ORANGE — Chris Fosdick and Will Mallek went head to head as their respective golf teams have done in the Southern Connecticut Conference the last few seasons.
The No. 1 golfers for Xavier and Fairfield Prep, respectively, played in the same group Tuesday at Race Brook Country Club. They threw birdies at one another and made some bogeys as well. In the end, they finished in a dead heat after 18 holes — both shooting even par 71.
The team competition did not end in a draw. Xavier reclaimed the SCC team title, shooting a cumulative total of 304 with all four players breaking 80. That total was four strokes better than defending champion Fairfield Prep (308).
“I really wanted my number to be in the red today (under par), but even par is respectable,” Fosdick said. “It’s not an easy golf course. You hit a bad shot, you can really pay for it. I’ll take co-medalist.”
Said Xavier coach Mike Kohs: “It’s golf and anything can happen. These two teams have been the most consistent. We had our division match at our place and it was a great day of golf (Xavier won that one by four, too).”
Fairfield Prep dethroned Xavier at last year’s SCC meet, beating the Falcons by a stroke. The Jesuits were the only team to tie Xavier this year (April 12 at Brooklawn CC in Fairfield, the non-counting SCC match).
“Hamden got better from last year and I was really impressed with the Hand team, but I kind of figured it would be a repeat of last year, us and Xavier,” Fairfield Prep coach Bob Bernier said. “We beat them by one last year, then they kicked our butts in the state tournament. They are a really good team.”
Kevin Lynch and Patrick Kennedy, Xavier’s No. 2 and 5 players, respectively, both shot 77 while No. 4 golfer Jon Colavito came in at 79 (No. 3 golfer Joe Ensign was “under the weather” according to Kohs, was cleared to play and shot 88.)
“Patrick Kennedy in the 5 spot was huge,” Kohs said. “He played JV most of the year, but came on the last week and a half. That’s a solid number on this course, above and beyond what we expected from him.”
The two teams will square off with the state’s best at the CIAC Division I tournament Monday at Stanley GC in New Britain.
It will give Fosdick and Mallek a chance to go head-to-head again, joined by Hamden’s Alex Aurora, last year’s medalist at Division I who shot 72 Tuesday to finish in third place.
Mallek was up four shots on Fosdick through six holes and up three after nine. By the time both players hit the 16th tee, it was all square.
“Will Mallek started really hot. I wasn’t sure how it was going to go, but I knew it would be close,” Fosdick said.
Mallek’s birdie on 17, coupled with Fosdick’s bogey, put the Prep junior up 2 with a hole left. But he double-bogeyed 18 and Fosdick made par.
“I had the tee first, hitting driver trying to put pressure on him. I hit it left,” Mallek said. “Overall, I’m happy. I like where we are as a team but I’d rather have not double-bogeyed 18.”
Aurora and No. 5 golfer Kevin Morris (75) helped Hamden finished third (311) followed by Hand (321) behind Matt Doyle’s 76, and Notre Dame-West Haven (322) behind Robert Ludwig’s 77.
Xavier won last year’s Division I tournament and lost in a playoff two seasons ago to Simsbury.
“What I like about our guys is we played really well on the road. We’ve been very consistent all year across the board. This gives us a lot of confidence,” Kohs said.
SCC BOYS GOLF CHAMPIONSHIP
(at Race Brook CC)
Team results: 1. Xavier, 304; 2. Fairfield Prep, 308; 3. Hamden, 311; 4. Hand, 321; 5. Notre Dame-West Haven, 322; 6. Sheehan, 337; 7. Cheshire and Guilford, 341; 9. Law, 385.
Chris Fosdick (Xavier) and Will Mallek (Fairfield Prep), 71; Alex Aurora (Hamden), 72; Kevin Morris (Hamden), 75; Kyle St. Pierre (Shelton), 76; Michael McKeon (Daniel Hand), 76; Matthew Doyle (Daniel Hand), 76; Drew Bellina (Cheshire), 77; Kevin Lynch (Xavier), 77; Patrick Kennedy (Xavier), 77; Robbie Ludwig (Notre Dame), 77; Tommy Rosati (Notre Dame), 78; Jack Kane (Fairfield Prep), 78; Joe Colavito (Xavier), 79.