GOSHEN — A day after Torrington’s Jon Ledda and Anthony Marinelli finished second in Wolcott’s two-man Stigberg Memorial Tournament, Watertown’s Ian Wivestad shot his best score of the season (38) to lead the Indians to a 174-187 win over the Red Raiders at a cold and blustery Torrington Country Club Thursday afternoon.
Ledda and Marinelli were still on target with a 38 and 39, but the chilly wind shot their teammates into the 50s and 60s while Watertown’s Thomas Morissey (44), David Aquavia (45) and Hayley Zemaitis (47) managed to stay in the 40s.
The win moves Watertown (8-2-1) into sole possession of third place in the NVL behind Holy Cross and St. Paul Catholic following an early-season loss to the Red Raiders (7-3).
Ledda, a junior, shared medalist honors with Wivestad with a birdie and three bogies, one of which turned out to be a bogus bogey.
“His tee shot looked like it was going out of bounds, so he took a drop, hit the ball, then found his first shot a little ways up the fairway,” Torrington coach Mike McKenna said.
The lost stroke was more indicative of the weather than anything else, when a sudden temperature drop, accompanied by a bitter wind left most of the under-dressed players liking the prospect of warmth even more than a good score.
Ledda, who led last year’s team as a sophomore, knows good scores. He posted a 34 to go with Marinelli’s 35 at the Stigberg at Wolcott’s nine-hole Farmingbury Hills on Wednesday.
Last week, against Naugatuck and Wolcott at the Par 72 Torrington Country Club, he put up his lowest score of the season (33) with four birdies and just one bogey.
Waterbury and Torrington both have sterling programs founded, in part, on great golf courses in their communities, yet each team has just five players this year.
Thursday’s weather might account for a shred of the absence, but the rest is a mystery.
“We play on one of the nicest courses in the state of Connecticut and they don’t come out,” said McKenna, who is also Torrington’s Athletic Director. “I don’t understand it.”
Ledda, a lifelong golfing fan, posited that “teams in the past had kids whose parents were members at Torrington Country Club. Now, we don’t see that as much.”
The Indians play at the Waterbury Golf Club, one of the best public courses in the state and still the numbers have dwindled from fifth-year Coach Jan Wivestad’s first two years.
“There are a lot of sports being offered now,” Jan Wivestad said. “We lost one of our players to lacrosse. Golf takes a lot of time and it’s a difficult sport. We have a lot of junior programs so, hopefully, we have more kids in the pipeline.”
Wednesday’s Stigberg Tournament is one ongoing answer for the best of the area’s high school players.
After Platt Tech’s Matt Allan and O’Brien Tech’s Kendall Evans combined for the championship with a 66, Torrington’s 69 was second. Gilbert’s Conor Bailey and Dylan Keith were third with a 72.
Watertown’s Wivestad and Dave Aquavia finished 11th with an 80.