Just like his putts, Chris Francoeur's phenomenal summer on the links rolls on.
Competing in the Rhode Island Stroke Play Championship for the first time in his young career last week, the Amesbury native carded a three day cumulative total of 207 to claim the title.
Francoeur was in the upper tier of the leaderboard heading into his final round but would need to go lower than the field if he were to contend for the crown. He did just that, firing a 6-under par 66 — four strokes better than any other competitor — to ultimately edge out Bill Forcier by a single stroke.
"Competitively it was my best round ever," admitted Francoeur. "I was hitting the ball really well all week, but the first couple of rounds I couldn't get any putts to fall. I changed my routine a little bit, quickened things up and didn't think about my putts as much and in the last round (the putter) got hot."
Did it ever.
Francoeur opened his third round with five birdies in his first seven holes before playing his next 11 at 1-under par. He had just one bogey on the day.
According to Francoeur, it was his birdie on the challenging sixth hole par 3 that gave him the confidence to go out and win the thing.
"I was 3-under through five and the first five holes aren't too difficult so I didn't want to get ahead of myself too much. But the sixth hole, it's a small, tough green and I put it to about five feet and drilled the putt," said Francoeur. "My mindset was to see how well I could shoot and not worry about others."
Other than a small slip up after making the turn, Francoeur stayed true to that mentality.
"I looked at the leaderboard once and it was on the 12th hole and I made bogey," Francoeur said with a laugh. "After that I said I wouldn't look again and honestly, I didn't know I had won until after I finished."
The victory — which earns him an automatic bid in next summer's highly touted Northeast Amateur — comes on the heels of a quarterfinal appearance at the Massachusetts Amateur Championship earlier this summer. The former St. John's Prep standout has now finished under par in each of his last four tournaments.
With his summer circuit just about winding down, Francoeur appears ready to attack his junior golf season at University of Rhode Island full throttle. He's already been dubbed New England Rookie of the Year as a freshman and was named All-New England a year later. This campaign he hopes he and his teammates can continue that trend.
"We'll definitely have a different lineup this year; we lost two of our top three guys," said Francoeur. "But we have a couple of guys coming in that hopefully capable of replacing them. I think we're going to be pretty good."