exeter Country Club, Farmington Country Club, The Golf Club of New England, The Ledges Golf Course, Nippo Lake Golf Club, Pease Golf Course, The Oaks Golf Links, Portsmouth Country Club, Rochester Country Club, Rockingham Country Club, Wentworth by the Sea Country Club, and the York Golf and Tennis Club.

This year’s Seacoast Am field includes two-time State Am champion Craig Steckowych (Portsmouth CC) and 1999 State Am champ Jared LaMothe (Portsmouth CC). The Oaks Golf Links member Harvin Groft, who won last year’s Seacoast Am and advanced to the State Am semifinals, is also in this year’s field.

Other notables who will compete in the 2021 tournament include Brett Wilson (Golf Club of New England), Nick McLaughlin (Portsmouth CC), Jamie Ferullo (Rochester CC), Nick Kalil (Portsmouth CC), Ryan Quinn (Breakfast HIll) and Tyler Rivers (York Golf and Tennis Club).

Wilson has won the Seacoast Am a record five times. McLaughlin won the Massachusetts Amateur Championship in 2015.

“If you look at the State Am and the Mid-Am, once you get deep into match play, most of the top guys are Seacoast guys,” said Rochester Country Club’s Troy Joncas, who serves as the Seacoast Amateur committee chairman. “It does breed good golf. The winner is usually even par or 1-under for the three rounds.”

The tournament is contested on three Seacoast courses each year. This year’s tournament will begin at Abenaqui CC, move to Breakfast Hill GC in Greenland for Saturday’s second round and conclude Sunday at Portsmouth CC. There is a cut to the low 48 scores plus ties after the second round. The leaders will go out last for Sunday’s round.

In addition to the individual champion, the Seacoast Am has a Senior competition (55 and older) and a team competition. The Senior champ receives the Tony Loch Trophy, named after the former Portsmouth CC pro; and the Kay Stulb Memorial team champion is determined by taking the low three scores daily from golfers who are representing the same club. The club with the lowest three-round total wins the team championship.

The Seacoast Am has ramped up its social media presence as well.

“We have the first tee shots being streamed live on Facebook,” Joncas said. “Also, some of the 18th green putt-outs, so if people can’t make it, they can watch the first tee shots and the 18th green on Sunday.”

Joncas said Abenaqui CC’s Fletcher Sokul is another golfer to keep an eye on this year. Sokul is playing in the Seacoast Am for the first time.

“I would expect him to make a big splash,” Joncas said. “I would say there are at least eight people who can win it this year.”

New Ipswich resident Mike Martel was the top New Hampshire finisher in this week’s Massachusetts Open Championship, a three-day event that concluded Wednesday. Martel tied for 11th with a 1-over-par 211 at Oak Hill Country Club in Fitchburg.

Rob Labritz, a PGA professional from Pound Ridge, N.Y., won the tournament by posting a three-day total of 205. Martel collected his first professional victory by winning the 2019 Mass. Open.

Rules question: A player intends to take relief for a ball that lies in ground under repair on a steep slope. There is a large bush near the relief area in which the player must drop the ball. It is likely that after the drop, the ball will come to rest in the relief area. However, it is also likely that the ball might move from the relief area before the stroke is made and come to rest near the bush. The player breaks off a small part of the bush that might interfere with his or her stance after relief if the ball should move. What is the ruling? (Continue reading for the answer.)

A reminder that the 2021 New Hampshire Women’s Golf Association Amateur Championship will be played Aug. 2-4 at Laconia Country Club. Those interested have until July 17 to register. Registration can be completed on the NHWGA web site.

Answer to rules question: The player gets the general penalty for altering physical conditions to affect where the player’s ball might go or come to rest if it moves before the stroke is made (Rule 8.2).

Source: USGA Rules of Golf.

NH GOLF CALENDAR

June 21: Junior Team Championship (TBA)

June 22: NHWGA President’s Cup (Pease GC)

June 22: NHGA State Am qualifier (Green Meadow GC)

June 23: NHGA State Am qualifier (Breakfast Hill GC)

June 25: NHGA Junior Tour Mini Series (Intervale CC)

June 25: NHGA State Am qualifier (Bretwood GC/South)

June 27: NHGA State Am qualifier (Beaver Meadow GC)

June 28: Hoodkroft Junior Open

June 28: NHGA State Am qualifier (Abenaqui CC)

June 28: NHGA State Am qualifier (Maplewood GC)

June 28-30: New England Women’s Amateur (Agawam Hunt/East Providence, R.I.)

June 29: NHGA State Am qualifier (Loudon CC)

June 30: Junior Tour (Owl’s Nest)

July 1: NHWGA Junior Championship (Beaver Meadow GC)

July 1: Mini Series (Rockingham CC)

July 6-7: Junior All-Star Championship (Mt. Washington Resort GC)

July 8: Junior Tour (Candia Woods)

July 12-17: NHGA Amateur Championship (North Conway CC)

July 19-21: Mike Ryan Memorial Championship (Derryfield CC)

July 20-22: New England Amateur (Great River Golf Club/Milford, Conn.)

July 22: Junior Tour (Keene CC)

July 26: Junior Tour (Breakfast Hill GC)

July 27: Junior Tour (Loudon CC)

Aug. 2-4: Junior Championship (Pease GC)

Aug. 2-4: NHWGA Amateur Championship (Laconia CC)

Aug. 15-17: New England Junior Amateur (Val Halla Golf Course/Cumberland, Maine)

Aug. 19: Junior Invitational (TBA)

Sept. 14-15: New England Senior Amateur (Manchester Country Club/Manchester, Vt.)

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