Darien Blue Wave standout Will Wilson continues to excel this summer with the Wee Burn Country Club, recently winning the 76th Connecticut Junior Amateur tournament. He beat defending champ Andrew Franz “by a score of 5 and 3” according to the CSGA.
There’s been some great players out of Wee Burn and it’s nice to be the first person to win the Junior Amateur from my club. I just tried to stay calm and take it one shot at a time.
— Will Wilson
Wilson holds the 2017 title to what is Connecticut’s oldest junior amateur championship, which was presented by Cobra Puma Golf and Golf on the Green earlier this month at the 6,423 yard, par 71 course at Watertown Golf Club in Watertown.
“Knowing the course, I figured if I could par every hole, I’d likely win the match,” Wilson said as quoted on the CSGA website announcement. “I only hit four drivers, so I was just trying to hit fairways and green and make my pars.”
Wilson beat Billy Nail from The Milbrook Club, 2-up in the semifinals, topped Tommy Dallahan of Hop Meadow CC 5 and 3 in the quarterfinals.
In the round of 16 Wilson beat Thomas Durkin from Suffield CC 1-up, and defeated Austin Rupp from Suffield CC 4 and 2 in the round of 32.
“I had a lesson from Debbie Donigar (GlenArbor Golf Club) leading up to the tournament and I hit the ball really well all week,” Wilson said.
Wilson is the first player from Wee Burn Country Club to win the Connecticut Junior Amateur Championship.
“It’s really great,” Wilson said. “There’s been some great players out of Wee Burn and it’s nice to be the first person to win the Junior Amateur from my club. I just tried to stay calm and take it one shot at a time.”
Wilson began the final match in search of capturing his first Junior Amateur title.
After taking a 1-up lead heading to the eighth tee, Wilson was able to take advantage of some errant tee shots by Franz, winning four of the next five holes to take a commanding 4-up advantage with just six holes to play.
Franz made par on the 13th hole to close the gap back to three, but Wilson quickly answered by winning the difficult par-3 14th hole with a par. With Franz in trouble on the par-3 15th hole, Wilson was faced with a thirty foot downhill slider, needing just two putts to seal the victory. He put the exclamation point on the tournament, rolling the putt into the center of the cup for a 5 and 3 victory.
Wilson missed only a handful of fairways throughout the tournament and hit four drivers in the final match.
While Wilson’s win was a first for his club, there was a first for the tournament too.
For the first time in tournament history eligibility for the Junior Amateur was expanded to include players ages 18 and under, drawing the largest number of entries in recent memory.
Wilson (DHS Class of 2018) will have an opportunity to defend his title next year at Watertown Golf Club.
Wilson qualifies to represent Connecticut on the New England Junior Team at Vermont Aug. 14-16 at Manchester Country Club, where Team Connecticut will be hoping to win a ninth title in sixteen years.
About the Connecticut Junior Amateur Championship
Conducted by the Connecticut State Golf Association, the Connecticut Junior Amateur Championship presented by Cobra Puma Golf and Golf on the Green is open to all Connecticut junior golfers who have not reached their eighteenth birthday by the start of the event. The challenging format tests the state’s best junior golfers over a single round of stroke play to determine the low thirty-two match play qualifiers.
Two rounds of match play each day culminate in an eighteen-hole final to crown the top junior player in Connecticut.
Appears in the Aug. 10 print issue of The Darien Times