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Nashua City Golf Championship Preview: Young Hamel looking to make his mark

Nashua Country Club's Russell Hamel

NASHUA – Just 14, Russell Hamel doesn’t portend to understand the deep and tradition-packed history of the Nashua City Golf Championship.

The Nashua Country Club rising star is looking to build a bit of a resume for his golf game, and the “Cities,” being renewed here in the city on Saturday and Sunday, carries some heavy weight in the Granite State golf ranks.

“I know it’s always been a great tournament to play in,” said Hamel, who lives in Pelham and has been a Nashua CC member since 2012. “Look at the field, there are some really good players out there. I’ve always liked to play with better players. It makes my game better.”

Currently, Hamel’s game is pretty darn good.

Last week, he slugged it out with the big boys up at Portsmouth Country Club in the State Amateur.

His first State Am try netted a 77-78 — 155 two-day medal total and a trip to the match play.

Things did not go well there, as Hamel fell to Cameron Salo in the Round of 64, but the youngster, who placed fourth in the NHIAA Division III Meet last fall as a freshman, picked up some valuable

lessons.

“It was a great experience, with so many good players there,” said Hamel. “I didn’t play particularly how I’d have liked to, but it was great to get to match play.”

Hamel wasn’t too sure about playing in the recently-revived Nashua City Championship, it took some convincing.

After Saturday’s opening round at Sky Meadow Country Club, the tournament heads to Nashua CC for round two n Sunday. And Hamel liked that.

Playing partners and fellow junior power players Bryce Zimmerman and Noah LeClair were playing, too.

“Bryce’s dad (Rob) is helping to run the tournament, and I figured with one of the two rounds on my home course, why not?”

All three boys participated in the prestigious Mike Ryan Memorial Junior event this week in Manchester at Derryfield Country Club.

For the second straight year, Hamel met Zimmerman in the match-play finals on Thursday afternoon. Zimmerman closed out Hamel on the 15th for the victory, his fourth straight title in the event.

LeClair, 14, reached the junior division semis, meaning all three young guns should be ready to go this weekend.

“It helps having guys I know in the tournament,” said Russell. “I think it’s going to be a great

weekend.”

Saturday’s Tee Times at Sky Meadow Country Club

12 p.m.: Rob Zimmerman, Chris Mader, Jeff Monahan

12:09: Chris Miele, Cameron Lien, Taylor Scott

12:18: Cameron Sheedy, Austin Baker, Jack Brown

12:27: Bryce Zimmerman, Russel Hamel, Richard Dichard

12:36: Kevin Gaynor, Noah LeClair, Kyle McKinley

12:45: Steve Barry, Derek LeCLair, Eric Emeneau

12:54: Jim Whitney, William Herrmann, Michael Hogan

1:03: Jared Benson, Patrick Gaynor, Justin Maguire

1:12: Ted Bernson, Michael Cole, Keith Taylor

1:21: Danny Joyal, Steve Miron, Shawn Lortie

1:30: Dylan Lortie, Jeremy Sayward, Jack Fitzgerald

1:39: Ben Frazier, John Sterling, Vitaly Rizhevsky

1:48: Matthew Johnson, Tyler Manoogian, Eric Stanley

1:57: Mark Brogan, Bob Mook, Larry Nuttall

2:06: Luke Walsh, Chris McQuinn, Pat Dion

2:15: Jim Vecchiarelli, Billy Klinger, Steven Maniglia