MANCHESTER — Wednesday’s Boys Elite final in the Mike Ryan Memorial Championship was mostly uneventful through 12 holes. Then things got interesting.
With the exception of Connor Allard’s birdie on the par-3 eighth hole, it was all pars for both Allard and Laconia Country Club’s Evan Rollins as both golfers stepped onto the 13th tee at Derryfield Country Club. Allard, an Exeter resident, stretched his lead to 3-up by winning No. 13 and No. 14 with birdies, but Rollins won the next two holes to shave Allard’s lead to one hole.
Allard regrouped, however, and rolled in a 20-foot birdie putt on the par-5 17th to win the match, 2 and 1.
“When I hit it (the putt) I knew it was on line, but I felt like I might have hit it a little light ... a little soft,” Allard said. “I was really hoping it just got to the hole. When it fell over the edge, I was really excited. That was the match.”
Rollins, 17, was waiting to hit a 15-foot birdie putt when Allard sank his putt to end the match. Rollins lost to Auburn resident Nick Tufts in the 2020 Elite Boys championship match.
“I knew I had to make birdies to come back,” Rollins said. “Pars weren’t good enough. When I did start to come back, I had the momentum and I just wanted to try and keep it going. He made a good putt on 17. He made a bunch of good putts. No putts really went in for me today.”
Rollins will be entering his senior year at Laconia High School in the fall. Allard, who was representing Portsmouth Country Club, will be a junior at Exeter High School.
Allard’s tee shot on the 15th hole landed on roots near a tree that forced him to punch out. Rollins won that hole with a par.
Then Allard’s tee shot on the par-4 16th drifted right into the woods. Rollins also won that hole with a par.
“I knew I was in command … until I wasn’t,” Allard said. “I feel like I got a little ahead of myself then I made a couple bad swings that put me on my heels a little bit, but I was able to right the ship on the 17th hole.”
Rollins advanced to the Elite Boys Final by beating Concord Country Club’s Hunter Duncan 3 and 2 in the semifinals Wednesday morning. Allard reached the final with a 2-and-1 victory over Atkinson Resort and Country Club’s Stephen Ramos in the semifinals.
Allard lost to Nashua Country Club’s James Pleat in the Round of 16 during last week’s NHGA Amateur championship at North Conway Country Club. Pleat went on to win the tournament for the second consecutive year.
Rollins was eliminated from the State Am when he failed to move on in the tiebreaker that followed the two days of stroke play.
This year’s other championship matches by division:
Elite Girls: Julianna Megan (Hoodkroft) defeated Delaney Nadeau (The Oaks), 7 and 6.
Elite Boys (First Flight): Jack Poitras (Golf Club of New England) defeated Drew Cameron (Derryfield), 4 and 2.
Elite Boys (Second Flight): Kody Dexter (Pembroke Pines) defeated Jascha Johnston (Youth on Course) 2-up.
Prep Boys: Carl Sirrianna (Pembroke Pines) defeated Jim Schouller (Abenaqui), 1-up.
Prep Girls: Madelyn Savary (Youth on Course) defeated Olivia Georgantas (Intervale), 9 and 8.
Birdie Boys: Aaryan Narang (Youth on Course) defeated Tyler Morin (Youth on Course), 10 holes.