Matthew Paradis (Hero Sports photo)
FALMOUTH, Maine (July 18, 2018) – Following a 11-day stretch in which he has won his state amateur title and secured a spot at the 2018 U.S. Amateur Championship, Matt Paradis
prefers to think more about energy instead of fatigue.
Dating back to Sunday, July 8th – the first day of the New Hampshire Amateur Championship – Paradis has logged a total of 255 competitive holes of golf. Along the way, Paradis captured his first career New Hampshire Amateur Championship title
(138 holes), won a Member-Guest Tournament with his friend (45 holes), qualified for the U.S. Amateur Championship at a sectional qualifier held at Taconic Golf Club (36 holes) and completed the first two rounds of play at the New England Amateur Championship (36 holes).
“I slept in my car yesterday for 15 minutes before my tee time and didn’t take a swing or putt I was that tired,” said Paradis, who will turn 23 years old in October. “I just stepped up to the tee and stepped up to the tee again today, and it has kind of just been working for me. I have been confident with my golf swing the past week, so I am just trying to eat and hydrate out here and keep it going.”
While most would have withered or even withdrawn from this week’s event due to exhaustion, Paradis seems to be gaining and not losing momentum. On Tuesday, he managed to play 1-under par golf through 15 holes before play was suspended. Not missing a beat, he returned to Portland Country Club the next morning and made birdie on his first hole of the day – the 510-yard, par 5 15th hole. He finished off that round with two pars for a first-round score of 2-under par 68.
“I am rolling my putter really good,” said Paradis. “I am able to make the 15 to 20 footers that don’t always fall. Sometimes you lip out or you burn the edge on a couple of them, but they have been falling for me. My driver has been very good too so I have been getting it in play and giving myself good looks. Wedges into a lot of greens and have been able to make some birdies here and there.”
When he returned to the course on Wednesday for his second round, Paradis managed to stay within striking distance of the leaders by grinding out an even-par 70 on the Donald Ross layout that was becoming increasingly difficult as the course dried out following Tuesday’s rain. Paradis has the best score among those players who have finished 36 holes. Halfway through their second rounds, Reese McFarlane is 6 under and Patrick Frodigh is 4 under.
“I have been giving myself good looks and keeping it in play,” said Paradis. “Even if I missed the fairway, I have been inside the tree line and in the rough. The rough is short around here which doesn’t penalize you that much.”
After playing the Portland CC back nine at even par, Paradis made bogey on the second hole and then birdie on the third hole. Two holes later, his drive off the tee found the fairway bunker. Paradis was forced to punch out into the fairway and was left with a third shot from 100 yards out. He found the green with his third shot and sunk a 15-footer for par to remain even.
He then got up and down on the 184-yard, par-3 seventh hole by making a 10-foot slider for par.
“The par saves today kept me in it,” said Paradis. “I didn’t hit it that close and missed a few birdies, but I made three or four 10 to 15 footers for par to keep my momentum going.”
Paradis completed his second round before the sun went down which was not the case for a majority of his competitors. With the third round scheduled to start after noon on Thursday, Paradis is looking forward to getting some rest and gearing up for what is a very important day for this warrior.
“I feel good for where I am at,” said Paradis, who finished fourth last year and T2 in 2016 in this event. “This is huge. This is one that I have always wanted. All of the best players from around New England come and play in this. There are a lot of players that I used to look up to as a junior and I am starting to finally catch up to the big guys. I feel great. I have come so close the past couple of years so to win this would be huge.”
With just 18 holes standing between him and another major victory, fatigue for Paradis is simply not an option.
Due to inclement weather and the subsequent suspension of play on Tuesday, the 89th New England Amateur Championship was reduced to a 54-hole event.
On Wednesday, the entire field completed round one. Those competitors who were not able to complete the second round on Wednesday will return to Portland Country Club on Thursday and resume play at 7:30 a.m.
Following the conclusion of Round 2 on Thursday, the field will be reduced to the low 40 scorers and ties and repaired by score. A champion will be crowned following the conclusion of 54 holes. Any tie for first place will be decided immediately by a hole-by-hole play-off.
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
Entries are open to amateur golfers who hold
membership in a
club belonging to one of the six New England State
Associations and have an up-to-date USGA/GHIN
not exceeding 6.4
View Complete Tournament Information