By BRIAN JENNINGS
To be successful in the CCC West Division, Southington coach Jim DiNello said that his Blue Knights need to be really consistent and play excellent golf. DiNello said that anything in the 160s will not get it done on most days.
“I wouldn’t have it any other way,” said the coach. “To be the best, you must beat the best. We get a chance to play some of the best teams in Division I in all of our divisional matches. To be victorious, we need three to four guys in the 30s most days.”
The Knights shot 160 or higher only twice this season in the five matches they’ve played thus far, and their score of 179 in their very first match went for a win. They’ve also had seven scores in the 30s. After spitting this past week with a win and a loss, DiNello said that the team is really grinding it out right now, and he is proud of them.
In the meantime, they are still looking for consistent golfers to fill the fourth and fifth spots of the rotation, as they have used three different golfers in the third spot. DiNello said that they will get that worked out in the next couple of weeks.
“We haven’t really gotten anything in the low 40s from the five spot in a few matches,” said DiNello. “Once we find solid fourth and fifth guys, we’ll really be able to post some good scores.”
With warmer weather finally starting to break out as May approaches, lower scores could break out as well with ideal playing conditions. DiNello said that he is hoping the team’s rotation works itself out soon, but it is still early in the season.
“The guys are capable,” said DiNello. “I feel like our best days are ahead.”
The Knights will be back on the links this week when they host divisional Simsbury on Tuesday, May 1 and then head out on the road to Rockledge Country Club in West Hartford to play divisional Conard on Thursday, May 3. Southington is 2-2-1 overall and 1-2-1 in the CCC West Division.
Following Thursday’s match against Conard at Rockledge, the Knights will host a stretch of seven consecutive home matches. DiNello said that the team’s confidence may grow during that time.
“I’m not worried about finding a four and five guy for that,” said DiNello. “I have someone who I think is really going to start playing very good golf very soon, but those two spots will shake themselves out somewhere during that home stretch.”
The Knights suffered their second loss of the season on Monday, April 23 after falling, 158-163, to divisional Farmington at Farmington Country Club.
Austin Carta paced the Knights with a 39. Max Chubet (40), Cam Zegzdryn (42), and CJ McManus (42) contributed as well.
Farmington’s Kevin Zipp and John Gurrerra were co-medalists of the match with a pair of 38s.
“We definitely could have been better today,” said DiNello. “The conditions were good. We had a few too many double bogeys and higher to make up five strokes.”
The Knights bounced back from Monday’s loss to earn their second win of the season with a 156-191 rout of Maloney at home on Thursday.
Zegzdryn was medalist of the match with a 35. Chubet (36), McManus (42), and Carta (43) contributed as well.
“Cam and Max played very well,” said DiNello. “Both birdied the final hole of the match. The 156 is a solid score. Watching the guys around the greens was telling, as there were a few three putts I know they wish they could do over, mainly due to over aggressiveness at times. The team differential was under 20, so it will help us.”
For more in depth coverage, see our weekly print edition. To contact sports writer Brian Jennings, email him at BJennings@SouthingtonObserver.com.