BRETTON WOODS — Bretwood Golf Course member Bob Kearney came as close to defending his New England Senior Amateur title this week in the White Mountains as one can, settling for a share of the runner-up position.
Kearney, 64, had a rock-steady two days at the Mount Washington Resort & Golf Course, shooting a pair of 72s to finish the event at even par and in a two-way tie for second. Kearney and Gary Shover of Vermont finished one shot back of champion Frank Vana, who had rounds of 69-74.
Vana, who plays out of the Marlborough (Mass.) Country Club, is that state’s winningest amateur. The 58-year-old made eight birdies over the two days.
Kearney, who lives in Texas but spends summers in the region, is a decorated U.S. amateur and former UConn standout. He made a strong charge Wednesday, shooting 2-under 34 on the front nine, but a lone blemish on the back, a double bogey at the tricky and long downhill par 3 14th hole, was the difference.
On the front, he birdied four of his first eight holes.
Another Bretwood veteran, Mike Blair, had a solid showing with rounds of 75-74 and a share of 24th place. Blair tied for sixth overall among players 65 and older.
After Kearney, Craig Steckowych of Portsmouth CC was the next highest-placing New Hampshire player, finishing 2-over with rounds of 73-73. He shared sixth place with five other players. Nashua CC veteran Phil Pleat, who won the N.H. Senior Championship a week earlier, shot 74-74 to tie for 16th.