LITCHFIELD RESIDENT Chelsea Sedlar may not have spent the last year obsessing about the missed putt on Portsmouth Country Club’s 18th green that cost her a chance of winning her third straight New Hampshire Women’s Golf Association Amateur Championship, but she hasn’t forgotten about it either.
The missed putt opened the door for Nashua Country Club’s Tracy Martin, who made her par putt moments later to win the 2018 State Am — her second victory in the event — by one stroke.
“I had about 3½, 4 feet,” Sedlar recalled. “It wasn’t really a slider. I just gave it too much. I put it outside the hole when I shouldn’t have.
“I try to spend at least 30 to 45 minutes a day on the putting green. I don’t want to say I do that because of last year, but it’s been in my head. With so much riding on it … it could have been my third (State Am) win.”
Sedlar will be among the favorites in this year’s NEWGA Amateur Championship, which begins Monday at Breakfast Hill Golf Club in Greenland. The tournament will feature three days of stroke play. Martin did not enter this year’s event.
Sedlar, who played college golf at Sacred Heart University, won the State Am in 2016 (Abenaqui CC) and 2017 (Eastman Golf Links). She said good chipping and putting will likely be the key to victory at Breakfast Hill.
“In my opinion (putting) is the biggest part of the game,” Sedlar said. “You’re putting 50 percent of your shots, really. So that’s where the scoring is going to come. When I think about the Women’s Am compared to college — Breakfast Hill is a shorter course. So in my head the short game is really where a winner is going to be decided.
“I put the most time gearing up for the Am focusing on chipping, putting — making sure that those things are solid. My long game on a course like that isn’t of the most importance.”
Abenaqui’s Dana Harrity, who has won the State Am 16 times, and Derryfield Country Club’s Tara Watt, are among the favorites for this year’s tournament, but Sedlar’s stiffest competition may come from Hampstead’s Lauren Thibodeau, who will be entering her sophomore season with the Louisville women’s golf team in the fall. Thibodeau, a Pinkerton Academy graduate, won the NHWGA Junior Championship seven years in a row (2011-17). She claimed her first Junior Championship when she was 11.
Thibodeau and Sedlar will be paired in Monday’s first group, which is scheduled to begin play at 8 a.m.
“Of course Dana is always a big name winning 16,” Sedlar said. “There’s no way she’s not going to be a thought in the back of anyone’s mind just because of her history with the Am and her involvement with the NHWGA.
“Tara is always a name to look out for. She always seems to play well leading up to the Am, but in my mind the biggest competition is going to be Lauren. She’s coming off a fantastic freshman year down at Louisville. She’s improved her game a lot. Going back to our junior golf days I felt like it was always the two of us duking it out. I’m kind of excited to play with her again. I’ve seen how here scores have improved and I’m excited to go out there and battle.”
The following 10 players will represent New Hampshire at the 2019 New England Junior Invitational, which will be held Aug. 11-13 at Mill River Country Club (Stratford, Conn.): William Huang, Jack Pepin, Mathew Gover, Bryce Zimmerman, Colin McCaigue, Brian Adams, Russell Hamel, Carys Fennessy, Shivani Vora and June Doerr. Pepin won last week’s NHGA Boys’ Junior Championship at Beaver Meadow Golf Club.
The New England Junior Invitational is a 54-hole team and individual stroke play competition that features seven boys and three girls from each New England state. Team scores are calculated using the best five of seven scores from the boys group and the best two of three scores from the girls group for each round. The team and individual with the lowest 54-hole total are crowned the champion.
This is the first year that girls are playing in the event.
Former pro Joe Leavitt will play in his first NHGA event since regaining his amateur status when he competes in the Stroke Play Championship on Tuesday through Thursday at Green Meadow Golf Club in Hudson.
Leavitt, an Atkinson resident, won the NHGA Amateur Championship in 2012 at Concord Country Club and in 2014 at Stonebridge Country Club. He played college golf at the University of Rhode Island.
Hooksett’s Matt Paradis, a member at Concord Country Club, and Hanover Country Club’s Pat Pelletier will be Leavitt’s playing partners Tuesday. Leavitt will be representing Atkinson Resort and Country Club. Pelletier won last year’s Stroke Play Championship by nine shots.
Mark Larrabee, the head professional at Eastman Golf Links, and Danny Kish, the assistant professional at Atkinson Resort and Country Club, teamed up to shoot a best-ball gross score of 6-under par to win the New Hampshire Chapter of the PGA Pro-Pro Championship held at Derryfield Country Club on Monday. The duo beat the team of Southern New Hampshire University golf coach Matt Arvanitis and Nashua Country Club’s Jason Malcolm by one stroke.
Beaver Meadow Golf Club assistant pro Matt Levins and his partner, Rochester Country Club assistant pro Brett Smestad, also finished at 65.
The 17th annual Raymond High School Alumni Association golf outing was held on June 25 at Candia Woods. The event raised more than $10,500 for the RHS Alumni Scholarship Fund, which will award four scholarships ($2,500 each) in 2020. Since the event’s inception $138,000 has been awarded to RHS seniors by the RHS Alumni Scholarship Fund thanks to proceeds from the annual golf outing. This year’s top performers:
Low gross: Ryan Johnson, Dan Johnson, Dave Anzalone and Jae Yaris (60).
First net: Jay Long, Gary Knowlton, Glenn Gosselin and Frank Crumb (54).
Second net: John Porter, Jeff Porter, Tony Fiel and Mike Healey (54).
Third net: Bud Dodge, Scott Ross, Nick Usher and Don Moulton (54).
(Note: Net placement was determined by a match of cards.)
Low net (ladies): Denise Johnson, Karen Turcotte, Claire Kounelas and Shirley Dodge (57).
Longest drive (Senior men): Roger Paradis.
Longest drive (men under 75): Ryan Johnson.
Longest drive (Senior ladies): Sally Paradis.
Longest drive (ladies under 75): Denise Johnson.
Nearest to pin (eighth hole): Glenn Gosselin.
Nearest to pin on (15th hole): Frank Crumb.
John Gimas made the fourth hole-in-one of his career at Concord Country Club on Tuesday. Gimas used a 7-iron to ace the 16th hole, a 147-yard par 3. Tim Soucy and Mike Smith, both of Concord, and Boscawen resident Lee Gauthier were the playing partners who witnessed the hole-in-one.
Hooksett’s Rich Berberian is among those entered in the New England PGA Section Championship, which will be held Monday through Wednesday at Manchester Country Club and Concord Country Club.
NH Golf appears in the New Hampshire Sunday News. Contact Roger Brown at firstname.lastname@example.org.
New Hampshire Golf Calendar
Aug. 5-7: NHWGA Amateur Championship (Breakfast Hill)
Aug. 6-8: Stroke Play Championship (Green Meadow GC)
Aug. 11-13: New England Junior Amateur (Mill River CC)
Aug. 13: U.S. Women’s Mid-Amateur Qualifier (Laconia CC)
Aug. 21-22: Women’s Mid-Amateur Championship (Baker Hill GC)
Aug. 27: Stroke Play Series (Intervale CC)
Sept. 4-5: Senior Four Ball (North Conway CC)
Sept. 10-11: Senior Championship (Cochecho CC)
Sept. 17-18: New England Senior Amateur (Biddeford-Saco CC)
Sept. 22-23: Mid-Am Team Championship (Mt. Washington Resort GC)
Oct. 1: Mid-Amateur Championship (Concord CC).