NEW HAVEN >> Maxx Bugg was having the round of his life Wednesday at Alling Memorial Golf Club.
But like any superstitious golfer, the Morgan junior did his best to block it out and focus on each hole.
His bogey-free, 6-under-par 66 earned him medalist laurels at the Shoreline Conference championship meet by nine strokes.
“I came out of the gates with a birdie on the first hole,” Bugg said. “I was like ‘OK, today is going to be a good day. Just keep doing it.’”
The 66 helped Morgan repeat as conference champion. The Huskies shot a cumulative total of 328, 21 strokes better than Cromwell.
“I knew we couldn’t slip up. I knew we had to play our best golf to beat them,” Cromwell coach Andrew Kuckel said. “Every guy had to come in 5- or 6-over par to give ourselves a chance.”
The course record at Alling is a 62, but head pro Larry Thornhill said it was “the lowest competitive round in 15 years” at Alling.
“I tried to brush it off and keep focusing on what I was doing,” Bugg said. “Once you get going really low, you start thinking course record, not personal record.”
Said Morgan coach Eric Bergman: “To see Maxx shoot 66 is unbelievable. What words do you say to that? 6-under? … That’s the lowest score I’ve seen in the Shoreline in my 10 years (Bergman also coached Valley Regional before coming to Morgan). Maxx gets into a zone and nothing is going to stop him.”
North Branford finished third with a 354 total, followed by Portland (359) and Valley Regional (362).
John Basil of East Hampton finished second in the individual competition with a 3-over-par 75. The only other players to break 80 were Bugg’s teammate, Gabe Van Ness (78), and Haddam-Killingworth golfers John Abbott and Alex Segaline (both with 79
Bugg birdied 1, 5, 6, 10, 13 and 15 on the course measuring the full 6,248 yards from the back tees.
“When I am on the course, I like to play a three-hole game with myself,” Bugg said. “So every three holes, I try to shoot as low as possible for those three holes.”
Now the Huskies will try to repeat as Division IV state champions. Bergman feels the team has a chance if its cumulative score at Timberlin GC in Kensington is below a 320.
“If these guys play to the level they are capable of, I think we will be right there in the mix,” Bergman said. “We need to stay away from the big numbers. Once you get out there on the course on tournament day, nerves come into play and it is a different ballgame.”
(at Alling Memorial GC)
Team results: 1. Morgan, 328; 2. Cromwell, 349; 3. North Branford, 354; 4. Portland, 359; 5. Valley Regional, 362; 6. Hale-Ray, 376; 7. Haddam-Killingworth, 379; 8. Coginchaug, 380; 9. Old Lyme, 388; 10. East Hampton, 389; 11. Old Saybrook, 391.
Medalist: Maxx Bugg (Morgan), 66.
Individual results: John Basil (East Hampton), 75; Gabe Van Ness (Morgan), 78; John Abbott (Haddam-Killingworth), 79; Alex Segaline (Haddam-Killingworth), 79; Alex Martone (North Branford), 80; Nick Piersall (Portland), 81; Shane Fiala (Hale-Ray), 82; Justin Fiala (Hale-Ray), 84; Brett Sadinsky (Cromwell), 83; Nick Lattanzzo (Cromwell), 84; Brendan Appi (North Branford), 86; Matt Fontaine (Coginchaug), 86; Julian Thomas (Cromwell), 86; Jamie DeAntonis (Old Saybrook), 86; Kevin Daley (Morgan), 87; Jon DiTommaso (Valley Regional), 87; Jonathan Twitchell (Portland), 88; Ethan Thompson (Valley Regional), 88.