WATERTOWN >> In four of his five Connecticut Junior Amateur golf matches this week, Andrew Sciarretta trailed at some point during the round.
But the senior-to-be at Fairfield Prep hung in each time, then turned the tables on his opponent on the back nine at Watertown Golf Club.
The final time came Thursday morning when Sciarretta rallied to beat former champion Connor O’Brien 2 and 1 to win the 74th edition of the Connecticut Junior Amateur.
“My goal was to always get back to at least all square at the turn. I did that today and that gave me a lot of momentum, I think,” said Sciarretta, a Register All-Area selection this past spring at Prep. “I made a lot of pars in the middle of the round and made some birdies coming down the stretch.”
O’Brien rallied himself with a birdie at the 13th hole to square the match, but Sciarretta answered with a birdie at the par-3 14th.
“I had a long downhill right to left putt, picked a good spot right between the ball and the hole,” Sciarretta said. “I hit the putt how I wanted to hit it and it found the cup. I got a little lucky. It was moving pretty quick.”
O’Brien, who won this event in 2013, never led again.
“Even when his putt was 10 feet out, I really thought I had the advantage on the hole. I had about a 5-footer for par and it (Sciarretta’s putt) was moving. I never expect someone to make a 40-footer,” said O’Brien, who graduated from McMahon in Norwalk and will attend Bucknell University this fall.
Sciarretta and O’Brien halved the 15th and 16th holes, the latter with birdies. Then Sciarretta hit his approach to 7 feet on 17.
O’Brien also had a wedge into the green from a shorter distance, but his approach came up 35 feet short.
“I didn’t hit a very good shot. I just mishit the ball,” O’Brien said. “I considered it almost a must-make. … I hit a poor putt for the line I chose.”
O’Brien missed the comebacker for par, then conceded Sciarretta’s birdie putt, and the match.
“I feel so honored to be on a list of with so many other great golfers who won this tournament,” Sciarretta said. “It feels great. I’m really excited.”
O’Brien held a 2-up lead three different times on the front nine, the last time after seven holes. Then he bogeyed holes 8, 9 and 10, allowing Sciarretta to take a 1-up lead with three straight pars.
“You can’t expect much in a championship match when you make five bogeys,” O’Brien said. “I feel like I drove the ball pretty mediocre, my iron play was really just OK and I made absolutely nothing. It’s tough to win a match-play match when you don’t make any putts.”