New England Senior: Keller takes it

NASHUA, N.H. (Sept. 10, 2008) – It wasn’t too surprising to most when Joe Keller (Oyster Harbors Club – MA) turned in a score of 1-under par 70 this afternoon to take over sole possession of first place at the 2008 New England Senior Championship. Although there were still players on the Nashua Country Club layout at that time, there was a sense that this veteran competitor was going to add another chapter to his storied golf career.

In the end, that 1-under par score did prevail and Keller was able to call himself champion once again. The 2008 New England Senior Championship trophy will fit nicely next to the Massachusetts Senior Championship hardware he captured in 2005.

This year’s New England Senior Championship was reduced to only 18 holes after severe weather in the Nashua region forced the suspension of play at 12:00 p.m. on Tuesday. The tournament organizers made a decision on that day to change the format to only 18 holes, which were to be played on Wednesday.

Keller took advantage of the shortened format and displayed his champion prowess and his unrelenting competitiveness. He quickly took advantage of a front nine that was playing favorably by making five birdies and one bogey to make the turn at 4-under par 31. Keller made two consecutive birdies on the 1st and 2nd holes. A bogey on the 4th hole was soon erased by a birdie on the 6th and 7th holes and then yet another on the 154-yard, par 3 9th hole.

On the more challenging back nine, Keller continued to press on and made key shots when he had to in order to finish at 1-under par for the tournament. On that back nine, he made three bogies and six pars. He finished as the only golfer to post an under-par score on the Nashua Country Club layout.

Finishing in a tie for second place with scores of even par 71 were three New Hampshire golfers – Don Reid (Nashua CC – NH), Steven Birnbaum (Baker Hill GC – NH) and Daniel Arvanitis (Derryfield CC – NH).

Defending champion Mark Plummer(Augusta CC – ME) was unable to relive his championship moments of one year ago as he claimed a share of fifth place with six others after registering a score of 1-over par 72.

One player tied with Plummer in fifth place was Dick Weigold (Torrington Country Club – CT). Weigold's score of 1-over par 72 was good enough, however, to capture the Super Senior Division title. The Super Senior Division includes all competitors 65 years and older.

--NEGA story

ABOUT THE New England Senior Amateur

Entries are open to amateur golfers who will have reached their 55th birthday, hold membership in a club belonging to one of the six New England State Golf Associations and have an up-to-date USGA/GHIN Handicap Index not exceeding 9.9.

36 holes, stroke play. No cut will be made. Players 65 years of age or older will be elligible for the Super Senior Division. Both the Overall and Super Senior Divisions will compete from the same tee/yardage. Pre-qualifying required for non-exempt players.

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