By BRIAN JENNINGS
The Blue Knights golf team may not have had their best day at the Division I tournament, but as Southington coach Jim DiNello explains, he has never had to question his team’s effort. When he thinks of his team, he said he thinks about a group of guys that are great sports that try really hard, don’t quit, and grind it out from shot to shot.
“I thought the guys handled themselves very well,” the coach said. “That’s never been an issue. They handle themselves with great determination and a lot of class in both victory and defeat. This day was no different, and I’m extremely proud of them for that.”
Division I Championship
Southington tied for 12th with Newington and Amity out of 20 schools after coming in with a team score of 317 (29-over-par) at the Division I Championship, played at Tallwood Country Club in Hebron on Monday, June 6.
DiNello said that he thought the golf course presented a fair opportunity and was in pretty good shape.
“The greens were a little bit slower than what the guys anticipated, but we talk about putting all the time,” the coach said. “The bottom line is that you have to adjust to the speed of the greens as quickly as you possibly can. It was very possible to go low there, but a couple of guys had some issues with certain ball flights that were getting away from them. And that became an issue, especially when it’s a team thing.”
Ryan Burrill earned all-state honors by tying for 20th out of 108 golfers and led the Knights with a 76 (four-over-par). Nathan L’Heureux tied for 45th with a 79. Andrew Szandrocha tied for 55th with an 80. Jake D’Alessandro tied for 70th with an 82. Andrew Rogalski tied for 81st with an 84.
Simsbury won the state title after fending off Xavier in a three-hole playoff. Both schools finished with team scores of 300. Staples placed third with a score of 303.
Max Theodorakis of Danbury was medalist of the tournament with a 65. Chris Fosdick of Xavier finished runner-up with a 66, and Christian Ostberg of Darien followed with a 69.
DiNello said that it just was one of those days where, collectively, the Knights didn’t play their best golf.
“To win that, you have to really play your best and be great on that day, very similar to the conference championship,” the coach said. “It’s very difficult to win either tournament. You need four guys to play great, and at the very least, one guy to play exceptional. When those two things don’t happen, the chances of winning become virtually impossible.”
Last week, the Knights competed in the CCC Championship at Stanley Municipal Golf Course in New Britain on Thursday where they placed third out of 29 schools with a team score of 303 (19-over-par).
Szandrocha tied for third out of 116 golfers and marshaled Southington with an even-par 71. Burrill tied for 10th with a 75. D’Alessandro tied for 23rd with a 78. Rogalski tied for 27th with a 79.
Simsbury won the conference title with a team score of 300. Avon finished as runner-up with a 301.
Chris Butler of Hall tied Brendan Fagan of Farmington for medalist of the tournament, both carding 69s.
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