FAIRFIELD — Her opponent had thrown down an eagle on the toughest hole on The Patterson Club golf course, then cut Mia Scarpati’s lead a little more, and then Scarpati found herself in a nasty thicket of rough off the 15th tee in the girls final of the 49th Borck Junior tournament.
Her next two shots got her square for the hole, helped her hold off Elizabeth Garfield, and were immediately memorable moments for her in a 3 and 2 win, claiming the tournament championship.
“What was going through my head was ‘she’s got this,’” said Scarpati, who plays out of Ridgewood Country Club, “but then I realized, I can still come back.”
Scarpati punched out into the fairway and lofted an 8-iron to about 3 feet from the hole. Garfield’s approach found a bunker, but though she got up and down nicely from there, Scarpati sank her putt to halve the hole and remain 3 up.
“With that pressure, I was pumped,” said Scarpati, of Ridgefield, who’ll turn 15 later this month.
Garfield was consistently longer off the tee, but Scarpati was more consistent overall.
“I wasn’t making a lot of putts,” said Garfield, 17, of Fairfield, who plays out of Tashua Knolls.
“Halfway through, the back nine, I really started getting going, getting to play my own game.”
In a boys final between friends and Fairfield Prep teammates, Will Mallek beat Jack Kane 3 and 2 on Mallek’s home course.
Mallek, 17, of Fairfield, was 4 up on the eighth fairway when the horn blew to stop play at 2:10 p.m. with lightning in the area. It took an hour for any rain to arrive, though thunder rumbled and lightning occasionally flashed well to the north. Sheets of rain followed for about a half hour before the sun came out again, leaving a steamy golf course.
“I was on a roll before the rain delay,” Mallek said. “Obviously we sat there for two hours. Kane got on a little roll.”
A pin-high 3-wood from 245 yards on No. 11 helped Kane get into the match, but it went back and forth until it ended on the 16th hole.
“I really played probably my worst-ever golf early on,” said Kane, 17, of Trumbull, who plays out of Brownson Country Club. “I flipped the switch, but I dug too deep a hole. … He played really well.”
After a poor shot on 14, Mallek said, he came back to hit an 8-iron from the 15th fairway to within 4 feet.
Garfield’s eagle started with a driver down the middle of the fairway and a 4-iron from 207 yards right at the pin. After Scarpati made par, Garfield sank the eagle putt from about 3 feet to move to 4 down.
“At that point, I was just getting angry,” Garfield said. “I knew I had to make something happen.”
She birdied the par-3 14th to get to 3 down, but they halved the next two holes.
Scarpati had just gone 2 up through five holes at the rain delay and admitted she was nervous about what might come next. But she won the next two holes coming back and was 5 up after 10.
Kane defeated Jake Ivan-Pal of Great River 2 and 1 in the morning to reach the final. Mallek defeated Wee Burn’s Jackson Bell 4 and 3.
Next year’s tournament, the 50th, will be played at Brooklawn Country Club, the Borck family’s home course.
The tournament began as a memorial to Jay Borck, who died of a cerebral hemorrhage at age 16 in 1968, and became a memorial to Jay’s brother Jim after he died of cancer 20 years later.
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