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Nation's Pros to Compete for Granite State Top Professional Event
Author: Kate Kellar
July 20th 2017 - Concord, NH – The 156-player field is officially set for the 84th playing of the New Hampshire Open Championship presented by Xfinity with support from Northeast Delta Dental.  The New Hampshire Golf Association (NHGA) is excited to be bringing this Championship to Manchester Country Club July 26-28.
The NH Open is a three-day, 54-hole individual stroke play event.  All players will tee it up for 18 holes each of the first two days and following round two the field is cut to the low 40 competitors plus ties.  Those advancing will compete in the final round of 18 holes to conclude the tournament.  This year’s field of 156 players is the largest in NH Open history and those competitors are travelling from 20 different states.
The NHGA is proud to have the support of Xfinity and Northeast Delta Dental for the NH Open; this is the first time in NH Open history that the event is sponsored.  With the support of these two reputable companies, the NHGA is able to guarantee of a $42,000 purse and a $10,000 first prize check to the winning professional.
With a strong field, spectators and fans can look forward to high quality golf on a top-notch stage, Manchester Country Club.  Many familiar names will be joining the field this year, including Chris DeForest (2016 NH Open Champion) and Shawn Warren (2016 NH Open Runner-Up).  Former New Hampshire amateurs that have now turned professional and will be competing this year are Chris Houston (2016 State Amateur Champion), Chelso Barrett (2011 US Junior Amateur Runner-Up, Four-time NHGA Champion), and Nick Pandelena (2013 NH Open Low Amateur).
Joe Leavitt, accomplished New Hampshire golfer as an amateur, will also be competing for that $10,000 check as he turned professional in 2016.  Leavitt has a long resumé of achievement in the Granite State which includes winning the 2012 and 2014 State Amateur Championship, winning the 2014 Stroke Play Championship and Player’s Invitational, finishing runner-up at the 2015 State Amateur, Stroke Play and New England Amateur Championship, and being the Low Amateur runner-up in the 2015 NH Open. 
Being drawn back to New Hampshire competition is none other than Kirk Hanefeld.  Hanefeld, a New Hampshire native, has a long history with NHGA events, winning a number of them.  He has won the 1982 NH Open, 1974 and 1976 New Hampshire Amateur Championship, the 1971, 1972, and 1973 New Hampshire Junior Championship.  On a larger stage, Hanefeld has competed in several U.S. Senior Opens and numerous PGA Tour Champions Events. The NHGA Junior Player of the Year award is named after Hanefeld as a nod to his accomplishments as a junior golfer in the Granite State.
From the amateur side of the competition, the 2017 New Hampshire Amateur Champion Mike Martel will be teeing it up to test his skills against some of the best.  Also playing are home course player, Ryan Tombs who has played strong, consistent golf in his recent competitions, including the State Amateur and New England Amateur Championships.  Jim Cilley, 2011 State Amateur Championship, is also in the field looking to earn Low Amateur honors.
Round 1 and 2 Starting Times can be found here:
Keep an eye on the NHGA website/ social media (@NewHampshireGA) for all NH Open related news and scores.

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