NASHUA, N.H. — Sam Natti is moving on.
The Groveton High School assistant principal dispatched No. 21 seed Jake Hollander 1 up on Wednesday in the match-play Round of 64 at the 117th New Hampshire Amateur Championship at Nashua Country Club.
Natti, the 37-year-old Landaff resident, went the distance in knocking off Hollander, the 2019 state amateur runner-up. Tied after 17 holes, Hollander got into trouble on the tree line on 18 before Natti two-putted from 20 feet to secure the win.
Natti was 2 up with three holes to play before Hollander won holes 16 and 17 to square the matching heading to 18.
“It feels great,” said Natti, the Maplewood Golf Club member. “This kid, he hit the ball a mile. He made a couple of mistakes that I was able to capitalize on. I didn’t hit it very well, but I made some of the best pars of my life today.”
Natti, seeded 44th, advances to Thursday’s Round of 32 where he’ll challenge 12th-seeded Mark Stevens (Beaver Meadow Golf Course). Their match-play battle begins at 8:40 a.m.
Natti has advanced out of the first round a handful of times, but is seeking his first berth in the Round of 16.
“Mark has been one of the one of best players in N.H. the last 10 or 15 years,” Natti said. He won the state am in 2009, went pro for a bit and recently got his amateur status back. Shooting a 73 or 74 tomorrow is not going to win me anything. I got to go down and play well.”
Jake Raichle, the 38 seed, nearly knocked off No. 27 Mat Gover (Atkinson Resort) before falling on the 20th hole. Raichle, a former Profile School student-athlete, drained a 100-foot putt to keep the match going on 16.
“He really had me worried on the back side when he drained a 100-footer on 16 to make birdie to tie me and on 17 when he drained a 10-footer I knew it was going to be tight,” Gover, a semifinalist a year ago, told the New Hampshire Golf Association. “The experience from last year that I gained was tremendous. I was able to stay calm and controlled throughout the whole round today and not be as nervous as I was last year.”
Gover will now go up against Jack Brown in the Round of 32. Top-seeded James Pleat cruised into the second round with a 5 & 4 win over fellow Nashua Country Club member, DJ Petropulos. Number two seed Will Huang also advanced with a 2 & 1 victory over Bob Kearney.
The Round of the 32 begins Thursday morning at 7:30 a.m.
VERMONT AMATEUR: In Stowe, Rutland’s Garren Poirier continued to sizzle on Wednesday at the 114th Vermont Amateur at Stowe Country Club.
Poirier followed his first-round 68 with a scintillating 8-under 64 to grab a four-shot lead heading into Thursday’s 36-hole finale.
Mt. Anthony’s Cory Jozefiak also torched the course, matching Poirier’s 64 to leapfrog into second place (8 under). William Hadden and former champion Evan Russell are tied for third at 6 under while Sam Myers is fifth at 5 under.
First-day leader Nick Murphy of Lyndonville followed his record-round (7-under 65) with a 5-over 77. The former Lyndon Institute and NVU-Johnson golfer heads to the tournament’s final day in sixth place at 2 under.
Gary Shover of Orleans followed his first-round 74 with a second-round 74 and is tied for 23rd (4 over). Another local to make the cut is St. J Academy student Nelson Eaton (Groton), who improved on his first-round 79 with a 3-over 75 and sits in a tie for 40th at +10, right on the cutline.
Former champion and Jay Peak golfer Bryan Smith (Champlain) shot 77 on Wednesday, his tournament over at +11.
VERMONT SENIOR WOMEN’S AMATEUR: In Newport, Williston’s Jeanne Morrissey and Dorset Field Club’s Elizabeth Walker each carded a 7-over 79 to grab a share of the lead after the opening round of the Vermont State Women’s Golf Association Senior Championship at Newport Country Club.
Nancy Devaux of West Bolton was a stroke back after an 8-over 80. Mary Jane Shomo of Rutland, Dede Mahler of Country Club of Vermont and Cheri Campbell of Burlington are two strokes back.
Sueann Bennett of Jay Peak was the low local. She fired a 10-over 82 and sits in seventh place heading into Thursday’s final round. Other area players include Orleans Country’s Club’s Jane Horton (89, tied ford 23rd), St. J Country Club’s Chris Johnson (93, T34), Newport Country Club’s Sue Horvath (103, T50) and Orleans Country Club’s Jayne Magnant (109, T57).
The Pat Job Cup team competition close. The Burlington team (221) leads by two strokes over the Vermont National team (223).