HAVERHILL — When Peter Doherty, Kevin Murphy and the tourney committee first attempted three years ago to re-kindle the spirit of the old Allan B. Rogers Memorial and honor the memory of the late Joe Healey, this was exactly what they were looking for.
Two rounds into the 2013 Joseph F. Healey Memorial Golf Championship and an instant classic in the final round Saturday at Atkinson Resort and Country Club is brewing. The plot couldn’t be thicker. The potential for an explosive afternoon of top-notch amateur golf ... virtually an absolute promise.
“I hope that it’s going to be awesome,” said Bradford Country Club’s Nick Maccario, the leader of a tightly-packed five-man bunch at the top of the board with 18 holes to play. “You’re talking a handful of some really good players going after it Saturday.”
Maccario fired an even-par round of 70 on a sparkling Haverhill Country Club track to grab a one-shot lead, heading into round 3. Tomorrow, the St. Anselm College senior will tee it up in the final group of the day (12:10 p.m. tee time) with Atkinson’s Rich Campiola and Windham Country Club’s Nick Fairweather, each of who sits at even par, just one shot behind.
And the group ahead had better be watched as well, Boston College’s Nick Pandelena (+1) and URI’s Joe Leavitt (+2), each playing on their home course, loom extremely dangerous.
“There’s just so much depth in this field, I’m honored to be where I’m at,” said Campiola, the 24-year-old elder statesman of the lead pack. “Leavitt’s a great player who won it last year. And Pandelena is absolutely one of the best players we’ve ever seen around here. Maccario’s game is just so very solid, and Fairweather, I really don’t know, but scores can tell an awful lot, and his tell you that the kid can really play.