The 2017 Blue Knight golf team never played Farmington Country Club in match play before and had to navigate their way around the course as best as they could without knowing anything about it.
With four groups already in the clubhouse, the Knights were down by three strokes, 159-156. With one foursome remaining, Blue Knight coach Jim DiNello was looking for a score that would cancel their 46. With sophomore Colby Zegzdryn approaching the final green, DiNello knew that Farmington’s three-stroke lead was anything but secure.
“We were kind of just speculating that Farmington would not lose their (highest score of) 43,” said Southington coach Jim DiNello. “But we felt that we had a good chance to lose our 46 with Colby.”
Nobody in the clubhouse knew it, but Zegzdryn made his way to the par-five ninth hole needing a bogey (6) or lower to give the Knights their second-straight win. Zegzdryn reached the green in four strokes. The sophomore two-putted from about 30 feet out, and he strolled into the clubhouse with a 6-over-42.
The Knights edge Farmington by one stroke, 155-156.
“It was probably our best overall performance of the year, not just because of the win,” said DiNello. “But a score of 155 is a really great score, and it’s a really great score when you’re on the road.”
After Zegzdryn relayed his score and slapped five with teammates, his head coach asked him what would have happened if he actually knew that he needed to two-putt on the ninth hole to win the match for Southington. Zegzdryn responded by saying that he thought he wouldn’t have done as well, but his coach begged to differ.
“Most players at his age would not have handled that well if they knew they had to two-putt to win,” the coach said. “But somehow, I think he might have found a way to make it work anyway.”
L’Heureux tied Farmington’s Matt Gregory for medalist of the match with a 36. Cam Zegzdryn (38) and Zera (39) contributed as well.
Win vs. Windsor
APRIL 24—Earlier in the week, the Knights earned their first win of the season with a 155-235 victory over Windsor at home on Monday.
Colby Zegzdryn not only led the Knights, but the led the field as medalist of the match with a 37 (1-over-par). Nate L’Heureux (38), Mike Zera (39), and CJ McManus (41) contributed as well.
The Knights opened their season with a pair of losses to Berlin and Conard, but after coming away with their first two wins of the season this past week, DiNello said that he has no reason to think that the Knights are not going to be pretty good by the time it’s all said and done.
“One of the hurdles for the guys is that they have to believe that they can play good golf, and then they have to play good golf,” said DiNello. “While it may not happen consistently right now, the message is going to be that if you can do it once or twice, why not be able to do it practically all the time under favorable conditions?”
Last week’s wins were certainly something to build upon for the remainder of the season as a benchmark for the Knights. However, DiNello said that the team is still in search of five good rounds.
“It’s always been that someone has to play well for us to win because we still haven’t put together a day where all five guys in the varsity rotation have played well,” the coach said. “We really have zero margin for error right now.”
The Knights will look to continue their winning streak this week when they host Cheshire (26.8) on Monday, May 1 and Simsbury (19.467) on Wednesday, May 3. Simsbury is currently eighth in Division I. Southington is currently 2-2 overall with an average course rating of 26.25.
For this week’s box scores, click here: (southingtonobserver.com/2017/05/02/weekly-scoreboard-for-the-may-5-edition). To contact sports writer Brian Jennings, email him at BJennings@SouthingtonObserver.com.