EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

June 30, 2013

Steady Fairweather claims Healey crown

URI star hangs on as Healey Tourney decided on final hole

Hector Longo

---- — ATKINSON — Somewhere around Kingston, R.I., right now, URI golf coach Gregg Burke must be beaming.

The Rams dominated the Joseph F. Healey Memorial, laying claim to the top two spots in a brilliant final round here at the Atkinson Resort and Country Club.

Windham’s Nick Fairweather, a sophomore-to-be, fired a final round 73 to beat his soon-to-be teammate at Rhody, Atkinson’s Joe Leavitt, who was four over for the weekend (75-69-74—218). Round 2 leader Nick Maccario struggled down the stretch, settling for third at 219.

“It’s just a very big win for a confidence booster,” said Fairweather, hinting that this would give him the leg up on Leavitt in the fall. “I’ll square that stuff away with Joe some other time.”

On a day where the whistling wind, some speedy greens and a tricky pin placement or two caused most of the field to falter at one time or another, Fairweather was the mark of consistency.

“You have to keep grinding out there,” said the 19-year-old. “All three days, I struggled early, but I just kept working at it.”

A year ago in the Healey final group, Fairweather felt like he was on the outside looking in, with Maccario and Leavitt slugging it out for the title.

He wasn’t about to let that happen this time.

“I think I learned from it,” said Fairweather.

Two huge back side birdies, combined with a couple missteps from Maccario, enabled him to erase a two-shot deficit at the turn.

Fairweather’s birdie at 16 gave him a two-shot lead over the Bradford Country Club 21-year-old with two left.

Both made par at 17, and Fairweather found trouble with his drive on 18. But Maccario couldn’t capitalize, sending his approach into the water.

Fairweather smartly settled for bogey instead of any heroic attempt to make par and walked off 18 a champion.

For the defending champion Leavitt, second place was nice, considering the way his back felt about 10 days ago. But he wonders, “what if” he found a way to get the putter going at some point this weekend.

“I didn’t make anything outside of 8 feet in any of the rounds,” said Leavitt. “I hit it well, but I just couldn’t get the putter going. I missed so many four- and five-footers, so this really is a good finish for me.”

Leavitt will use the time between now and July 8 to get the putter going before he attempts to defend his New Hampshire Amateur title.

“Let’s put it this way, I’m not going to win any tournaments the way I’m putting right now,” he said.

Nick Pandelena and Rich Campiola, who were both in the hunt, struggled yesterday.

Campiola, who hasn’t played much competitive golf of late, opened with a 44 on the front, settling for 80 to finish fifth.

Boston College’s Pandelena struggled in tight.

“Somewhere on the front nine, I lost my feel from 150 yards in, and I never got it back,” said Pandelena, who shot 79 and finished fourth. “It was absolutely terrible, just a tough day, and it’s too bad, because I drove the golf ball better than I had in weeks.”

Pandelena will be heading to Virginia for the July 15 United States Amateur Public Links Championship, for which he qualified last month.

Healey Memorial Championship agateText_Bold:Final Scores Nick Fairweather 70-72-73--215 Joe Leavitt 75-69-74--218 Nick Maccario 71-70-78--219 Nick Pandelena 70-73-78--221 Rich Campiola 74-68-80--222 Shawn Roderick 76-72-76--224 Jim Drohen* 79-73-75--227 Colin Ahern* 72-76-80--228 Tyler Stahle 78-73-78--229 Chris Dunham 73-73-83--229 Nick Caruso 71-75-83--229 Jake Hulme 74-76-79--229 Ernie Lupi 75-77-78--230 Mark Mancini 76-73-82--231 Jim Grant* 78-75-78--231 Ryan Trignani 79-72-81--232 Jeff Weishaar 78-74-80--232 Rick Halloran 80-72-81--233 Angelo Battaini* 78-77-79--234 Dan Koerner 74-74-86--234 John Carroll* 76-79-80--235 Mike Holbrook 77-76-82--235 Rich Citrano 79-72-85--236 Shane Donahue 75-80-81--236 Scott Farley 79-75-83--237 Nick Schena 80-76-81--237 Rey Garcia 82-76-79--237 Ryan Mahoney 78-78-82--238 * Senior division eligible Mike Spencer 83-74-81--238 Ki Kwon 82-76-80--238 Jon Desrocher 76-82-80--238 Brian Denney 76-79-85--240 Ryan Cronin 79-79-83--241 Mike Mottola 80-78-83--241 Ryan Paris 80-77-86--243 Jim Holbrook* 79-79-86--244 Chris Ruggierio 79-76-90--245 Alec Brown 73-83-NS--NS Will Sullivan 80-71-WD--WD Tim Miller* 77-76-WD--WD Donny Hunt 83-73-NS--NS * Senior division eligible