Links: Match Play Bracket
Jason Liu of Wintonbury Hills Golf Course claimed medalist honors Monday as the Connecticut Junior Amateur presented by Cobra Puma got under way with 18 holes of Stroke Play at Watertown Golf Club. Eighty-six of Connecticut’s best junior golfers teed it up hoping to be one of thirty-two remaining as Match Play begins on Tuesday.
Thirty-one players delivered scores of 77 or better on Monday, leaving the eight who shot 78 in a playoff battle for the final spot. It took three holes to determine Jason Liu’s first round opponent with Nathaniel Dong of Tallwood Country Club earning the right with a par four on the 376-yard third.
In earning the medal, Liu was steady over his first ten holes recording one birdie, one bogey and eight pars. His next six holes were more exciting as he went birdie, par, birdie, bogey, par, eagle to reach 3-under. A par-par finish left him atop the leaderboard with 68 on the par 71, 6,423-yard layout.
2014 Junior Amateur runner-up, Max Theodorakis of Danbury fired a 2-under par 69 and joined Liu as the only players to break par. Six matched par at 71, including 2013 Junior Champion, Connor O’Brien (Oak Hills Park) and 2014 quarterfinalist, Andrew Sciarretta (Brooklawn).
The 2015 Connecticut Junior Amateur presented by Cobra Puma is the 74th playing of the championship. Cobra Puma has sponsoring the event since 2013. Watertown Golf Club, which is celebrating its 100th anniversary this year, is hosting the championship for the 60th time.
Last year’s champion, Evan Grenus, now an 18 year-old college golfer, recently won the Connecticut Amateur, and in doing so became just the second player in history to win the Junior and the Amateur in consecutive years. The first was Hall of Famer Dick Siderowf who captured the Junior in 1954 and the Amateur in 1955.
First round matches begin at 7:30am on Tuesday, with the round of 16 to be contested in the afternoon. Quarterfinal and semifinal matches are scheduled for Wednesday with the 18-hole final set for Thursday morning.
About the Connecticut Junior Amateur Championship
Conducted by the Connecticut State Golf Association, the Connecticut Junior Amateur Championship presented by Cobra Puma Golf 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.