NH Golf: McCaigue playing well heading into NCAAs

May 13—THE MIDDLEBURY COLLEGE men's golf team qualified for next week's NCAA Division III Championships, and former Brookline resident Colin McCaigue played a large role in helping the Panthers secure that tournament berth.

McCaigue shared medalist honors with teammate Hogan Beazley when Middlebury won this year's NESCAC tournament, which was shortened to 27 holes by weather. That victory earned Middlebury an invitation to the NCAA Division III tournament, which will be held Tuesday through Friday at Keene Trace Golf Club in Nicholasville, Kentucky.

Earlier this week, McCaigue, a junior, was named to the All-NESCAC Second Team. He had four top-10 finishes this season, including a runner-up showing at the Ekwanok Sap Bucket Challenge in nearby Manchester, Vermont.

"The season has gone well as a whole for myself and the team," McCaigue said. "Although four scores count at tournaments, we have a core of seven or eight guys out of our 13-man team who have really pushed us to be competitive in practice.

"As far as my results have gone, I've been satisfied with them. On a similar trajectory as past years. I'm hoping I can play well next week in Kentucky for NCAAs, but the real special thing about this season is the fact our head coach, Bill Beaney, is retiring at the end of this year. We were really pumped to have won the NESCAC title in his last year and make him feel special about the way he's going out."

Beaney, a University of New Hampshire graduate, guided the Middlebury men's hockey team to eight national championships before stepping down as the program's head coach in 2015. He's been the school's men's golf coach since 1988.

Middlebury also qualified for the NCAA Division III tournament during McCaigue's freshman season, but opted not to participate because of COVID-19. This year's tournament features 43 teams, and the field will be trimmed to the top 18 teams after Wednesday's round. The top four individual scores are used to determine a team's score. The players with the top six scores from teams that miss the cut will also advance.

McCaigue, 21, won't be participating in any New Hampshire Golf Association events this summer. Although he grew up in Brookline, his family moved to South Carolina last August. In addition, he'll be busy with an internship in New York City this summer.

"I consider myself a New Hampshire kid, but the residence is no longer there, unfortunately," he said.

McCaigue played golf for four years at The Derryfield School, which won the NHIAA Division III championship in 2017 and 2019. He also played basketball and baseball for Derryfield.

"My dad (Lenny McCaigue) was the athletic director at Derryfield during my time there and he definitely emphasized the values and benefits of being a multi-sport athlete and not specializing too soon," he said.

When he was 17 McCaigue won the Ty Abate Award, which is presented annually by the Union Leader to the golfer 19 and under who posts the lowest score during medal play at the New Hampshire State Am. Abate was a Union Leader sports writer best known for his coverage of local golf.

McCaigue made the cut and advanced to the second round of match play that year, when the State Am was held at Portsmouth Country Club.

"I think what's always been a staple of my game is my chipping and my short game — the ability to kind of scramble, get up and down and make pars in clutch situations," McCaigue said. "You're not always hitting it well every week that you go out, but if you have a solid short game, you can rely on that to keep the bogeys off your card and that's really helpful in scoring."

Middlebury will be participating in the NCAA Division III tournament for the eighth time, but the Panthers have never made the cut.

"Looking forward to keeping it going in Kentucky next week," McCaigue said. "I think a good goal for us as a team is to make the cut. I think if we bring our A-game down there, we definitely have the potential to make the cut, which would be a good showing for us."

Rules questionQuestion: In match play, a player starts their round with 14 clubs, accidentally bends the shaft of their putter on the 18th hole putting green, and, as the match was tied, replaces it at the start of the 19th hole. In a separate stroke-play event at another course, a player starts with 14 clubs, bends the shaft of their putter on the 18th putting green and replaces it at the start of the first hole of a hole-by-hole playoff. In each of these situations, the players are on the putting green of the extra hole when other players question their procedures. What is the correct ruling?

a) Neither player gets a penalty

b) The player in match play gets no penalty, but the player in stroke play does

c) The player in stroke play gets no penalty, but the player in match play does.

Correct Answer: Neither player gets a penalty.

Source: Rule 4.1a (2), Definition of Round

Houston, we have no problem

Laconia Country Club's Chris Houston won the 2023 NEPGA Hudson Cup by shooting a 3-under-par 67 Thursday at Marshfield (Mass.) Country Club. The Hudson Cup is the first major of the season for NEPGA assistant professionals. Houston's round included four birdies. ...

This year's NEGA Junior Amateur will be played Aug. 7-9 at Mt. Washington Resort Golf Club. ...

Qualifying for the NHGA Women's, Senior and Mid-Amateur Match Play Championships was held Tuesday at Pease Golf Course. Rowena Wilks (CC of NH) posted a 78 to earn the top seed in the women's division; Ryan Blossom (Concord CC) shot a 2-under-par 69 — the low round of the day — to secure the No. 1 seed in the mid-amateur division; and Danny Arvanitis (Derryfield CC) and Bill Everett (Laconia CC) each shot a 1-under-par 70 to share the top spot in the senior division.

New Hampshire Golf Calendar

May 16: Stroke Play Series (Candia Woods)

May 17: Women's Weekly "B" (Exeter)

May 18: Women's Weekly "A" (Hoodkroft)

May 21: Spring Four Ball (Keene)

May 21: Live Free Golf Event (The Shattuck)

May 23: Women's Weekly Combined (Rochester)

May 25: President's Cup (Maplewood)

May 27: Club/Mixed Club Team (Derryfield)

May 28: Mixed (TBD)

May 29: Live Free Golf Event (Stonebridge)

May 31: Women's Weekly Combined (Indian Mound)

June 3-4: Players Invitational (Baker Hill)

June 5: Stroke Play Series (The Oaks)

June 6: Spring Fling (Windham)

June 8: Tournament Series (Lake Sunapee)

June 11: Live Free Golf Event (Breakfast Hill)

June 12: Four Ball Championship (Owl's Nest)

June 12-14: NEGA Women's Amateur (Manchester, Conn.)

June 12-14: Women's Tri-States (Martindale CC/Auburn, Maine)

June 13: Women's Weekly Combined (Hooper)

June 20: State Am Qualifier (Passaconaway)

June 22-24: New Hampshire Open (Bretwood)

June 24: State Am Qualifier (Bretwood South)

June 25: State Am Qualifier (Beaver Meadow)

June 26: State Am Qualifier (Maplewood)

June 26: Live Free Golf Event (Bretwood)

June 27: Women's Weekly Combined (Breakfast Hill)

June 28: Women's Weekly Combined (Blackmount/North Haverhill)

June 28: State Am Qualifier (Breakfast Hill)

June 30: State Am Qualifier (Concord)

July 6-7: Women's Team Championship (Canterbury Woods)

July 9: Live Free Golf Event (Loudon)

July 10-15: 120th NH Amateur Championship (Manchester)

July 16: Mixed (Loudon)

July 16: Live Free Golf Event (Candia Woods)

July 17: Parent-Child Championship (Stonebridge)

July 18-20: NEGA Amateur (The Woodlands, Falmouth, Maine)

July 19-21: Junior Championship (Beaver Meadow)

July 19: Senior Legend Classic (Lochmere)

July 21: Women's Weekly Combined (Newport)

July 23-24: Senior Team (Mount Washington)

July 30: Live Free Golf Event (Nippo Lake)

July 31-Aug. 2: Women's Amateur Championship (Montcalm)

Aug. 7-9: NEGA Junior Amateur (Mt. Washington Resort)

Aug. 8: Women's Weekly Combined (Pease)

Aug. 8-10: Stroke Play Championship (Ridgewood/Atkinson Resort)

Aug. 12: Live Free Golf Event (Souhegan Woods)

Aug. 15-16: Women's Mid-Amateur (Ridgewood)

Aug. 20-21: Mid-Amateur Team (Mount Washington)

Aug. 20: Mixed (Mount Washington)

Aug. 22: Women's Weekly "B' (Bretwood)

Aug. 24: Stoke Play Series (Hoodkroft)

Aug. 27: Live Free Golf Event (CC of NH)

Aug. 29: Women's Weekly "A" (Derryfield)

Sept. 5: Women's Weekly Combined (Den Brae)

Sept. 6-7: Senior Championship (Canterbury Woods)

Sept. 11-12: NEGA Senior Amateur (Fox Hopyard/East Haddam, Conn.)

Sept. 21: Stoke Play Series (Kingswood Gold)

Sept. 26: Fall Classic (Keene)

Oct. 2-4: Mid-Amateur Championship (Rochester)

Oct. 8: Mixed (Kingswood Golf)

Oct. 16: Tournament Series (Cochecho)

Oct. 18: Stroke Play Series (Newport)

Oct. 23: Corporate Challenge (Concord)

Oct. 30: Tournament Series (Laconia)