August 14, 2012 - Williamstown, Mass.
After establishing a 16 shot lead over the first two rounds of the New England Junior Championship, the CSGA team of Brian Butler, Brian Carlson, Eric Dietrich, Evan Grenus, Pat Hallisey, Eddie Hill and Jason Hogan pulled further away from the field on Tuesday and won the championship by a whopping 29 strokes. A record-setting achievement for Connecticut, it was the largest margin of victory on record for the New England Junior Championship.
Team Connecticut fired a final round score of 4-under par 351, a remarkable accomplishment considering five scores were counted from each seven-player squad. Massachusetts finished in second place, and Vermont was third, 14 shots behind Massachusetts, and 43 behind Connecticut. With the 2012 victory, Connecticut has now captured the New England Junior in eight of the last twelve years.
The championship was contested over 54 holes at Taconic Golf Club in Williamstown, Massachusetts. Considered one of New England’s finest courses, Taconic has hosted numerous tournaments including the NCAA Championship.
“It was amazing,” said Butler, the lone veteran from the 2011 CSGA team who will begin his college golf career next month at Boston College. “Usually in these types of tournaments there are a couple of guys who don’t play well and their scores never count. But this week everyone contributed. In fact, everyone played great.”
All seven of Connecticut’s players had at least two of their scores count toward the team total, and six finished in the top-10 individual standings. The team produced five scores in the sixties, led by Hill’s opening round 67, and capped off by 68’s from Carlson and Dietrich, and a 69 from Grenus in the final round. The entire rest of the field produced only two rounds in the sixties, one from Massachusetts’ Patrick Frodigh (69) and one from Rhode Island’s Will Dickson (67).
The CSGA side dominated the championship from start to finish, and with the team title well in hand, the battle for individual honors also came down to Connecticut players. Brian Carlson’s eagle at the par five, first hole (Carlson’s 15th hole of the day) tied him for the lead with teammate Eddie Hill. Both players finished the championship at 2-over par (215) for 54 holes, one shot better than another teammate, Jason Hogan. In the sudden death playoff that followed, Carlson birdied the first, the same hole he had eagled an hour earlier, and claimed the title as individual champion of the 2012 New England Junior.
“This was so much fun this week,” said Carlson, “Eddie had a great tournament and we all did. It was just tremendous.”
The New England Junior is limited to players who have not yet reached their 18th birthday. Carlson, Grenus and Hallisey will all be eligible for next year’s championship, to be hosted by the CSGA at Connecticut National Golf Club in Putnam.