Saturday, November 1, 2014
My Account  | Login
Nashua;42.0;http://forecast.weather.gov/images/wtf/small/ovc.png;2014-11-01 09:23:07
Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Nashua City Tournament is regaining its footing

Local Golf Journal

Ryan Brogan is turning the tide. The Nashua City Golf Tournament, once believed to be slowly but surely phasing out, is thriving yet again.

The Merrimack golfer took over tournament director duties three years ago, and has watched the number of participants climb each year. In 2010, the 50th anniversary of the event and just one year before Brogan took over, the tournament was lucky to see 40 golfers register. That jumped to almost 60 in 2011, 65 in 2012 and a record 70 applicants this fall. ...

Sign up to continue

Print subscriber?    Sign up for Full Access!

Please sign up for as low as 36 cents per day to continue viewing our website.

Digital subscribers receive

  • Unlimited access to all stories from nashuatelegraph.com on your computer, tablet or smart phone.
  • Access nashuatelegraph.com, view our digital edition or use our Full Access apps.
  • Get more information at nashuatelegraph.com/fullaccess
Sign up or Login

Ryan Brogan is turning the tide. The Nashua City Golf Tournament, once believed to be slowly but surely phasing out, is thriving yet again.

The Merrimack golfer took over tournament director duties three years ago, and has watched the number of participants climb each year. In 2010, the 50th anniversary of the event and just one year before Brogan took over, the tournament was lucky to see 40 golfers register. That jumped to almost 60 in 2011, 65 in 2012 and a record 70 applicants this fall.

“It’s my third attempt at running it and I’m happy with the steady rise in participation,” Brogan said. “We made a few eligibility changes that have created a larger turnout. You don’t have to live in one of the cities involved. If you live in Tyngsborough (Mass.) and play at Green Meadow you can enter.”

It’s come a long way from 1960, when, Ray Brooks won the inaguaral title in a tournament of four. That first year it was all about the club champions at Nashua Country Club, Green Meadow Golf Club, Riverside Golf Club and Whip-Poor-Will Golf Course facing off.

The event expanded in year two, opening up to all golfers from Greater Nashua – Nashua, Hudson, Litchfield, Amherst, Hollis, Merrimack and Milford. There was steady participation from the first open season in 1961 through the early 2000s. The tournament then saw a downswing in numbers, some say in part to Phil Pleat dominating the field and making it harder for a chance to hoist the John Wollen Trophy.

For this year’s winner, Josh Kibbe of Hudson, that reason doesn’t hold water. Well, at least for him. He’s hoping that Brogan’s involvement and expansion will get the Pleat family involved again.

“I want to play the best,” Brogan said. “Obviously, Phil and James Pleat are two of the area’s best golfers. They are two of the state’s best. When I’m playing in a tournament, I want to face the best and if you don’t want that, then why are you playing in a tournament?”

Even without the Pleats, this fall’s event wasn’t easy for Kibbe. The field included some heavy hitters from Greater Nashua, including New Hampshire Golf Association State Am runner-up Chris Rivard – who tied for second with Troy Morris. Larry Nuttall and Danny Brown shared the Senior title, while Patrick McGinley was the Junior Medalist.

As for Kibbe, he pushed his way through a rough first round at Green Meadow Golf Club’s Jungle Course on Sept. 7 to set himself up for a strong second round and a chance to win at Nashua Country Club on Sept. 8. Kibbe, who plays most of his golf on the Hudson golf club’s Jungle Course, struck the ball well on Day 1.

His putting was another story, as he struggled on the greens down the stretch – three-putting five times on the back nine – on what could be considered his home course.

He finished Day 1 with a 72 then bounced back with a 67 on Day 2 - draining five putts from 15 or more feet on his way to six birdies. He finished with 12 birdies over the two days.

“With how bad I was putting on the first day I still managed six birdies,” Kibbe said. “I was either putting really well, or really bad.

“The second day, I don’t feel like I hit the ball as well, but my putting was on.”

Unlike his first round, he finished strong down the stretch on Day 2 – hitting putts from 25 feet on Hole 12, 15 feet on Holes 13 and 15 and just missed an Eagle putt from 18 feet on Hole 17 that he tapped in for one of his dozen birdies.

“This was only my third year playing in the event,” Kibbe said, “but I can tell that the atmosphere is different among the players. Ryan has made some positive changes that I think are getting more people involved, and making the field a strong one to compete in.”

Charitable effort

In three years at the helm of the Nashua City Championship tournament Brogan has strengthened the charitable arm of the event.

“We raised $1,500 for the Make-a-Wish foundation,” Brogan said. “The tournament’s charity efforts have now raised $17,000 in the past three years.”

The first two years under Brogan’s watch, the charity was Golf Fights Cancer, which is based in Norton, Mass. Brogan decided keeping the money in New Hampshire would be better and chose the Granite State branch of Make-a-Wish for this fall’s event.

The money is raised through a 50-50 raffle and a $10 donation off the registration fee of $100 for adults and $50 per junior.

“I enjoy doing it,” Brogan said. “It keeps me involved in the golf community and gives me an opportunity to give back to that community and to the charity we play for.”

Wilson wins Mid-Am

Brett Wilson, of the host Cochecho Country Club, won his first NHGA title, capturing the 2013 Mid-Am championship.

Wilson parlayed a solid 4-under-par, 136 total, over the rain-shortened event, to earn the prize. With his father Dave Wilson on the bag, Brett followed up his 4-under 66 with an even-par 70 to best the field by two shots.

Craig Steckowych (70-68-138) earned runner-up honors, while a group of locals – Chris Rivard (68-72-140), Josh Chamberlain (67-74-141) and Phil Pleat (67-76-143) - rounded out the top five.

For complete Mid-Am results, visit www.nhgolfassociation.org.