By KEVIN ROBERTS
Southington boys golf moved on to the state postseason this past week. The Blue Knights played in the Division I tournament on June 3 at Timberlin Golf Club in Kensington and finished tied for eighth place with a team score of 326.
Junior Max Chubet moved on to play in the open championship this past Saturday at The Black Hall Club in Old Lyme.
Division I tournament
JUNE 3—The Knights battled throughout the 18-hole round, but too many mistakes hurt them on the par 72 layout at Timberlin Golf Club.
“The eighth place finish with a 326 was certainly out of the range of where we thought we could shoot, but it is a top 10 finish and the guys really fought hard to compete with the best in the state,” DiNello said.
Shawn McKnerney led Southington with a six-over-par 78, which placed him in a six-way tie for 18th place. Austin Carta shot an 81 (+9) and finished in a three-way tie for 33rd. Right behind him was Max Chubet, whose round of 82 (+10) put him in a 10-way tie for 35th place. Cory Hemsen’s 85 (+13) put him in an 11-way tie for 54th place. Jake Napoli shot an 87 (+15) and finished in a six-way tie for 67th place. Napoli’s score didn’t count toward the team total.
DiNello said the Knights got off to a good start on the front nine. McKnerney (38), Carta (39) and Hemsen (39) shot under 40 on the first nine holes. Carta birdied the par-4 second hole, the par-5 sixth hole, and the par-4 ninth hole. McKnerney birdied the par-4 fifth hole, and Hemsen birdied the par-3 fourth hole.
On the back nine, the wind picked up, and that bothered Southington’s players. McKnerney and Chubet shot 40 while Carta tallied a 42.
“It affected everyone in the field, but some teams handled it well,” DiNello said. “I feel like we didn’t pay as much attention to the wind on every shot as well as we could have. Club selection seemed to be an issue at times.”
There was also the pressure of playing against players from the teams that finished first, second and third. Greenwich won the tournament with a 301, followed by Darien at 311 and Simsbury at 316.
“When you are playing side by side with the teams that finished one, two and three, you tend to get away from what you want to do and can make some big numbers,” DiNello said.
Hemsen eagled the par-5 10th hole, but it didn’t go well from there. He had four bogeys, one double bogey and two triple bogeys to just one par over the final eight holes. McKnerney and Chubet each had six pars, two bogeys and a double bogey on the back nine. Carta had four pars, four bogeys and a double bogey.
“I’m really proud of the entire team. It was a great learning experience,” DiNello said. “It’s hard to win these events with such great competition.”
The tournament was a tough one, but the good news for Southington is four of the five players who took part in it will be back for their senior seasons. The Knights lose Hemsen and Colby Zegzdryn to graduation.
“Winning isn’t everything, but having the will to win may be,” DiNello said. “Our team gave great effort. That’s all you could ask. It was a great year. Maybe next year we can put it all together.”
JUNE 8—Chubet earned his way into the company of the best players in the state with his solid regular season. He shot an 84 on the par-71 course at The Black Hall Club in Old Lyme this past Saturday. Chubet’s 84 placed him in a tie for 12th place overall with Granby Memorial’s Sean Dowd.
To comment on this story or to contact staff writer Kevin Roberts, email him at KRoberts@SouthingtonObserver.com