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Pleats Prepared to Take on Pinehurst at U.S. Four Ball
Author: Kate Kellar
May 26th 2017 - Concord, NH –  This week Phil and James Pleat of Nashua Country Club will be making the trip down to Pinehurst Resort & Country Club to compete in the third playing of the U.S. Amateur Four Ball Championship.  They qualified for the competition last year at Black Hall Country Club in Old Lyme, Connecticut with a best ball score of three-under, 68, and surviving a 3-for-1 playoff. 
 
The father-son duo is no stranger to United States Golf Association (USGA) championship events.   “We've both played in a few over our careers, and we actually were lucky enough to both play in the 2012 U.S. Amateur at Cherry Hills. This one will feel different because of the team format, but it will be a lot of fun”, says James.
 
No matter how many USGA championships he has competed in, Phil says, “I am always very excited to play in a USGA event, but this is special to be playing at Pinehurst. I’m deep into the back nine, so to speak, of tournament golf (by the time I get there, I will be 61 and the oldest in the field), so if this is my last USGA event, it doesn’t get any better than having my son as a partner, does it?”

For those from the Northeast competing in the U.S. Four Ball, it ends up being at the beginning of the golf season.  Competitors would need to find ways to get a little practice in during the off season.  For the Pleats, a trip to Florida provided them some practice time, but the weeks and days leading up to the competition are their true practice days.
 
James explains, “We are now trying to work on some of the around the green shots and fairway bunker shots that we might face at Pinehurst.  It will be tough because we'll likely still have some rust but we are looking forward to the challenge!”

The Championship will be contested on Pinehurst No. 2 and No. 8, both challenging courses.  For Phil, he says, “No getting around the fact that it will be difficult for me playing these two courses, but I am hoping I can help here and there when needed. Obviously, I’d like to play well, but if I don’t, I’ll look at the bigger picture of competing with James in an USGA team event.”

“It’s re-assuring having him as a partner because he can hit a lot of different shots. James is not only a good player, he is a good person as well, which my wife Lisa and I are most proud of. We can’t wait to get there”, continues Phil.

Neither Phil or James have had the chance to play either course; this Championship will be a great opportunity for them for many reasons.  They both have expressed their excitement to play together as a team. James says, “With the exception of the New Hampshire Four Ball and the Father-Son tournaments we used to play, we've never really been a two-man tournament team. To be able to do this on this stage (a USGA event) is really exciting!”

The U.S. Amateur Four Ball will be taking place May 27-31.  Teams will play 18 holes each of the first two days; the field will be cut to 32 sides after 36 holes.  The Match Play Round of 32 will begin May 29th.  Each course, Pinehurst No. 2 and No. 8 will play around 7,000 yards for the Championship.  Phil and James will tee off at 1:24PM on Pinehurst No. 8 in the opening round and 10AM on No. 2 for the second round.

The New Hampshire Golf Association (NHGA) wishes the Pleats the best of luck as they compete in this USGA championship.  Those wishing to follow along the results can visit the following site for more details: http://www.usga.org/content/usga/home-page/championships/2017/u-s--amateur-four-ball.html
 
 

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