Score one for the good guys.
Playing on a course he grew up on, Bobby McGraw, club pro at Eagle Mountain House, won the Senior Division of the 44th New Hampshire Chapter of the New England PGA Championship at North Conway Country Club on Tuesday.
Bobby, who was co-champion with Joe Clark Jr. in 2010, played two super rounds of golf to win the title, edging defending champ Bill Andrews of Portsmouth by two shots.
“The key was grinding out a few pars and bogies in the beginning when I didn't have my best stuff and finally saying to myself, ‘Snap out of it and play better,’” Bobby shared on Thursday. “After my self pep-talk, I managed to birdie the next two holes which gave me the confidence to play better the last nine holes.”
He added: “As always, my putting kept me in the game.”
Playing in hot, humid conditions (OK, it was weather probably better suited for sitting in an air-conditioned theater), the golfers warmed to the task on the picturesque North Conway course. Kudos to Superintendent Greg George and his crew for having the course in such great shape given the dry summer.
On Monday, as Bobby described, he got off a slow start by his standards, making the turn after the opening nine holes at +2 (36) with seven pars and two bogies. On the back nine, the Kennett High graduate got things going with birdies on 11, 12, 15 and 16 offset by a bogie on 14 to end is round atop the leaderboard at -1 (70).
In the final round Tuesday, Bobby said, “the Senior Division actually started on the back nine and after bogeying No. 16, Billy and I were tied. I birdied 17 and 18 to get back to a two-shot lead as we headed to the front nine."
He added: “We both parred holes 1 through 4 and when I bogeyed No. 5, Billy was one shot back. When I made a deuce on the challenging No. 7 and Billy bogeyed the hole, I was up by three with two to play. Billy birdied No. 8 to get one shot back but I was able to par the last two holes and win the championship by two shots.”
Bobby ended up at +1 (70, 73), while Andrews came in at +3 (72, 73) in a field of 17 golfers.
In the Championship Division, Matt Arvanitis, the golf coach at Southern New Hampshire University, took the title at -2 (71, 69), topping Wolfeboro’s Jay Pollini (70, 71) and Lake Winnipesauee’s Jason Sedan (66, 76), who both ended up at -1. There were 29 golfers in the field.
Bobby has shared in the past how he got started in the sport. And his path is a gem.
“I grew up in North Conway and started playing golf when I was 14. I was shooting baskets at the Community Center one day when my friend, Jim Brady asked me if I had ever played golf and my response was: Yeah, I played once. He then asked me if I wanted to play in the high school match that afternoon and even though I didn't have clubs, I was all for it.
"Within an hour, I was going off the first tee in my first competitive match. That fall, due to the generosity of the North Conway Country Club members, I had the opportunity to play and practice every day after school and almost every weekend too."
It’s great to see nice guys like Bobby McGraw finish first.
Let’s get after it.
The 28th annual Kiwanis Club of Mount Washington Valley’s “Children Are Priority One Golf Tournament” was held Friday, Aug. 5 at Wentworth Golf Club. Country Cabinets, Etc was this year’s presenting sponsor. Twenty-two teams participated in the largest ever golfing event for the local Kiwanis Club.
Taking team honors in the men’s division were Steve Cote, John Eastman, Jeff McLellan and Vince Osgood. They won golf for four at the Omni Mount Washington Golf Course.
Taking the top spot in the ladies division team were Lynn Anderson, Helen Wessling, Mary Kaye Leonard and Rachel Byrne. They won golf for four at North Conway Country Club.
In the mixed division, Joanne and Jack Gallagher, Doug Jacinto and Pete Hayden captured first and received golf for four at Bridgton Highlands Country Club.
Closest-to-the-pin honors went to Rita Descoteaux and Wayne Ekholm, while Del Desmarais won the putting contest and the 50/50 winner was John Loven.
The 29th annual tournament is scheduled to tee off on Aug. 4, 2023.
Congratulations to Ansel Barclay, a recent Kennett High graduate and a Madison Scholarship recipient, who was recognized at the annual Madison Scholarship Golf Tournament at Indian Mound Golf Club in Ossipee. Ansel thanked those who supported the event and other fundraisers for his opportunity to attend Montana State University.
"It's scholarships like this that allow me to follow this dream path and I am indeed grateful,” Ansel said.
The Madison Scholarship Fund supports all Madison graduating seniors who are going on to additional education in any field. The Fund was established by the late Madison Selectman Percy Hill in 1987. Ansel took this unique opportunity to address and thank those who were supporting him and his fellow Madison classmates.
Information on the Madison Scholarship Fund can be obtained by writing the fund at PO Box 35 in Madison, NH 03849.
Eagle Mountain Golf Course, Carter Notch Road, Jackson, (603) 383-9090: Club Pro Bobby McGraw reports in the Thursday Scramble, the winners were James Wobrek, Mike Peloquin, Janice and Dan Andrews.
Bobby will conduct a clinic this Saturday at 10:30 a.m. on the fundamentals needed to be successful when hitting your driver and fairway woods. The fee is $20 and the class is limited to six students. Call the pro shop at (603) 383-9090 to sign up.
The Fall Don Ho League will start on Wednesday, Aug. 31. The format is a four-person scramble and the fee is $60 per person. Teams that want to play should call the pro shop to sign up and lock in their tee time for the five-week friendly competition.
Hale’s Location Golf Course, West Side Road, North Conway, (603) 356-2140: John Kasparian, director of golf, reports in women's league play, Kat Petts (+5) took first place over Jane Waldie (+4). Jill Lucchetti captured third place (+3) over fourth-place finisher Karen Franke (+2).
Closest-to-the-pin laurels on the par 3, sixth hole, went to Jane Waldie (4' 4").
There will be no women's league play next week due to the aeration of the greens. League play will resume the following week.
Men's league action found Dave Wright (+6) taking first place over Dave Pierce (+6) by way of matching cards on the third handicap hole. Bob Pustis took third place at +5.
In addition to his first-place finish, Wright took closest-to-the-pin honors on the par 3, third hole, at 3' 7".
Reminder, there is still time to sign up for the Homeowners Summer Social and Red, White and Blue Tournament in the pro shop.
In addition, the Tournament of Champions got underway this week. The deadline to qualify is Aug. 20.
Players who win their respective divisions will be awarded a plaque in honor of their accomplishments. In addition to that, the first-place male and female players in the Gross Division will be declared "The Champion Golfer" with a separate plaque bearing their name and year that will be displayed in the pro shop.
Lake Kezar Country Club, Route 5, Lovell, Maine, (207) 925-2462: Nancy Calvert reports the club held its annual Member-Member Tournament last Sunday with three divisions, men, mixed and ladies.
In the men’s division, Bob Prescott and Marc Webster took first place in gross, followed by Dennis McIver and Larry Sandborn in second while Brad Littlefield and John Chandler played third.
The dynamic duo of Bill Perry and Chris Dutton took first place, followed by runners-up Mike Lewis and Mike Halacy, while third went to Charlie Adams and Terry Adams.
In the mixed division, Neal and Louisia Attenborough captured first place in gross, followed by Megan Goldsmith and Tom Quigley.
Roger and Deb Parsons took top honors for the net score, followed by Izzy and Kelley Attenborough.
In the ladies division, which featured only two groups, Kim Rovzar and Lois McIver took the first gross ahead of Tina Littlefield and Pattie Street.
The longest drive honors for the women went to Izzy Attenborough, and for the men, it was Chris Dutton.
Closest-to-the-pin on No. 12 went to Chris Calvert; on No. 7 was Steve Richards; No. 16 was Dennis O'Neil; and No. 5 was Russell Doe.
Prizes were given out to the Club Champions and President's Cup winner. The men's President's cup winner was Chris Hallberg and the ladies' winner was Donna Lebkuecher.
Nancy said golfers enjoyed a great meal catered by the Fryeburg Kitchen and Market.
Wentworth Golf Club, Route 16, Jackson, (603) 383-9641: Ryan Polisso, director of golf at the Wentworth, reports the Ladies League held its annual “Invite a Friend” tournament on Aug. 3 and had a good turnout of 18 teams.
The format was a team-best ball. Low net score winners were Maryann Fitzgerald and her guest Pat Hoffman with a -9 score of 61 followed by Robin Garside and her guest Angie Chute, -8 round of 62, followed by Nancy Pittenger and her guest, -6.
Gross winners were Lynne Anderson and her guest Helen Wesslin with a +11 round of 81.
Maryann Lowry reports in the Ladies League on Wednesday held a tournament to raise funds for Jen's Friends. The Wentworth Turtles were also invited to play.
The trio of Maryann, Lynne Walker and Claire Peck took first at -1, while second on a winning card draw at +2 were Jane Goulart, MaryBeth Pimental, Patty Keane and Beth Ellis.
Taking the top spot for the 9 Hole Ladies at -1 were MaryEllen Gallo, Adria Brown and Diane Mitchell.
Cricket Catalucci took long drive honors on the day.
Ellie Thompson took the closest-to-the-pin at 2’2”.
“I know I am getting better at golf because I am hitting fewer spectators.” — Gerald Ford, the 38th President of the United States
If you have any great local stories, golf scores or photos, tee them up and send them my way, please, so we can include them in an upcoming column. Contact Lloyd Jones at firstname.lastname@example.org. Hope you have a bogey-free week.
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