Hixon captures NHGA Junior crown
Matt Paradis of Derryfield CC was gaining momentum until Tom Hixon made a clutch shot to turn the tide.
Hixon of Rye buried a 30-footer for birdie on the par four, fourth hole and eventually held on for a 2-up decision for the 2013 New Hampshire Golf Association Junior Championship at the Campbell’s Scottish Highlands Golf Course in Salem Wednesday.
“That was the turning point,” said Paradis of Hixon’s birdie 13 holes into the match, which started on the 10th tee.
After falling behind by three holes just seven holes into their match play championship flight, Paradis mounted a comeback. He won the par 4, 17th hole with a birdie and closed his deficit to one with a par on the par five, second hole, the 11th hole into the match.
But Hixon, who plays out of the Wentworth-by-the-Sea CC and attends the Lee Westwood Golf Academy in Apopka, Fla., drained a 30-foot downhill slider to go 2-up with five holes to play.
“Give him credit, it was a good shot,” said Paradis of Hixon. “I three-putted the 14th, 15th and 16th holes to start the match and that was my story. My putter was off today.”
Still Paradis, who will enter his senior year at Central this fall, gave himself a chance by hitting 14 greens yesterday.
“My ball striking all week was good, but (yesterday) I just didn’t finish well with my putting game. Tom stayed steady and got the job done.”
There’s no shame in finishing runner-up and Paradis said he’s hoping to build off his performance as he enters more junior tournaments throughout the summer. “It was a fun week and I’m looking forward to the Red Ryan (tourney) and other challenge cup matches,” he said.