ORANGE >> Finn Boynton vividly remembers the last round of competitive golf he played at Race Brook Country Club.
It was almost a year to the day when Boynton, then a junior at Notre Dame-West Haven, was tied for the lead for the SCC championship standing on the 18th tee. Then he hit his drive out of bounds that resulted in a triple bogey.
This year, Boynton birdied his final two holes, including a chip-in on the final hole, to shoot a 2-over-par 73 and earn SCC medalist laurels by a stroke Tuesday under cold, dreary conditions.
“I didn’t even play a practice round this year,” Boynton said. “When I three-putted for 2 feet on my 16th hole (the actual fourth hole), I thought it could be another moment where I couldn’t finish well. I told myself to make birdie on the par 5, then I could play the last hole more aggressively.”
Chris Fosdick of Xavier, last year’s SCC medalist, shot 74, finishing one stroke behind Boynton. Ironically, Xavier fell one stroke short of defending its team championship as Fairfield Prep edged out the Falcons 313-314.
“We talked about this a lot this year, how one shot means a ton. Last year, we got beat in the (Division I) state tournament in a playoff,” Xavier coach Mike Kohs said. “Congrats to Prep, our scores were pretty decent on a day like today.”
Will Mallek, like Fosdick, a sophomore, shot 74 in the No. 1 spot for Prep, which took home its first title since 2010, when the Jesuits shared the crown with Cheshire.
Mercy won the inaugural SCC girls golf title by two shots over Amity. The Tigers totaled 190 strokes without its best player, Pacharada Treekul of Thailand, who was tied for 15th place following Tuesday’s first round of the Connecticut Women’s Open.
“I saw some flashes during the season that they could do some good things and I saw some moments of immaturity and some frustration,” Prep coach Bob Bernier said. “I kept telling them to look to the end of the season where you want to be at your best. This (win) shows how much work they put in at practice and how much they liked playing with each other.”
Mike Knick, the only returning varsity performer for Prep, and Jack Kane shot 77 and 79, respectively, to help Prep’s cause and Evan Farruggio, a sophomore starting in the No. 5 spot the last “five or six matches” according to Bernier, shot 83.
“Yes they are very proud of what they did. They are happy,” Mercy coach Pete Golanski said. Most of the Tigers, including Treekul, return next season.
Gabby Martin of Hand shot a 38 on the O’Sullivan Nine – the inner nine as it is commonly called – to earn SCC medalist laurels.
“I have played the inner nine before (43),” Martin recalled. “I had a few bad holes. I had to come in, just relax on those holes and play my game.”
Race Brook CC may be Notre Dame-West Haven’s home course throughout the season, but the Green Knights plays all of their matches on the O’Sullivan Nine.
Boynton, who will play at UConn this fall, rebounded from his three-putt double-bogey to birdie those last two holes.
“I don’t think I’ve ever done that (chip in on the final hole for birdie),” Boynton said.
Prep hosts Xavier in today’s regular-season finale at Brooklawn CC before both teams head to the Division I final next Tuesday at Fairview Farms GC in Harwinton.
“I think this will remind them again how every shot matters. It’s a good lesson and will help put our minds in the right focus,” Kohs said.
(at Race Brook CC)
Team results: 1. Fairfield Prep, 313; 2. Xavier, 314; 3. Amity, 321; 5. Notre Dame-West Haven, 323;6. Cheshire, 341; 7. (tie) Sheehan and Hamden, 349; 9. Branford, 355;10. Law 380.
Finn Boynton (Notre Dame-West Haven), 73; Chris Fosdick (Xavier), 74; Will Mallek (Fairfield Prep), 74; Alex Aurora (Hamden), 75; Anthony Taddei (Amity), 77; Michael Knick (Fairfield Prep), 77; Ryan Sember (Branford), 77; Kevin Lynch (Xavier), 78;Nick Izzo (Sheehan), 78; Charlie Csejka (Amity), 78; John Ahern (Amity), 78; Jack Kane (Fairfield Prep), 79; Dan Schena (Fairfield Prep), 79.
Team results: 1. Mercy 190; 2. Amity, 192; 3. Hand 196; 4. Lauralton Hall, 223; 5. Sacred Heart Academy, 230; 6. Cheshire, 292.
Gabby Martin (Hand), 38; Bridget Barnsley (Amity), 41; Sophia Gil (Cheshire), 44.