Evan Russell became only the third Vermont player to win the New England Amateur Championship and the first to do it in his home state, finishing at 5-under 208 Thursday at Green Mountain National Golf Course in Killington. The event consists of players from six states: Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island and Vermont.
The University of Hartford sophomore is the first player from Vermont to win the title since Shawn Baker and Hans Albertson won in 1989 and 1990, respectively. He finished with a 3-over 74 and won by one shot over Rhode Island’s Brad Valois (70), who had won his fourth career Rhode Island Amateur Championship title a few days earlier. Valois won the New England Amateur in 2006.
Connecticut’s Zach Zabach (70) finished third at 2-under 211.
“It means a lot to win in Vermont. . . . This is the best,” said Russell, who opened with rounds of 68-66 and took a two-shot lead into the final round. “I have played well in high school and in college, but I have never won anything in college. This is the first time that I have won something pretty significant. It’s nice.”
Russell’s opening tee shot Thursday found the woods, but he then steadied himself, making 13 consecutive pars to maintain the lead.
“I have been waiting a long time,” said Russell. “I have played in this tournament three times now, and the first two times I missed the cut, so it’s quite a big jump.”