WATERTOWN >> On a day and a course meant to test anybody’s love for golf, Portland dug in to defend its Division IV State Golf Championship with a vengeance Monday at Watertown’s Crestbrook Park Golf Course.
The Highlanders beat second-place Immaculate by nine strokes, 323-332, on a course that held psychological rewards for those who started on the back nine in the 18-hole contest.
“It was wet, but it was better that we thought it was going to be,” said Highlanders Coach Joe Santavenere. “We came in focused today. After practicing here a couple of days ago, we knew it was a tough course – particularly on the back nine, with long tricky holes.”
Individual medalist Tom Kingsbury, from Tourtellotte, shot a 75 after enduring the back nine first.
“I’m surprised I did as well as I did. I had a little bit of luck,” said the senior, who is set to play at Division II Franklin and Pierce University in the fall.
“On the first hole (Crestbrook’s No. 10), I shanked my tee shot off a tree and it bounced onto the fairway. Then, when I finally crossed over from 18 to the first hole, it seemed easy.”
Despite that psychological advantage, ‘easy’ understates it for a kid who played 18 holes with a brace on a slightly-sprained right wrist.
“I hurt it in the ECC Tournament and withdrew so I’d be ready for this,” Kingsbury said.
Meanwhile, league champions from the NVL and Berkshire League held up well. Holy Cross won the NVL title at nearby Watertown Country Club with a 350 team score, then showed up with a third-place 335 at Crestbrook Park.
“We won the Division III Championship in 2013, but I’m really proud this year finishing third when we came in as the 10th seed,” Holy Cross coach John Egan said.
The Gilbert School, fresh from its first Berkshire League Championship in 22 years, finished in a tie for fifth place (340) at Crestbrook.
Wamogo, third in the Berkshire League Tournament, was eighth in Division IV (352) in its first state tournament since breaking away from co-op partner Thomaston four years ago.
Wamogo senior Sean Brady was fourth individually at Cresbrook with a 78. Gilbert sophomore Conor Bailey led the Yellowjackets with an 83.
“This is twice as many holes as they’re used to,” said Gilbert Coach Bob Sparks.
“It taught me to forget about a bad shot,” said Jake Royer, coming in with an 84.
“You just have to keep grinding,” said Dylan Keith, who shot an 88.
It was a day and a course for that.
“The greens were tough and it was inconsistent between the front nine and the back,” said Wamogo’s Brady.
“I used a three wood to get out of a sand trap,” said teammate Dalton Hubball.
Division IV Golf Tournament
- At Crestbrook Park Golf Course, Watertown (Par 71)
- Medalist: Thomas Kingsbury, Tourtellotte 75
1. Portland 323; 2. Immaculate 332; 3. Holy Cross 335; 4. Old Lyme 339; 5. (tie) Coginchaug/Gilbert 340; 7. Notre Dame-Fairfield 351; 8. Wamogo 352; 9. Coventry 353; 10. North Branford 360; 11. Sacred Heart 361; 12. Somers 367; 13. Old Saybrook 374; 14. St. Paul Catholic 381; 15. Morgan 383; 16. (tie) Wheeler/East Granby 399; 18. Tourtellotte 404; 19. Canton 406; 20. SMSA 413.
Top 20 Individual Scores
1. Thomas Kingsbury, Tourtellotte 75; 2. (tie) Michael Anderson, Wheeler/Nick Piersall, Portland 76; 4. Sean Brady, Wamogo 78; 5. Liam Deakin, Immaculate 79; 6. (tie) Kyle Camello, Coventry/Anthony Bourvier, Notre Dame-Fairfield/John Lucas, Portland 80; 9. (tie) Peter Macadam, Old Lyme/tyler Woodward, Coginchaug/Andrew Tammaro, Portland/Peter Garlick, Somers/Jack Woods, Immaculate/Mason Holt, East Granby/John Lovelace, North Branford 81; 16. (tie) Greg Picard, Holy Cross/Mike Mancio, Holy Cross/Kyle Savino, Old Saybrook/Graham Aird, Old Lyme 82; 20. (tie) Will Roberts, Old Lyme/Ryne Salius, St. Paul Catholic/Vin Graziano, Holy Cross/Conor Bailey, Gilbert/John Keane, Sacred Heart/Alexander Lederman, Canton 83.