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June 3, 2014

Leavitt captures tourney

URI star golfer off to hot start

Two down and several more big golf tournaments to go for Atkinson, N.H.’s Joe Leavitt.

The University of Rhode Island junior shot 4-under over two rounds to win the N.H. Golf Association’s Player Invitational over the weekend at Baker Hill Golf Club in Newbury, N.H.

The tourneament is the first major even for the best amateurs in N.H.

Leavitt beat Ryan Kohler, of Hooper Golf Club by one stroke as the two battled back and forth over the back nine.

”I played really well,” said Leavitt, who shot rounds of 68 and 72 over the two days. “The funny thing is that in the first round I only hit 12 greens but putted awesome (25 putts). In the second round I hit every fairway and hit it awesome, but just couldn’t get any putts to drop.”

Leavitt had some stiff competition with local collegians Connor Greenleaf (Windham C.C.) and Nicholas Pandelena (Atkinson C.C.), the latter of whom happens to be Leavitt’s best friend.

But in the end it was Kohler who pushed Leavitt to play his best, particularly on the back nine Sunday.

”The biggest shot for me was, after bogeying the easy par-five 15th hole, to fall back Into a tie for the lead after having a two-shot lead heading into the hole,” said Leavitt. “I made a 25-footer for birdie to grab the lead back by one stroke again on the 16th. Ryan bogeyed the 17th and I made par for a two-shot lead heading into the last hole.”

Leavitt made an easy par on the last hole to seal his second win this early in the season. Leavitt won the N.H. Tourney of Champions at The Country Club of New Hampshire in North Sutton, N.H. with a 2-over-par 74.

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