GREENWICH — Following a victory at its own tournament last week, the Brunswick School golf team had its sights set on capturing what eluded it in 2018 — the title at the Greenwich Invitational.
And just like last week’s triumph, the Bruins left nothing to chance.
One by one, the scores came in and each one seemed to be more impressive than the next for the Bruins, who continued their perfect season by adding another tournament title to their ledger.
Finishing with a four-player aggregate score of 299, Brunswick convincingly won the second annual, four-team, Greenwich Invitational at The Stanwich Club.
Greenwich High School was the runner-up with a team score of 321, followed by St. Luke’s School (334) and Fairfield Prep (343).
“We’re playing great as a team, so to continue this undefeated season is special for all of us,” said Matt Camel, who earned medalist honors for the Bruins by shooting a 1-over-par 73 at The Stanwich Club’s challenging layout.
Camel is one of four seniors in the Bruins’ starting lineup, all of whom bring great golf experience. Brunswick sported a record of 18-0, entering Thursday’s tournament and posted a decisive victory at its Brunswick Invitational a week ago.
“We have all come together this year and have started playing really well,” Camel said. “Greenwich has a great team this year and we like playing against them.”
Five birdies moved the round along for Camel, who played at the No. 2 spot and posted a 35 on the back nine Thursday. He will continue his golf career at Northwestern University. At the No. 1 position, senior Connor Belcastro carded a 74, shooting a 38 on the front nine and 36 on the back.
“It’s really fun to play on a team that have a lot of kids who are so consistent,” said Belcastro, who will play at Princeton University in the fall. “When you have really good players that have your back, you feel like you can go out there and shoot a score. It’s not stressful team golf, which happens on some teams.”
Like all of the competitors in the tournament, Belcastro enjoyed navigating his way through Stanwich Club.
“This course tests your whole bag and each part of your game,” Belcastro said. “Last year, we lost a tournament at Hotchkiss, our invitational tournament and this tournament, so to come out here and check those three boxes feels good.”
Senior Charlie Marvin (No. 3) also shot a 74 for the champion Bruins. He sank five birdie putts, three of which came on the back nine.
“I had a rough start, but I kind of figured it out later in the round,” Marvin said. “This is a big deal for us, because we had never won this tournament and we also won our invitational. Winning both of those is awesome.”
Ben Carpenter, the lone junior in Brunswick’s formidable lineup, shot a 78. One of his highlights came when he holed a bunker shot for birdie on the second hole.
“That’s what started the round for me,” said Carpenter, who played in the fourth group. “I kept that momentum for a while. I hit the ball really well, it was just really hard to to up-and-down. If you hit it in the wrong spot here it’s tough.”
Matty Dzialga, a senior, finished with an 83 for the Bruins.
“My score wasn’t indicative of how I struck the ball,” Dzialga said. “I hit a lot of good tee shots and made three birdies. My putting and short game just held me back a little bit. Playing here was a real treat, I’m glad Greenwich High can host this event here.”
Greenwich, which has three seniors in its lineup, was paced by rounds of 74 by Jackson Fretty and Billy Nail.
Fretty shot a 35 on the back nine en route to his 74.
“I didn’t hit it as well as I would have liked, I missed a lot of greens,” said Fretty, who will compete with Belcastro at Princeton in the fall. “But I was happy with the way I grinded and put up a respectable score. Brunswick is playing really well. I didn’t want to lose to them obviously, but I have a lot of friends on that team, so I’m happy for them.”
The Cardinals still have numerous dual matches left, before entering the postseason.
“This is the format for the postseason — bring five, take four scores — so it’s always good to get this experience early and see where we are at,” Fretty said. “This gives us a chance to see where we can improve.”
Nail posted a 36 on the back nine for the Cardinals, who also received a round of 86 from junior Tyler Sudell and an 87 from freshman Tyler Donnellan.
“I’m grateful to Stanwich Club for letting us out here, it’s one of the best courses in the Northeast,” Nail said. “As far as my play today, it is a good building block for what’s to come in the next couple of weeks. We definitely have our eyes on Darien, which is ranked ahead of us in the state.”
St. Luke’s was led by a round of 79 from Mark Gertsen (43-36) and an 84 from Ben Loomis (44-40). Jack Fitzgibbon carded an 85 for the Storm.
For Fairfield Prep, Will Malek shot a 70 (39-40) and Jack Kane posted an 81.
“That is the best Brunswick team that I’ve seen in the years I’ve been competing with them,” GHS coach Jeff Santilli said. “Shooting a 299 is very solid here at Stanwich.”
SHOWING HIS CRAFTSMANSHIP
Camel received a cup shaped trophy for earning medalist honors and the Bruins received a team trophy. But Santilli made individual trophies for the winning team out of his woodshop at home.