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Steckowych Captures New England Amateur
Forty-two-year-old Craig Steckowych, a native of Greenland, New Hampshire, will be able to defend his New England Amateur title in his home state next year after compiling an 8-under-par 280 to win the 77th edition of the championship. Contested at the beautiful Quechee Club in Quechee, Vermont, the tournament once again attracted New England’s best amateurs. But this year marked a departure from the norm as the winner was not a young collegiate gun.
Steckowych’s victory was secured when he chipped in for birdie on the 16th hole as his closest challenger and playing partner, Rob Oppenheim, bogeyed after three-putting from 30 feet. Oppenheim shared the 54-hole lead with Steckowych and Vermont’s William Hadden, but the senior-to-be at Rollins College in Florida couldn’t shake the reigning Granite State Stroke-Play Champion. Steckowych is no stranger to such pressure situations; he’s a two-time winner of the New Hampshire Amateur and played in the 2000 U.S. Amateur at Pebble Beach.
Steckowych is the first New Hampshire native to win the crown since 1978, when Steve Robbins was victorious at Hartford Country Club. Coincidentally, Steckowych plays occasionally with Robbins at Portsmouth Country Club and cherishes this title as the highlight of a very distinguished amateur career.