Ethier, Gillis still in contention at State Am golf

They are down to the final eight at the 115th State Amateur Golf Championship, and a pair of area players remain alive, teeing it up Thursday morning at Hanover Country Club in the quarterfinals.

Nashua Country Club’s Tommy Ethier and Brandon Gillis of Souhegan Woods Golf Club each won a pair of matches Wednesday to advance.

Ethier, the No. 11 seed and lowest remaining qualifier in the quarters, was right on his game from the start. He cruised in the morning with a 4-and-2 win over Jamie Ferullo and went on to eliminate No. 38 am Barton in the afternoon match comfortably, 5-and-4.

Gillis, who qualified fourth, had to endure a bit more stress.

He played 18 holes in each match Wednesday, earning 1-up wins over Ryan Thorpe and MacGregor Thompson.

Thursday morning, Gillis will take on No. 5 seed Ryan Brown, while Ethier tangles with No.3 seed Ryan Tombs.

Nashua CC’s Jack Brown nearly pulled off the shocker of the event in the round of 16 against Windham Country Club’s Connor Greenleaf, one of the top players in New England.

Brown rolled in an eagle putt on 18 to force extra holes, only to come up short and fall on the 19th to Greenleaf in what was an absolute battle. Earlier in the day, Brown knocked off James Kinnunen in 19 holes to advance into the top 16.

The Nashua CC father-son duo of Phil and James Pleat found the round of 32 to be their undoing.

James battled from behind all morning long before falling to Barton, 2-and-1. Phil fell to seventh-seeded Ryan Quinn by the same margin.

Former champ Jim Cilley was pushed to the limit by Nashua CC’s Jack Brown, who fell in 19 holes in the round of 32. Tombs stopped John Devito, and Thompson KO’d Ryan Friel in the round of 32 as well.