Summer Sports

Five players win titles at Joe Felder PGA Junior Golf Championship at The Griff

Photo by David Fierro: From left to right: Daniel Xu, Ellery Talbot, Caroline McShea, Henry Graham and Leo Graham each won their respective divisions at the Town of Greenwich Joe Felder PGA Junior Golf Championship at Griffith E. Harris Golf Course in Greenwich on Wednesday, July 21, 2021.

Fittingly, the final town golf tournament under the direction of Griffith E. Harris PGA Head Golf Professional Joe Felder, was today’s Junior Golf Championship, an event bearing his name.

The Town of Greenwich Joe Felder PGA Junior Golf Championship took place today at Griffith E. Harris Golf Course, where Felder has served as the course’s Head Golf Professional for 32 years. Following the season, he is retiring from his post after 32 years of dedicated service to the town’s impressive public golf course, so indeed, the tournament held extra significance.

“Having this tournament is a great way to go out,” said Felder, who thanked his entire staff at the event’s conclusion for their assistance in coordinating the Junior tournament, along with the summer’s Men’s and Ladies tournaments.

Felder has seen many players leave The Griff with trophies after competing in the course’s tournaments over the years and five more captured titles today. Henry Graham won the Boys 18-Hole 14-17 year-old flight, Caroline McShea was the Girls 9-Hole 14-17 year-old champion, Leo Graham took the Boys 18-Hole 10-13 year-old flight title, Daniel Xu captured the Boys 9-Hole 10-13 flight and Ellery Talbot took home the first-place trophy in the Girls 9-Hole 10-13 year-old division.

McShea, a rising Greenwich High School sophomore, won the Girls 9-Hole 14-17 year-old division by shooting a 46. Ceci Ge finished second, registering a score of 52.

“I had a rough start, but I got myself together with a par on the second hole and I think that got me back into it,” McShea said. “I made a couple of pars, which was good. The weather was perfect, the rain never showed, so that was great.”

During McShea’s freshman season on Greenwich’s girls varsity golf team, she played at the No. 1 position. She was consistent throughout the season for the Cardinals, who enjoyed a successful spring. At the CIAC Open Championship, McShea shot an 87 over 18 holes at Black Hall Club in Old Lyme.

McShea won the Drive Chip & Putt Tournament at The Stanwich Club in Greenwich on July 6. The victory earned her a spot in the Drive Chip & Putt Sub-Regional Qualifier, which is scheduled to take place at Bethpage State Park on Long Island on August 12. The top competitors at that event advance to the Regional Qualifer at TPC River Highlands in Cromwell, Conn., on their way to the National Finals.

“I am looking forward to that,” McShea said. “I’m also playing in Met PGA Tournaments, which are all around Connecticut and New York, which are great.”

She’s also excited about competing on the Cardinals’ golf team during her sophomore year.

“This season was really fun and I got to develop great friendships within the team and we had a great season,” she said. “I’m looking forward to next year. I think there will be more players coming out next year and I’m excited about it.”

Caroline McShea poses with the trophy with Griffith E. Harris Golf Professional Joe Felder.

BOYS 18-HOLE 14-17 YEAR-OLD FLIGHT

Henry Graham, a 13-year-old Brunswick School student, claimed top honors in the Boys 18-Hole 14-17 year-old Flight (blue tees). Graham, who a rising eighth-grader, shot an 83.

“I was even through 3, I made a birdie on 3, but then I hit it out of bounds on 4 and made a triple and then I had three consecutive bogeys, so I really had to try and dig deep,” Graham said. “I parred 8 and birdied 9, then I had a string of bogeys, but got back with pars on the back. I started playing not so well again on 16. I tripled 16 and doubled 17, but I came back and birdied 18.”

Overall, Graham was pleased with his championship performance.

“I feel great, this is the first time I played the blues here and it was tough,” said Graham, who has traveled through the East Coast this summer, competing in tournaments. “There were a lot of tough bounces, it was a little wet in some places, but it was a great time.”

Henry Graham, left, poses with the trophy with Griffith E. Harris golf pro Joe Felder at the Junior Town Tourney.

Nick Rinaldi, a Brunswick School student, was the runner-up in the flight, carding an 84, while Drew Stamos placed third (90). Rinaldi is a member of Brunswick’s highly successful golf team, which posted a record of 20-2 this past spring under the guidance of coach Anthony Fischetti.

“We had a very strong team and coach Fischetti is a great coach,” said Rinaldi, who is playing in Met PGA events throughout the summer. “We have a lot of young talent returning next season. In today’s round, my putting wasn’t going my way, the iron shots weren’t going my way, but the tee shots were fine.

BOYS 18-HOLE 10-13 YEAR-OLD FLIGHT

Leo Graham garnered the winner’s trophy in the Boys 18-Hole 10-13 Year-Old flight, shooting a sizzling 72 from the green tees. Robert Ryan placed second with a round of 79, followed by Winston Rose (80).

“I was putting great, I was getting up and down a lot,” said Leo Graham, a 12-year-old Brunswick student. “I didn’t hit a lot of greens in regulation, but I was getting up and down a lot.”

His impressive round was sparked by several birdies.

“On 9 and 16 I rolled in about 30-footers for birdies,” Graham said. “I birdied 14 and stuck it to like two feet and tapped it in.”

Like his older brother Henry, the boys’ 14-17 year old champion, Leo has been busy competing in a variety of tournaments this summer. He’s already traveled to Alabama for the Future Masters and to North Caroline for the Red White & Blue Invitational.

Leo Graham, left, won the boys 10-13 year-old 18-hole title at the Junior Town Golf Tournament at The Griff.

BOYS 9-HOLE 10-13 YEAR-OLD FLIGHT

Daniel Xu won the Boys 9-Hole 10-13 year-old division, shooting a 52. Liam Vanderslice finished second, carding a 55 and Chris Phillips took third (58).

“The first two holes and holes 3 and 4 were good for me,” said Xu, an Eastern Middle School student. “I’ve been playing here for three years and playing in this tournament was great. It was a lot of fun.”

Daniel Xu, left, was the boys 9-hole 10-13 year-old champion at the Joe Felder PGA Junior Golf Championship.

GIRLS 10-13 YEAR-OLD 9-HOLE FLIGHT

Ellery Talbot was the Girls 10-13 year-old 9-hole champion with a round of 52.

“My best hole was my last hole, which I birdied,” said Talbot, who attends Eastern Middle School. “I had a lot of fun, it was great to be in this tournament.”

Talbot has shown much improvement as she has begun playing the sport more.

“I started taking seriously this year,” she said. “I started playing a lot on the course this summer and practicing.”

Ellery Talbot, left, holds Girls 9-hole 10-13 year-old winner’s title at the Junior Town Golf Championship.

RESULTS

BOYS 18-HOLE 14-17 YEAR-OLD FLIGHT

Henry Graham 83; Nick Rinaldi 84; Drew Stamos 90; August Benson 92; Henry Raine 93; Yuta Takahashi 101

BOYS 9-HOLE 10-13 YEAR-OLD FLIGHT

Daniel Xu 52; Liam Vanderslice 55; Chris Phillips 58; Zach Smith 60, George Dutile 63

BOYS 18-HOLE 10-13 YEAR-OLD FLIGHT

Leo Graham 72; Robert Ryan 79; Winston Rose 80; Trey Ingarra 93; William Kruper 104; William Flatow 106

GIRLS 18-HOLE 14-17 YEAR OLD FLIGHT

Caroline McShea 46; Ceci Ge 52

GIRLS 9-HOLE 10-13 YEAR-OLD FLIGHT

Ellery Talbot 52

Categories: Summer Sports

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