New England Amateur: Two titles in two weeks

FALMOUTH, ME (July 20, 2006) -– It has been a memorable two weeks for Rhode Island 's Brad Valois (Valley CC - RI). Less than one week after capturing his first Rhode Island Amateur Championship title, Valois pulled out an impressive two-shot victory at the 2006 New England Amateur Championship, which was held this week at The Woodlands Club in Falmouth, Maine.

Valois, who thought about dropping out of this event due to fatigue following his win last week, showed no signs of a let down as he pieced together a 1-under par 287 performance that featured rounds of 74-68-71-74 over a three-day period. A freshman standout golfer at Johnson & Wales (Florida), Valois kept his cool throughout the day. Following his morning round of 1-under par 71, the start to Valois' final 18 holes wasn't exactly storybook like. After carding a birdie on the 349-yard, par 4 2nd hole to take a two-shot lead, he stumbled by making double bogey on the 4th and 7th holes and then a bogey on the 421-yard, par 4 8th hole to make the turn at 4-over par 40. While the rest of the field met with trouble during the latter stages of the round, Valois took advantage of the opportunity by combating a bogey on the 359-yard, par 4 12th hole with birdies on the 507-yard, par 5 11th and 395-yard, par 4 14th holes. With a slim one-stroke lead in hand, Valois made two straight pars and then carded a birdie on the 215-yard, par 3 17th hole and a par on the finishing hole to seal his victory.

Finishing two back of Valois was another young up-and-comer, Kevin Velardo (CC of Billerica - MA) who plays his collegiate golf at St. John's University. Following a 4-over par 76 performance during the morning hours, Velardo – the leader after the second round – enjoyed scoring consistency during the afternoon round as he posted two birdies and one bogey through his first nine holes to make the turn at 1-under par 35. The back nine was where he was unable to capitalize as he registered bogeys on the 336-yard, par 4 10th and the 395-yard, par 4 14th holes. After putting on a putting show on the front nine – he made only 14 putts through 9 holes – Velardo suffered his first three putt of the day on that 14th hole which pushed him two back of the leader. He got one back with a birdie on the par-5 15th hole but in the end he could not catch Valois.

Following the first two rounds of stroke play, the 165-player field was reduced to the low 44 scorers. Only those players returned to The Woodlands Club on Thursday to compete in the 36-hole final round. An interesting tournament note… Massachusetts led the way with the 14 competitors advancing to Thursday's round while Maine had 10 of its hometown players return on Thursday. Rounding out the list of states were Connecticut (9), New Hampshire (6), Vermont (3) and Rhode Island (2).

About the New England Amateur Championship: The New England Amateur Championship is open to golfers from Massachusetts, Connecticut, Maine, New Hampshire, Connecticut, Rhode Island and Vermont who hold an established, up-to-date handicap index of 5.4 or less. There is no qualifying held for this event. Former champions include Fred Wright, Brad Faxon, Billy Andrade and James Driscoll.

For complete results, click on the tournament link above.

ABOUT THE New England Amateur

Held since 1926, the New England Amateur brings together players from six New England area states — Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, Vermont, New Hampshire, and Rhode Island. The event host rotates between each of the six represented states. The tournament has been won by notable PGA Tour players such as JJ Henry (1998), Tim Petrovic (1986), Billy Andrade (1983), and Brad Faxon (1980, 1981).

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