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Amherst’s McCaigue second in State Junior Am

Telegraph photo by HECTOR LONGO Amherst Country Club's Colin McCaigue likes what he sees on this iron shot off the 16th tee. The Brookline resident shot even-par Wednesday to finish second in the New Hampshire Junior Amateur at Beaver Meadow Golf Club in Concord.

CONCORD – Amherst Country Club’s Colin McCaigue checked all the boxes on Wednesday here in Round 3 of the NHGA State Junior Amateur Championship at Beaver Meadow Golf Club.

The Brookline resident closed strong with a birdie and fired a 1-under-par round of 71.

Atkinson Country Club’s Jack Pepin just wasn’t cooperating, though. He too fired a 71 to take home the top prize and force McCaigue to settle for second.

“I played pretty well overall,” said McCaigue, whose three-day total of 76-75-71 – 222 (plus-4) was three shots off of Pepin’s pace and a shot clear of the third-place finisher, Atkinson’s Mat Gover.

“The first day I just didn’t make many putts. But I was hitting the ball well all three days.”

McCaigue’s Derryfield School senior classmate and teammate, Bedford’s Gunnar Senatore, of Amherst Country Club, shot 75 in Round 3 to finish at 225 in a tie for fourth.

McCaigue and Senatore played together on Wednesday, something they’ve done countless times through their careers and at least 15 times this summer.

He said it helped.

“I think it’s good. We’re good friends outsie of golf, too. So it’s fun for 18 holes,” McCaigue said.

Tournament rounds tend to be different than just a day at the course.

“I think it makes a difference, there’s not as much chatter between us and we tend to be a bit more focused on our own games,” he said. “It’s still a fun time. It doesn’t shut down between us. We’ll talk walking between holes, but when it comes to our own shots, we’re pretty focused.”

The duo hopes to lead Derryfield back into the state title hunt, having won the Division II title in 2017.

But McCaigue has some work left on the summer, with a tourney-dotted August ahead.

And then, of course, there is one of the biggest decisions of his life coming on the horizon.

“I’m hoping to commit to a college by the end of the summer. I just don’t know where yet,” he said. “I’m talking to three schools right now, Lafayette, Middlebury and Amherst College.

Golf continues to go as planned, though.

“I’ve wanted to keep posting numbers under par and get my handicap to a plus, which I’ve done so far (plus 0.3),” he said. “Hopefully, I can keep it going.”

JUNIOR ROUNDUP

Other notables in the Junior Amateur field included Nashua Country Club’s Russell Hamel, who closed strong with a 73 on Wednesday to finish tied for ninth at +13. Bryce Zimmerman, also of Nashua CC, was 11th at +14.

In the first flight, Sky Meadow Golf Club’s Jack Fitzgerald was 10th overall, scoring 253 for the three days. Nashua Country Club’s Noah LeClair was the runner-up in the second flight at 252, carding a 79 on Wednesday.