Greenwich didn’t win its fourth consecutive FCIAC boys golf title, but that didn’t mean coach Jeff Santilli and the team were disappointed as they departed Fairchild Wheeler Golf Course – the site of Thursday’s conference tournament.
With players that were making their first appearance in the ultra-competitive FCIAC Tournament, the Cardinals finished a strong second in the team standings, registering an impressive four-player 18-hole aggregate score of 307. New Canaan, captured its first FCIAC title since 2015, posting an aggregate score of 305.
“For our team to shoot a 307 is impressive,” Santilli said. “Everyone played a good round of golf in tough conditions. We had some players shooting their best round of golf, which was great to see.”
Sophomore Charles Schrohe shot a 2-over-par 73 at the No. 1 spot for Greenwich, which won the FCIAC Tournament from 2017-2019. Schrohe shot even-par on the front nine.
“I started off pretty well with a par, par, birdie and that got me going,” Schrohe said. “The back nine, I bogeyed the first two, which got me a little frustrated. But I made a good comeback, I birdied 14 and I just tried to grind it out from there, making pars. I sank a putt on 18 for birdie, which was a good way to finish the round.”
Schrohe stressed the significance of maintaining a positive attitude on the course.
“It’s almost more important than hitting a good shot,” Schrohe said. “If you hit a bad shot, you can’t get down on yourself. Because you can come back make birdie, or par out. But getting down on yourself can cause you to play bad golf.”
Owen Duda, playing at No. 5, carded a 3-over-paar 74 to also pace the Cardinals.
“I had a couple of great stretches,” said Duda, a freshman. “On 8 and 9, I went birdie, birdie and I did it again later on 13 and 14 and the other key was just getting no doubles or worse.”
Indeed, Duda was consistent throughout his round, which was played in subpar weather conditions.
“I tried to limit the damage and get a bogey, which is not going to hurt me, so I did a really good job of doing that,” he said. “I’m very happy, it’s cool in a big tournament that I could put up a good score. I really liked the course, it was raining all morning and wet, but it was definitely playable. There were a lot of putts that were 50/50, that could go in and I felt like I hit a lot of those today.”
Added Santilli: “Owen shooting a 74 was the best round of his career. That really gave us a huge lift and put us in contention.”
Leading champion New Canaan was sophomore Cullen McCarthy, who shot a 2-over-par 73. Junior Sam Funk finished with a 75 and senior Sam Ives also gave the team a substantial lift, shooting a 76.
“We had a good finish to our regular season, the last three matches we played really well,” New Canaan coach Bill Brown said. “It’s nice to see that we are playing our best golf at the right time of the year. I’m thrilled for our players that they won this tournament, which is a great accomplishment. The FCIAC, I think is the toughest conference in the state.”
Senior Eric Lancellotti and junior Preston Yao posted a round of 78 for Darien, which finished with a score of 314. Ryan Grady and Tyler Bauer each shot a 77 for Ludlowe (317) and Sam Lang carded a 75 for Ridgefield (319). Wilton was led by junior Alex Elia, who shot a 76. Following the tournament, Elia was announced as the MVP of the FCIAC. Staples (330) received a round of 75 from senior Mitchell Rose, while St. Joseph (332) was paced by freshman Colin Firda (77).
For Greenwich, Luke Scanlan and Matias Lew each posted rounds of 80.
“The conditions were tough, it was rainy, the club was slipping, but I was able to stay composed the first few holes and get off to a good start,” said Lew, a senior. “As soon as the rain went away, everything settled down a little bit. It’s a good course, a true test of golf.”
Said Scanlan: “I definitely had a rough front nine, I had to punch out on five of the nine holes. But I lipped out birdies on 11 and 10, which got my round going. It was a very nice course and at this point of the season, I like how I’m playing.”