MILFORD, Connecticut – Heading into the final round of the 92nd New England Amateur Championship, it’s a former champion that holds the solo lead. Xavier Marcoux (Nashawtuc CC, MA) followed up his opening round 69 with a 67 on Wednesday at Great River GC. Those two rounds have him at (-8) and in the lead by one.
One shot back of Marcoux is Cody Paladino (Wampanoag CC, CT) who is at (-7) and enjoying a home game this week. Paladino was the only player from Tuesday’s trio of leaders to break par once again on Wednesday.
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Marcoux’s 67 was topped by no one on Wednesday, and it was a steady diet of greens in regulation that helped him get there. “I have been just keeping my head down and taking it one shot at a time. My putting has been a key for me. But I have been hitting my irons really well, which has given me a lot of good looks at birdie.”
After his round, Paladino talked about his level of comfort playing in Connecticut this week. “My instructor, Tom Rosati, is the Director of golf here at Great River GC, so I am down here all the time. I play the course once in a while, but there is definitely a comfortability factor for me here.”
As is often the case in the New England, afternoon thunderstorms halted play on Wednesday. The horn blew at 1:25 p.m., but before it did two of the three overnight leaders had completed their rounds. Owen Quinn (Worcester CC, MA) started his round with a birdie on 1, but was tripped up in the middle of his round. He was able to steady the ship with a timely birdie on 17 to get him back to (-5) and squarely in the mix.
Bobby Leopold (Wannamoisett CC, RI) played his second round in a very similar fashion to Quinn. He made an early birdie but caught the bogey-bug through the middle of his round, dropping to 3-under. Like Quinn, he made birdie for the second straight day on the par-5, 17th hole. A closing par on 18 got Leopold into the clubhouse at 4-under, which has him in the mix heading into the final round.
Also completing his round before the suspension of play was Anthony Burnham (Purpoodock GC, ME). Burnham made the biggest jump among the players that finished their round before the horn blew. His 69, which featured 4 birdies and just 1 bogey, helped him climb up the leaderboard, and in a position to make a run for the title in the final round.
Play resumed at 3:12 p.m. after a 1 hour and 47 minute suspension of play. Jack Brown (Nashua CC, NH) and Matt Parziale (Thorny Lea GC, MA) had no trouble with the break in action. Brown finished the day birdieing two of his last five holes to shoot 68 to get to (-6) for the Championship. Parziale shot 69, making an eagle and a birdie in his closing stretch to get to (-5) and just 3 shots back of the lead.
Caleb Manuel (Brunswick GC, ME) finished off his fantastic round just before darkness. After shooting even-par on Tuesday, Manuel poured in the birdies on Wednesday, leading to a 5-under par 67. That was good enough to get Manuel up to T4 alongside Brown and Parziale.
Leaderboard After Round 2*
1 – Xavier Marcoux: Nashawtuc CC (MA) (-8) 69-67
2 – Cody Paladino: Wampanoag CC (CT) (-7) 66-71
3 – Jack Brown: Nashua CC (NH) (-6) 70-68
T4 – Owen Quinn: Worcester CC (MA) (-5) 66-73
T4 – Matt Parziale: Thorny Lea GC (MA) (-5) 70-69
T4 – Caleb Manuel: Brunswick GC (ME) (-5) 72-67
7 – Bobby Leopold: Wannamoisett CC (RI) (-4) 66-74
T8 – Matt Camel: Round Hill Club (CT) (-3) 69-72
T8 – Cameron Sheedy: Vesper CC (MA) (-3) 74-67
T10 – Joseph Harney: Charles River CC (MA) (-2) 72-70
T10 – Mike Kennedy: New Haven CC (CT) (-2) 71-71
T10 – Anthony Burnham: Purpoodock GC (ME) (-2) 73-69
*Play suspended due to darkness; not all competitors have completed round 2
With a few players still to finish round 2, play will resume on Thursday at 7 a.m. Round 3 will begin at 7:30 a.m. with competitors playing in twosomes. The final group of Marcoux and Paladino will tee off at 11:54 a.m. A trophy presentation will take place immediately following the completion of play.
Top Players From Each State
Connecticut: Cody Paladino (Wampanoag CC) -7
Maine: Caleb Manuel (Brunswick GC) -5
Massachusetts: Xavier Marcoux (Nashawtuc CC) -8
New Hampshire: Jack Brown (Nashua CC) -6
Rhode Island: Bobby Leopold (Wannamoisett CC), -4
Vermont: Jared Nelson (Rutland CC) +1
About The Venue
Great River Golf Club is situated on the banks of the Housatonic River in Milford, Connecticut. The course was designed by Architect Tommy Fazio and boasts several Golf Course Accolades from top publications like Golf Digest and Golfweek. The course features a parkland-style front 9 and a links-designed back 9, with water coming into play on each hole.
This is the first time the New England Amateur Championship has been contested at Great River GC, but it’s hosted its share of premiere events like U.S. Open Qualifying and U.S. Amateur Qualifying. The last 5 New England Amateur Championships held in the Nutmeg State were at: Hartford GC (2016), The Course at Yale (2010), Race Brook CC (2004), New Haven CC (1998), and Woodbridge CC (1990).