Tournament Links: Final Results
Laconia, New Hampshire - Article by Becky Bleaser, New England Golf Association
Jim Romaniello (Shorehaven GC - CT) said yesterday that if he could shoot another 71 in the final round of the 17th New England Senior Amateur Championship, he would be happy.
He didn't shoot a 1-under par 71 on Wednesday, but he was certainly happy come tournament end because his two-round score of 1-over par 145 was good enough to earn him the Harry B. McCracken, Jr. Senior Amateur Trophy.
He finished one stroke ahead of Bruce Carter (The International - MA) for what was Romaniello's first career NEGA Championship victory.
"I played extremely well the first seven holes," said Romaniello. "And then maybe some nerves crept in, but my short game saved me. I'm pretty excited right now, so it's hard for me to describe."
The nerves crept in at the beginning of the back-nine, as he suffered a double bogey on the 12th hole. He settled down right after by making par and then birdie on the 13th and 14th holes.
He would finish the back side with pars on 17 and 18 to secure his victory.
"I made a par on the next hole," said Romaniello. "I hit a perfect 3 wood, a perfect 5 iron, and then a perfect lob wedge on 13. I missed birdie by like an eighth of an inch, and maybe that got me going for the rest of the round, and I made birdie on the next hole."
He would need that birdie on the 13th hole, as he was able to edge out Carter by just a stroke.
"I got off to a pretty good start and just stayed with the pace," said Carter. "I hit a lot of greens and just played pretty solid today. I made some putts, missed some, but all in all it was a really solid day for me."
It was a fitting end to the season for Romaniello, a Stamford, Connecticut native. After all, earlier this summer he won both the Westchester Senior Amateur and the Danbury Amateur. Romaniello only started playing golf at age 30 and it has become his passion.
"I still have a lot to work on," he said. "Whenever I play with someone that is better than me, I ask questions."
He doesn't need to ask any questions this evening.
Although he has to wake up for work at 4:00 a.m. tomorrow, he is taking time to enjoy his first NEGA victory.
The New England Senior Amateur trophy is named for Harry B. McCracken, Jr., who has served as executive secretary of the NEGA since 1988. McCracken - who celebrated his 89th birthday this past July - serves as 'official in charge' for all NEGA Championships.