QUECHEE, Vt. — Former Bryant University golfer Jason Thresher got his New England state open season off to a good start Wednesday by winning the New England Open on the Quechee Club’s Lakeland course.
Thresher followed a first-round 68 on Tuesday with a 7-under-par 65 on Wednesday to win the tournament by two strokes. The 30-year-old competitor on the PGA Tour Latinoamerica won $5,000 with his two-day tally of 10-under 133.
Lakeland played to a par 71 on Tuesday and par 72 on Wednesday.
“The putter really caught fire on the back nine,” Thresher said in a New England PGA news release. “After I birdied 14 — that put me at 8 under — my goal for the rest of the round was to really try to get to 10. I figured that would have a really good chance of winning.”
Thresher began the day two shots off the opening-round pace set by Jack Lang and Mark Purrington. After trading shots on his first two holes — a birdie on the par-3 first and a bogey on the par-5 second — Thresher didn’t lose a stroke to par the rest of the final round. He eventually pulled away from runner-up Nicholas Pandelena with birdies on four of Lakeland’s final six holes. His 65 was the low round of the tourney.
Thresher came to Quechee following modest results on the Latinoamerica circuit so far this season. He’s made three cuts in seven events, missing out last weekend at the 60 Abierto Mexicano de Golf in Tijuana, Mexico.
Pandelena, of Atkinson, N.H., couldn’t match Thresher’s back-nine charge. One shot off the lead at the start of the day, Pandelena fired a second-round 68 and was tied with Thresher late before the Hartford, Conn., native pulled away late.
The win adds to a growing list of regional championships for Thresher, who will look for his fourth consecutive Massachusetts Open title beginning Monday at Vesper Country Club in Tyngsborough, Mass. Thresher also is a past champion of the New Hampshire Open and Bangor Open.
Jeff Curl, the New England Open champ three years ago, tied with Ryan McCormick for third place at 6-under 137. First-round co-leaders Lang (138) and Purrington (139) tied for fifth and seventh, respectively.
Lebanon’s Pat Pelletier shared low amateur honors with Massachusetts’ Maxwell Ferrari at 3-under 140. Pelletier gained both of his shots during a 2-under 70 on Wednesday on the back nine after playing even-par golf on the front. Pelletier and Ferrari were part of a group of four tied for 10th overall.
Kimball Union Academy graduate Evan Russell, playing out of Stowe, Vt., tied for 44th at 77-71-148. Hanover High graduate Sam Brackett shared 57th at 75-77-152. Hanover Country Club assistant Zach Temple shot 77-77-154 to tie for 64th. Former Hanover High golfer Nate Choukas finished tied for 79th at 78-79-157.
The New England Open is the second stop in a five-tournament circuit of regional state opens over the span of less than a month. After next week’s Massachusetts Open, many competitors can be expected to take a crack at the Vermont Open, set for June 17-19 at Lake Morey Country Club in Fairlee.
The N.H. Open begins immediately after, and runs June 20-22 in Keene, at Bretwood Golf Course for the first and third rounds and Keene County Club for the second round. Bretwood offers two 18-hole courses. It marks the first time the same Open has been contested on two courses.