FAIRFIELD — To say the Greenwich boys golf team is on a roll is putting it mildly.
Two days after sweeping the top five places at the annual Hap Holahan Tournament, the Cardinals had five golfers shoot in the 70s on their way to capturing their third consecutive FCIAC championship with a team score of 292 at Fairchild Wheeler Golf Course in Fairfield.
Greenwich won by eight strokes over the runner-up Darien, which scored 300. The Cardinals had also edged the Wave, 146-147, in the final dual meet of the regular season last week.
“After Tuesday’s round at Woodway in the Holahan, seeing those one through five spots, we had some good vibes and momentum coming into today,” Greenwich coach Jeff Santilli said. “We knew it was going to be a grind with Darien and halfway through the match it was dead even. In the end, the last few holes, we had a few players have some clutch holes and that was the difference.”
“Honestly, I’m at a little bit of a loss for words,” said senior Jackson Fretty, who led the Cards with a 71. “I’m just so proud of our team. On this kind of course, you’ve just got to hang in there. We grinded really hard today. These 18-hole matches are marathons and whichever team is mentally tough is going to come out on top. Our team definitely did that today.”
Ridgefield was third with a 308, followed by New Canaan and Warde (313 each), Staples (322), Ludlowe (343) and Wilton (344).
The Cardinals’ lineup featured Ben Ropiak with a 72, which was good for fourth place overall, and Billy Nail with a 74. Tyler Donnellan, who won the Holahan title with a 73 at Woodway on Tuesday, finished off the scoring with a 75. Tyler Sudell’s 78, which would have been in the top four scores on every other team, was dropped.
Alex Gu led Darien with a 69, with Henry Sparkman and Thomas Ostberg both shooting 74s. Blake Swiggett and Calvin Smith had 83s.
Ridgefield had a strong performance with four players in the 70s. Mark Habeeb and Brandon Tuccio were the team leaders with 76s, while Oliver Frossell and Chris Lang had 78s.
New Canaan senior Gunnar Granito took FCIAC medalist honors by shooting a 3-under par 68, edging Gu for the top spot. Gu was 2-under with a 69, followed by Fretty’s 71 in third place.
“It’s a great feeling,” Granito said. “Honestly, I haven’t played great here in the past and I didn’t know what it was going to be like today. I’ve just been swinging real easy and I have good control over the ball and where it’s going. And the putter’s starting to finally heat up a little bit.”
Granito, who played in the No. 1 foursome with Gu, Fretty and Staples’ Colin Cusa, was 5-under after a big finish on the front nine.
“I put an eagle on eight and a birdie on nine and all of a sudden I was five under,” Granito said. “That helped me take off and gave me a little room to work with. (The eighth) was a par five and I hit an average drive into play. I hit a 4-iron on the approach and it looked like it was just left of the green, and then I jammed a 40-footer, just nailed the pin, so I kind of dodged a bullet there.”’
Many of the same teams will be featured again in the CIAC Div. I championship at Timberline GC in Kensington on Monday.
Santilli said his Cardinals have to come ready to play again.
“We know we still have work to do on Monday with these same teams coming back,” Santilli said. “If one player on Darien shoots a little better today, it’s a different story, so we’re going into Monday with the same mentality as we had today. It’s going to be close. Seeing the quality of the golfers we have and Darien has, it’s going to be a battle again.”
“I’ve never been on this deep of a team. Top to bottom, we have five really great guys playing on the team right now and we’re all peaking at the right time, which is huge. It’s really nice to see out team playing to its potential when it counts the most.” — Greenwich senior Jackson Fretty
FCIAC BOYS GOLF CHAMPIONSHIP
at Fairchild Wheeler Black Course, par 71
GREENWICH (292): Jackson Fretty 71, Ben Ropiak 72, Billy Nail 74, Tyler Donnellan 75 Tyler Sudell 78.
DARIEN (300): Alex Gu 69, Henry Sparkman 74, Thomas Ostberg 74, Blake Swiggett 83, Calvin Smith 83.
RIDGEFIELD (308): Mark Habeeb 76, Brandon Tuccio 76, Oliver Frossell 78, Chris Lang 78, Colin Hogan 88.
NEW CANAAN (313): Gunnar Granito 68 (FCIAC medalist), Sam Ives 79, Marc DeGaetano 81, Liam O’Neil 85, Taylor Pinkernell 88.
WARDE (313): Ashton Lewis 72, Christian Homa 73, Ben Zeisler 80, Harry Dehler 88, Ammar Ali 98.
STAPLES (322): Ben Kurtz 78, Colin Cusa 79, Sam Baxt 81, Max Minella 64, Fraser Lyons 86.
LUDLOWE (343): Peter Meehan 83, Noah Bass 85, Cooper Cerny 87, Ryan Grady 88, James Mockler 89.
WILTON (344): Alex Elia 75, Devin Filaski 86, Robert Hickey 90, Andrew Smith 93, Will Gioffre 94.