Allen Lessels' NH Golf: Leavitt seeks repeat
Joe Leavitt from Atkinson is shown during the 2010 NHGA Junior Championship tournament held at Campbell's Scottish Highlands golf course in Salem. (Thomas Roy/Union Leader)
State Am Tee Times, scoring► Click here for tee times and scoring from this year's State Am.
Leavitt, 19, plays out of Atkinson Country Club and last year knocked off D.J. Lantz to win his first title at Concord Country Club.
The field of 144 will compete in 18-hole rounds of medal play on Monday and Tuesday to determine the 64 golfers who will advance to match play beginning on Wednesday. The 36-hole championship match is set for Saturday.
Mielcarz won three straight State Ams in 1977, 1978 and 1979, the most consecutive wins since Tom Leonard won six championships in a row from 1947-52. Leonard won eight total.
He figured last year was a perfect opportunity to bow out of the tournament when it was at his home course, Concord Country Club.
He went out in style, earning medalist honors and advancing to the Round of 16 where he finally fell on a seventh playoff hole.
A couple of them - Damon Salo of the Shattuck Golf Club in Jaffrey and Chris Houston of Laconia Country Club - are in his threesome, which tees off on the first hole at 12:35 on Monday.
They are among the young players who will try to take advantage of the lengthy Golf Club of New England layout.Nick Fairweather and Connor Greenleaf, both out of Windham Country Club, and Jake Nutter and Ryan Tombs, out of Manchester Country Club, are among several others in that category.
Mielcarz said he told Dover's Brett Wilson that he was picking him as his tournament favorite.
"I think the home course knowledge thing will be big and he wouldn't be a bad pick," said John Jelley, tournament director for the New Hampshire Golf Association.
Three former champions are playing in the same group and tee off No. 10 at 7:40 a.m. on Monday. Jim Cilley of Canterbury Woods (2010), Craig Steckowych of Portsmouth Country Club (1990 and 1998) and Dan Arvanitis of Derryfield Country Club in Manchester (2001) are in that threesome.Phil Pleat (1981, 1985 and 1997) is competing along with his son, James, who graduated from Dartmouth College this spring.James McKee out of Windham Country Club hopes to do some damage, too.
He's all of 14 years old this year and looking to go further.
Leavitt plans to be ready for all comers.
He hurt his back a few weeks ago, but has come back from that well.
Now, if he I can get that putter going.
A graduate of Notre Dame University, Schmidt comes to New Hampshire after serving as tournament director of the Indiana Golf Office, a group that includes the Indiana Golf Association and Indiana Section of the PGA.