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Wreckers repeat as Division I champs

Varsity - 2010 Season
Posted Friday, June 11, 2010 by Westport News
 Repeat performance! The Staples boys golf team repeated as Division I champions on Monday by shooting a 300 at Crestbrook Park Golf Course in Harwinton. Staples beat second-place Farmington (310) by 10 strokes in the 20-team field.

"I'm obviously pleased," Staples Coach Tom Owen said. "I'm not surprised because I believed the kids had it in them. What I am surprised about is the number of strokes we won by, which is unheard of at States."

Senior captain Dylan Murray shot a 72 to lead Staples and earned co-medalist for the tournament. Murray finished one over par and began the day with 14 straight pars before bogeying the 15th hole.

"I hit a lot of greens and eliminated a lot of three-puts," Murray said. "I made all the six-foot putts, which was important."

After bogeying the 15th hole, Murray birdied the 16th hole by sinking a 20-foot putt. He bogeyed the 17th hole and closed out his round with a par.

Wreckers junior captain Kirk Massie finished in a three-way tied for third and was one stroke behind Murray in shooting a 73. Massie birdied the eighth and 10th hole and was one-under par after 14 holes. He bogeyed holes 15, 16 and 17 before closing out with a par.

"It was a tough course," Massie said. "The greens were difficult to read and the course was tricky. At FCIACs, I didn't make any mistakes but at States, those holes were tough and I did one thing wrong on three straight holes which forced me to take a bogey. I limited my mistakes and when I did, I recovered."

Sophomore Austin Alianiello shot a 76 and birdied the first and 18th holes.

"I tried to take it one shot at a time and hit each shot to the best of my ability," Alianiello said.

Junior Conor Mahoney rounded out the team scoring by shooting a 79. Mahoney was eight over par with six bogeys and a double bogey.

"Winning FCIACs [on June 3] was more exciting because we haven't won it in 21 years, but States was icing on the cake," Mahoney said. "I knew I had to break 80 and shoot in the high 70s, which is what I did. I told myself that each shot counts and I knew I had to put a good swing on it every time to help my team out."

Sophomore Sam Shaffer (80) also golfed for the Wreckers but his score didn't go toward the team total.

"It feels pretty cool," Murray said. "It's obviously hard to defend the title because people are gunning for us. The key was to ignore the past and play another round of golf."

Massie said, "It was exciting to win FCIACs and follow with States like we knew we could. Everyone played solid like we did at FCIACs."

Owen said, "There's a lot going on and I give the kids a lot of credit for maintaining their focus. I give my two captains credit for keeping the kids focused on the prize at the end of the season, which are the two postseason tournaments."

Making Staples' double victory stand out even more was that it did it without last year's best golfer, Andrew Gai. Gai didn't play for the Wreckers this year so he could focus on big tournaments out of state but will return to the team next year as a senior.

"I was pleasantly surprised," Owen said. "I didn't know how losing Gai would affect us. Other teams talked about it and it wore on us. Andrew is a great golfer but I thought we were still a good team. We took it as a challenge and when we did well in the beginning of the year, we became more confident."

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