GREENLAND — For Nick Kalil, it was a tee shot. For Jamie Ferullo, it was a series of putts.
As much as they’ll think about their successful weeks at the New Hampshire Amateur golf championship, three local guys will also spend a moment of two replaying the things that could have gone better in their close quarterfinal losses on Friday morning.
Home course members Kalil and Eric Evans took their matches to the end. Ferullo, a Rochester CC member who was in the quarterfinals for the fourth time in five years, got closed out by Sam Barton of Kingswood CC on the 17th.
“I know I have the game to play with everybody,” said Ferullo. “I’ve just got to get that mental block with the putting out of the way, because that’s what it comes down to, whether it’s here or in the Seacoast Am.”
Kalil’s run ended on the 18th hole when opponent Jake Hollander of The Shattuck made a nifty chip to 3 feet and sank the par putt to close out a 1-up win.
“No regrets,” said Kalil, whose first time playing this event in six years produced his best-ever finish. “I played well. I’m glad it was here, and that the course and the club represented itself well. It’s been a special week. I’ll definitely remember it.”
Evans, down two with two holes to play, rallied to force a playoff against teenager Mathew Gover of Atkinson Resort. But Gover shook off his poor finish and rolled in a 15-foot birdie putt on the first playoff hole.
Saturday’s 36-hole final will pit 29-year-old John DeVito of Passaconaway CC, who was the leader after the first round of qualifying, against the 22-year-old Hollander, who plays collegiately at Division III University of Redlands (Calif.).
It’s the first final for both and will tee off at 7:30 a.m.
“This is great,” said DeVito, a Nashua native whose best previous finish in this tournament was a trip to the quarterfinals two years ago. “Like I said earlier in the week, you’ve just got to fight through one match at a time. Now I’ve got one more and hopefully I can win it.”
DeVito beat Gover in his semifinal 2-and-1. A little while later, Hollander closed out Barton 1-up.
“It was a fun day out there,” said Hollander, a Peterborough native who hadn’t advanced out of the Round of 32 in either of his previous two State Ams. “Playing Nick this morning, that was a real battle. And the afternoon was a back-and-forth battle.”
Evans, in the first quarterfinal off the tee in the morning, took an early lead on the 16-year-old Gover, but was down one after 13. He got aggressive on the next two holes, trying to reach the par-5 14th in two and coming close, and driving into a bunker near the green on the par-4 15th.
But neither set-up could produce a birdie and Evans found himself staring at elimination when his foe rolled in another birdie on No. 16.
The former Seacoast Am champ and All-Conference golfer at the University of Hartford fought back, making birdie at the 17th and winning the 18th to force a playoff for the second time this week. But this time, he found himself on the other end.
Ferullo was all square with Barton in their morning quarterfinal as they began the back nine. But he hurt himself by missing a 3-foot par putt on the 12th, and fell two behind when Barton birdied the par-3 13th.
Down by three on the par-3 16th, Ferullo rolled in a 30-foot birdie to buy himself another hole but could get no closer.
“I made a couple mistakes out there, not too many, and he capitalized on them,” said Ferullo. “The putter let me down today. I missed a lot of putts that could have kept me in the match or kept the momentum going, and it was ice-cold all week.”
Kalil played a stellar front nine to take a 2-up lead in his quarterfinal. But Hollander fought back and Kaili made one of his few bad swings on the 14th, driving the ball into the pond to fall behind by one.
“It was a really well-played match,” said Kalil. “I think I was 3-under on the front. There was only one bogey made in the match and, unfortunately, it was me at 14 when I hit the driver in the pond.
“The things that are going to stick out for me are that drive and a putt on 17. Not a good putt.”
Down one on the par-4 17th, Kalil had a strong approach shot to leave himself a 10-foot birdie putt to tie the match. He read it correctly but left it short.
″(Hollander) did everything he needed to do when he needed it,” said Kalil. “I don’t feel like I lost the match. I feel like he won it, for sure.”