Martel wins state am; Paradis settles for runner-up again

  • Mike Martel (center) hugs his sister Suzanne Hakala and his nephew Josiah after winning the New Hampshire State Amateur Golf Championship on Saturday at Bretwood Golf Course in Keene. Below, Chad Hemingway sits in a golf cart as a banner is unfurled. Hemingway brought the banner to the championship match. STAFF PHOTO BY TONY MARQUIS

Monadnock Ledger-Transcript
Monday, July 17, 2017 5:5PM
Martel’s championship runAfter shooting 2-under over two rounds, Martel qualified as the No. 10 seed. Here is his run to a second state amateur title.First round: Defeated No. 56 Peter Beaulieu, 3-and-1Round of 32: Defeated No. 23 Eric Aguiar, 6-and-4Roun

Behind the 17th green on Bretwood’s North Course, Jalen Rines and Derek Reini unfurled an eight-foot-wide “Congratulations Mike Martel” banner with the years 2013 and 2017 printed on it.

“Wow. That’s aggressive,” said Martel, who just finished hugging friends and family after defeating Matt Paradis 2-and-1 in the New Hampshire State Amateur Golf Championship on Saturday. The banner was a gift from friend Chad Hemingway. Martel sheepishly stood for a photo behind it.

“It’s cool, it’s a Chad thing,” said Martel, a New Ipswich native that plays out of Nashua Country Club. “I’m just glad I didn’t see it before I started.”

Like the banner, Martel was aggressive all week, dispatching his first three opponents without reaching the 16th hole in any match. He played every round under par and led all players in birdies.

After the championship match, Paradis called Martel a “birdie machine.”

Martel made 10 birdies and an eagle in the match, including four consecutive birdies on holes 13-16 to change Paradis’ then-1-up lead to a 3-up lead of his own.

The eagle came on the par-5 fifth hole, the 23rd hole of the match, and after Paradis made a bogey on the 28th hole, Martel had a 5-up lead.

But Paradis fought back, nearly driving the par-4 12th hole on his way to a birdie. He then capitalized on Martel’s three-putt bogey on the par-3 13th hole and Martel’s second shot out of the fairway bunker on the par-4 14th hole, which caught the lip, leading to another bogey.

On the tee of the par-4 15th hole, Paradis was just two down.

“I said to myself, ‘Just relax. Play solid from here on in and he’s going to have to birdie every hole to beat me,’” Martel said.

Paradis birdied the 15th hole, but so did Martel. They halved the par-3 16th with pars and when Paradis’ birdie pitch on the par-5 17th failed to drop, all Martel had to do for the win was lag a 20-foot birdie putt close to the hole for the championship.

Paradis, who plays out of Concord Country Club, suffered his second-straight finals defeat – he lost to Chris Houston 4-and-3 last year at Laconia Country Club.

Despite another loss, Paradis was gracious after the round, saying Martel “played great.”

“I’ll be back next year to give him another run,” Paradis said.