Last week we saw Tyler Strafaci
win the North & South Amateur at Pinehurst, repeating a feat
that his grandfather Frank Strafaci had accomplished in 1938 and 1939.
James Pleat just did him two generations better.
The mid-amateur and former Dartmouth College golfer became the fourth member of the family to win the New Hampshire Amateur, capturing the 117th edition with a 2&1 win over Cameron Sheedy in the 36-hole final match at Nashua Country Club.
Better yet for James was the fact that his father Phil Pleat, himself a three-time state amateur champion, was on the bag caddying. With the win, James repeated Phil's feat of winning on his home course.
"I grew up watching this tournament," said Pleat to the New Hampshire Golf Association. "I remember the green before the one I won on, my dad won the 1997 State Amateur and I ran out to give him a hug and it was a little bit of a role reversal this time. He was caddying for me and we had a nice little hug on the 17th hole."
"It's amazing, it's a dream come true."
It wasn't easy though. After finishing the morning round 2 holes ahead, Pleat built a four-hole lead with just five to play. But Sheedy went on a run, winning three straight holes to pull within one with two holes to go. But a missed short par putt on the 35th hole was the decider.
"I think I escaped with one there", said Pleat. "I expected him to get up and down for par, but it was enough and that's all that matters and I'm thrilled."
Sheedy actually beat Phil Pleat during his run to the final match, but couldn't quite take out the father-son duo. It's a duo that have played great golf for many years now; in 2012 they became just the fourth father-son duo to play in the same U.S. Amateur, and they competed in the U.S. Four-Ball Championship in 2017. In addition to his three state amateur titles, Phil was the runner-up in the U.S. Senior Amateur.
James' grandfather Thomas J. Leonard, Jr. won eight New Hampshire state amateurs between 1939 and 1952, and his great grandfather Thomas J. Leonard, Sr. won in 1922.
ABOUT THE New Hampshire Amateur
Competition will be held at ten pre-qualifying
sites and will be 18 holes at Stroke Play.
low qualifiers and ties from all the sites
with the players exempt from
be eligible for the 36-hole qualifying on
first two days of the tournament proper.
Sixty-four players will begin match play the
following day. Entries are open to males
are members in good standing of member
Clubs who are legal residents of New
Hampshire. An eligible non-resident can
NHGA Championships if he has been a
in good standing of an NHGA member club
the last three complete golf seasons and
played a minimum of 25 rounds of golf at
club in each of the three seasons. A letter
signed by the President of the member
must accompany his first entry, stating
the player complies with NHGA eligibility
View Complete Tournament Information