James Pleat (NHGA/Twitter photo)
Newbury, N.H. (Oct. 4, 2018) – With an impressive 4-under 68 in the final round of the Robert H. Elliott Mid-Amateur Championship presented by Imperial Headwear, James Pleat took the title for the second year in a row. Pleat was able to outlast Jim Cilley and Nick MacDonald in a back-and-forth round to win.
Pleat, who began the day two shots back of leader, Jim Cilley, started out steady by making five straight pars before making his first birdie of the day on the par-4 sixth hole. Allowing his fellow competitors MacDonald and Cilley to falter a little, Pleat held strong and made one more birdie on the ninth hole, turning at 2-under par for the round, with the lead.
Heading to the back side of the golf course, Pleat had an errant tee shot on 10 that forced him to punch out and ultimately make a bogey. He followed it up with a birdie on the 11th hole and by the time his group reached the 15th hole, Pleat had a three-stroke lead. He went on to make a three-putt par on the 15th hole, where Cilley made birdie, and then went on to bogey the 16th hole where Cilley made another birdie to tie it up heading to 17.
Pleat seemed to put all of that behind him and drained his birdie putt on 17 to regain the lead. With a tee shot on 18 that left him in a tricky location, he was able to stick it close and make the putt to solidify his win in the New Hampshire Mid-Amateur Championship.
After catching up with James following his win, he said, “I really played solid all day. I had to make up some ground on Jim and Nick. We battled it out two years ago in the final group for this tournament, so I knew it was going to be tough.”
Following in his father’s footsteps, James claims this title for the second-straight year, a feat his dad, Phil, has accomplished two times. This win by James makes this the 10th win by a Pleat in the tournament’s 35-year history.
“It feels awesome. It’s tough to do, especially since we have so many great players in New Hampshire. I was just trying to prove the first one wasn’t a fluke," James said.
Cilley, who has found himself in the final group of the Mid-Amateur Championship for the past few years had some challenging final rounds from past years haunting him. He began the round with the lead, but slowly lost it as he had to make a few par-saves and carded two bogeys on the front nine. Though he was able to bring it back on the second nine, he ran out of time as Pleat made two birdies to close out the round.
MacDonald had a run going early in the round when he started out with a birdie on the first hole to share the lead with Cilley. He was steady until the 8th hole where he put his tee shot into some thick fescue and could only advance the ball about 15 yards. He carded a bogey there and again struggled with the fescue on the 9th to make a double bogey. He slipped down the leaderboard and couldn’t make a come back in time to catch Pleat or Cilley.
Baker Hill Golf Club was in great condition despite the rain the course got earlier in the week. It played to about 6,600 yards providing all golfers a fair, yet challenging golf course to compete on.View results for New Hampshire Mid-Amateur
ABOUT THE New Hampshire Mid-Amateur
The tournament will consist of 54 holes
play with a cut for Saturday to low 27
and ties. Entries are
open to male members in good standing
member NHGA Clubs who are legal
New Hampshire. Applicants must be 30
of age by the first day of the tournament.
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