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Upper Valley Golfers Advance at N.H. Amateur

Stratham, n.h. — Seven golfers with connections to the Upper Valley have advanced to the match-play portion of the New Hampshire Golf Association Amateur Championship at the Golf Club of New England.

Led by recent Dartmouth College graduate James Pleat, of Nashua Country Club, the septet will return to the par-72 track this morning for the first of up to four days and as many as six matches through Saturday to determine the state champion. The field of 144 golfers was whittled down to 64 after the second day of stroke-play qualifying.

Pleat shared the qualifying medal with Portsmouth’s Joe Cooper at 1-under-par 143. Pleat, a state am semifinalist on his home course two years ago, had the low round of qualifying at 2-under 70 on Monday; he’ll begin his first-round match against Manchester’s David Larrivee at 10:08 a.m. today.

Hanover Country Club and Newport Golf Club provide the remaining area competitors for matches:

■ Current Hanover members Joe Toland (156), Vince Kimball (161) and Tyler Silver (161) all advanced. Toland, the former Hartford High and current University of Charlotte golfer, has the latest first-round start among area competitors, getting a 11:20 a.m. match with The Overlook’s Griffin Brown.

■ Brothers Michael and Matthew Killam, summertime residents from Texas, will represent Newport. Both face first-round tests today, with Michael Killam (151) facing against former champion Craig Steckowych of Portsmouth and Matthew Killam (159) taking on the home course’s Brett Wilson.

Hanover native Mike Peters also made the match-play field. Playing out of Portsmouth Country Club, Peters (155) — who reached the state am finals at Manchester Country Club in 2005 — will take on Concord’s Will McLaughlin at 9:44 a.m. in the first round.

Two rounds of matches are scheduled for Thursday and Friday, leading to Saturday’s 36-hole championship match.