Andrew Franz, 18, of Ridgefield, Conn. and Will Wilson, 17, of Wee Burn Country Club each won their semifinal match Wednesday afternoon to advance to the finals of the 76th Connecticut Junior Amateur. The state’s oldest junior amateur championship is presented by Cobra Puma Golf and Golf on the Green and is being held July 11th – 14th at the 6,423 yard, par 71 Watertown Golf Club.
Franz, the 2016 Champion, secured his place in the semifinals by knocking off #1 seed Charlie Graham of Brooklawn CC in convincing fashion by a score of 4 and 3. After making birdie on the opening pair of holes, Franz never looked back, making only one bogey on his remaining thirteen holes. In his quarterfinal match, he needed all eighteen holes to earn the victory, narrowly defeating Jackson Fretty with a par on the finishing hole.
Franz has now won nine straight matches at Watertown Golf Club and is seeking to become just the tenth player in the seventy-six year history of the championship to defend their title. The feat was last accomplished by Geoffrey Walker in 1993-94.
On the opposite side of the bracket, Wilson faced off against Billy Nail of The Milbrook Club. Playing his fifth round in just three days, he was hoping for a quick and smooth ride into the finals, but the match would be just the opposite. The pair traded birdies throughout the match with a total of eleven lead changes between the two players.
Standing one down on the 16th tee, Wilson made clutch birdies on the 16th and 17th holes to turn the tables and grab the lead with just the 18th hole to play. After Nail failed to convert his par putt, Wilson needed just two putts for a hard earned victory and his first appearance in the Junior Amateur finals.
Similar to Franz, Wilson is hoping to make history when he begins the finals match on Thursday morning, as no player from Wee Burn Country Club has ever won the Junior Amateur Championship.
The final match will begin at 8:00 a.m. Thursday morning and live hole-by-hole scoring will be available. For more information and complete coverage, visit CTJunior.com.
Final Match (18-holes)
8:00 a.m. – Andrew Franz, Eclub of Connecticut vs. Will Wilson, Wee Burn CC
Andrew Franz, Eclub of Connecticut def. Charlie Graham, Brooklawn CC, 4 and 3
Will Wilson, Wee Burn CC def. Billy Nail, The Milbrook Club, 2 up
Charlie Graham, Brooklawn CC def. Mac Mahoney, Hartford GC, 2 up
Andrew Franz, Eclub of Connecticut def. Jackson Fretty, Greenwich CC, 1 up
Billy Nail, The Milbrook Club def. Colin Cusa, Longshore GC, 2 and 1
Will Wilson, Wee Burn CC def. Tommy Dallahan, Hop Meadow CC, 5 and 3
About the Connecticut Junior Amateur Championship
Conducted by the Connecticut State Golf Association, the Connecticut Junior Amateur Championship presented by Cobra Puma Golf and Golf on the Green is open to all Connecticut junior golfers who have not reached their eighteenth birthday by the start of the event. The challenging format tests the state's best junior golfers over a single round of stroke play to determine the low thirty-two match play qualifiers. Two rounds of match play each day culminate in an eighteen-hole final to crown the top junior player in Connecticut.