Allen Lessels' NH Golf: Next stop for Barrett: U.S. Amateur
CHELSO BARRETT of Surry had a day off Friday. Sort of.
And he's vacationing in Maine this week. Sort of.
Barrett, who grew up on the family's Bretwood Golf Club in Keene and comes from a long line of successful golfers, had himself quite a week.
He has quite a road ahead in the coming weeks, too.
Barrett, 18 and a soon-to-be-freshman at Texas Christian University, won last week's New Hampshire Golf Association Stroke Play championship on the Jungle Course at the Green Meadow Golf Club in Hudson.
"It's a good win," Barrett said on Friday between practice sessions at Bretwood. "It's not the biggest tournament I play in all summer, but it's definitely a great tournament. It's one of the best NHGA events and you have to play well to win."
He did that.
He shot a 74 in his opening round on Tuesday and followed it up with a blistering 7-under 65 on Wednesday. He then held off Damon Salo of The Shattuck Golf Club in Jaffrey and Jake Nutter of Manchester Country Club over the 36-hole final on Thursday.
Barrett knocked out rounds of 68 and 70 on Thursday, 6-under par for the day, and finished with an 11-under total of 277. Salo was three strokes back and Nutter four.
For this week at least, Barrett, who got knocked out of the State Am in the round of 16 earlier in July, was the best of the state's impressive stable of young golfers.
"I'll tell you," said John Jelley, the NHGA's tournament director. "Especially at the college age, we have a ton of good players up here. They'll be all over the map in another week or two at various schools. We're very strong in the 20- to 25-year-old-age group. There are good high school kids, too. A lot of these guys have played in the junior tournaments and graduated up through. They're really good."
Barrett was back practicing, as usual, on Friday and this week, during vacation time at the beach, he plans to play each day at The Ledges Golf Club in York.
He'll try to relax a bit, as well, in preparation for one of those really big events: He qualified again for the U.S. Amateur and heads to Massachusetts for the tournament on Friday. It starts next Monday, Aug. 12, with 18 holes of medal play at The Country Club of Brookline and the Charles River Club in Newton.
The field of 312 will be cut to 64 for match play after each golfer plays one round at The Country Club and one at Charles River. All match play will be at The Country Club.
Barrett has played in the U.S. Amateur twice before, but has not advanced to match play.
"I try to not go in with too many expectations," Barrett said. "Try to play the best I can and see what happens. One of the goals is to make the cut. . . . My game has been pretty solid. My ball striking has been pretty good and I putted real well this week. If I can keep my short game together and tight and can tune it up a little more, I should be good to go in the U.S. Amateur."
There's no more down time once the Amateur begins.
Barrett heads straight to Texas Christian as soon as he wraps up his stay in the tournament. He's already delayed his arrival in Fort Worth.
"I was supposed to be there on the 13th and at the earliest I'll be there on the 14th," he said.
He'll hook up with is Horned Frog teammates - they come from Italy, Brazil and France as well as assorted spots in the United States - and get ready for a bit of a road trip.
Texas Christian, a perennial power in Division I golf, opens the season with a tournament in Japan in September.
Barrett said he will be one of the five golfers on the team making the trip, based on having one of the five best World Amateur Golf Rankings on the team.
"I'm getting excited for (college)," he said "It's going to be totally different. . . . And I'm really excited about the trip."
TRACY MARTIN captured her first New Hampshire Women's Golf Association championship on her home Nashua Country Club course on Thursday. Martin, 23, was in a final threesome that included Lisanne Schmidt, 24, of the Eastman Golf Links, and Tracey Marshall, 21, of Abenaqui Country Club in Rye.
Martin was at 75-72-72-219 for the tournament. Martin, Schmidt and Marshall were tied going into the final round. Schmidt ended up six shots behind Martin back and Marshall was eight behind.
Next year's women's State Am will be played at Windham Country Club.
STONEBRIDGE Country Club in Goffstown will be the site of the men's 2014 State Amateur next July.
The men's 2015 State Am will be held at the Mount Washington Resort Golf Cub at Bretton Woods for the first time since the 1960s, Jelley said.
Stonebridge plays host this week to the NHGA's Father/Son tournament on Thursday.