Watertown, Connecticut (July 7, 2021) – It was not a good day for the top-seeds on day one of match play at the 80th Connecticut Junior Amateur at Watertown Golf Club. On a hot and humid day action got kicked off with co-medalists Christian Yanovitch (EClub of Connecticut) and Jack Bosworth (EClub of Connecticut) falling in the Round of 32 setting the stage for a day where double-digit seeds thrived. When the dust had settled the only single-digit seed remaining was defending champion Matt Doyle (Madison Country Club).
Playing as the four-seed Doyle had to fight from behind in both of his matches first against Cody Brew (Tumble Brook Country Club) and then against 12-year-old Will Lord (Suffield Country Club).
Lord survived a 19 hole match in the morning against Oliver McGovern (MET PGA Junior Golf Club) and then battled Doyle tooth and nail for 16 holes before falling 3&2 in the Round of 16.
“Will was 1 up through six and I wasn’t playing my best golf but that is match play and he capitalized on it,” Doyle said of his match against Lord. “He battled the entire day and has the entirety of my respect. He is a very solid player and no matter where he is he is not out of a hole.”
Doyle tied the match on No. 7 and eventually inched his lead out to 3 up only to watch Lord fight back to draw within 1 down following a chip-in par on the par-3 14th. However, Doyle a veteran of match play was able to dig deep and win the next two holes to close out the match and advance to the quarterfinals once again.
“I am very excited to head back to the quarterfinals,” Doyle said. “I am very happy about that, I am hoping to keep my game going, figure a few things out and have a good rest of the week.”
Doyle will face Luke Stennett an easy winner in both of his matches. Stennett (Twin Hills Country Club) won his first match 4&3 over Thomas Ostberg (EClub of Connecticut) and then handled Brett Chodos (New Haven Country Club) 7&6.
The winner of the Stennett-Doyle match will face the winner of the Jackson Roman (Shuttle Meadow Country Club) and Vasily Konachenkov (EClub of Connecticut). Both players moved on thanks to 4&2 wins in the Round of 16.
“I started the match with an eagle, that was kind of a surprise. I was exhausted after the first match,” said Konachenkov of his key to victory. “Just playing 36-holes for fun is exhausting, but doing it in competition is even more exhausting because of the mental aspect. But getting that eagle chip in gave me some momentum and I carried it on from there.”
Connor Goode, the 31-seed and highest remaining player in the bracket, played in the two marquee matches of the day. In the Round of 32 he knocked out two-seed Jack Bosworth. Last year Bosworth won the last two holes against Goode (Glastonbury Hills Country Club) in match play to knock him out and this year he nearly did the same thing. However, Goode was able to regain his composure and win on the first extra hole.
Besting Bosworth landed Goode a match with another pre-tournament favorite Chris Pieper (TPC River Highlands) in the afternoon and once again the match went the distance with the Glastonbury High School rising senior winning with a clutch eight-foot par putt on the last. The putt on the closing hole followed a 15-foot birdie putt on the par-4 17th that answered Pieper’s birdie putt from just off the green.
“I think [the ability to come up clutch] is just from playing a lot,” said Goode who won last weeks Connecticut Junior PGA Championship. “That was just another experience under pressure of needing to make putts when you need to."
Goode’s opponent in the quarterfinals will be Elias Kennon (Golf Performance Center) a winner twice on Wednesday by a 3&2 margin.
The final quarterfinal match will feature Bennett Ostern (Hop Meadow Country Club) and Sebstain Beaver (Salem Golf Club). Both players cruised into the quarterfinals with impressive wins in the Round of 16. Ostern moved on with an 8&7 triumph while it was Beaver handling his match 7&6.
Play will continue on Thursday with the quarterfinals in the morning and the semifinals in the afternoon. The tournament will conclude with the 18-hole championship match on Friday morning.
About the Connecticut State Golf Association
The Connecticut Junior Amateur is one of 19 championships conducted by the Connecticut State Golf Association. The CSGA functions as an extension of the USGA and provides stewardship for amateur golf in Connecticut. Founded in 1899, it is the country’s oldest state golf association and conducts over 60 Championships, Qualifiers, and One Day Tournaments throughout the year.
Photo: Connor Goode fists pumps following his Round of 16 match clinching par.