Nashua’s Pleat rallies to win state Mid-Am crown

NEW DURHAM – Considering all he’s won over the years, you can’t really say Nashua golfer Phil Pleat is getting better with age.

What you can say is that at 56, he hasn’t lost much of his game. Less than a month after winning his second of back-to-back New Hampshire Golf Association Senior titles, Pleat captured the State Mid-Am title for the eighth time on Wednesday at Lake Winnipesaukee Golf Club.

The defending champion was six strokes behind leader Craig Steckowych of Portsmouth when the final round began, but fired a one-under 71, the best round by any golfer in the three day event, to edge Steckowych and Brett Wilson of the Golf Club of New England by two strokes.

Steckowych shot a seven-over 79 on Wednesday, while Wilson’s 72, tied for the second best round of the event, thrust him into late contention.

Pleat’s 71 included three birdies and just two bogeys and included a birdie on the 18th hole.

The victory extended Pleat’s record of Mid-Am championships to eight. It also extended his record of NHGA titles to 16. He won the first of his three State Am titles in 1981. He’s also won three Stroke Play Championship to go along with his two Senior titles in his first two years of eligibility.

Last September, in the biggest accomplishment of his golfing career, Pleat finished second in the U.S. Senior Amateur Championship in Virginia.

He’ll compete in this year’s event, which begins Sept. 29, in New Jersey.