BRISTOL – The general consensus at the CIAC Div. I Fall Golf Championship was pretty easy to agree on early in the day – it w as a cold, windy day, the recipe for a perfect New England fall day.
However, respective golfers gunning for a state championship in may not agree with the sentiment. With tee times kicking off at 8:30 a.m. and rolling on until the last person at 10:09 a.m. players got a quick taste of the morning weather in the 50’s that set the tone for higher-than-average scores among the pack, leading to plenty of frustration for a few hours after teeing off.
Some were able to rise to the top. Three individuals shot a 73 for a runner-up spot while Connor Goode shot an even par for the course, a 70, to win the match. Despite leading the field, Goode and his Glastonbury teammates did not win first-place, finishing two strokes behind to New Canaan’s +32 as a team.
Southington’s team scored +59, with Ryan O’Donnell shooting a team-best 81 (+11) and paring nine holes to tie for 22nd. The Blue Knights had a feeling the course wasn’t going to bring out the best scores across the board.
“I knew we were going to have a tough time shooting what we normally shoot in these conditions,” said Southington head coach John O’Neill. “The weather has been great this fall and the courses have been in great shape, … but it was still playing hard because there’s a lot of wet spots. The wind picked up, it was cold, guys had a hard time warming up, so I knew it was going to be a tough day out there for them.”
With none playing together in parings, instead linked four in a row among groups following one another, each Southington player was unable to avoid the double bogey today. Each player double bogeyed at least twice, with Mark O’Donnell doing it four times.
Brooke Zajac, the lone girl entrant in the field, birdied the fifth hole to pick up a stroke on her back nine (Southington’s golfers started the day on hole 10, and finished on nine). She was the only Blue Knight to birdie, finishing with an 84 (+14) to tie for 36th.
Patrick DiPace, the first on the tee box and the first one off the last green, finished with an 85 (+15).
New Britain’s Xavier Goode had no teammates with him but did share the course with Southington’s Mark O’Donnell for the round. Goode finished with an 87 (+17), and was frustrated with the score, feeling he did not play his best golf Monday after taking some time to prep early in the morning..
“I’ve been practicing all weekend, coming into today I went right to the range trying to get ready. Just couldn’t pull it off, what I wanted. It didn’t really go my way, conditions were rough, but just not overall a good day,” said Xavier Goode. “… (The weather) definitely affected some holes. Sometimes you’ve got to club down two because the wind and the rain, the thick grass was tough to get the ball out of too. It was a big factor.”
BERLIN CLOSES SEASON AS RUNNER-UP
Berlin boys golf, competing at Southbury’s Silo Point Country Club in the CIAC Div. II Fall Golf Championship on Monday, took second with a collective +38 team score to close out the season.
The Berlin squad was led by Terrence Dornfried’s 78, finishing 6-over par for the fourth-best score in the field. A double-bogey on the sixth hole and another on the 15th hole were his worst scores as he had two birdies on the front nine to help keep his score lower.
Finishing first in the field individually was Zim McAuliffe of Housatonic, ending the day with a one-stroke advantage on Robbie Sluga of St. Paul for the win. McAuliffe shot a 74 (+2) and Sluga shot a 75 (+3). St. Joseph won the meet as a team, scoring a +29 to beat Berlin, with it having a scoring golfer score no worse than an 81 (+9) on the course.
Berlin’s team score was rounded out by Joshua Braun’s 82 (+10) to tie for 11th, Kyle Carlin’s 83 (+11) and Braden Shea’s 83 (+11), both tying for 19th. Playing, but not being included in the Redcoats’ team score, was Michael Deegan, who shot an 87 (+15).