Darien golfers Carpenter, Gu and Smith advance to match play at CT Junior Amateur
Ben Carpenter and Alex Gu of Darien finished in the top four and made the cut for match play after the first round of the 78th Connecticut Junior Amateur Championship at Watertown Golf Club on Monday. Carpenter, a rising junior at Brunswick School, shot a 1-under 70 to finish third for the day, with Gu, a rising senior at Darien High School, shooting an even-par 71 and finishing in a four-way tie for fourth place. Calvin Smith, also a rising senior at DHS, was 3-over with a 74 to finish tied for 11th place. Carpenter, Gu and Smith all made the cut for match play, which begins with the Round of 32 at 8 a.m., Tuesday. Thomas Ostberg, a rising junior at DHS, shot an 8-over par 79 and did not make the cut. The highlight of Carpenter’s day was an eagle 3 on the par-5 16th, a 490-yard hole. He followed that with a birdie 3 on the 17th and a par on the 18th to finish a 1-under 34 on the back nine. Overall, Carpenter, who plays out of the Country Club of Darien, had 11 pars, three birdies and one eagle during his round. Gu has already had a remarkable spring and summer. He teamed with Smith to win the Chappa Tournament in May and then won the State Open crown in June. Two weeks ago, he won the Connecticut PGA Junior championship at Black Hall Club in New Haven. Gu was remarkably steady on Monday. After shooting a birdie and bogey on the first two holes, he had 16 straight pars to finish even for the round. Smith was 3-over with three bogeys on the front nine, before shooting an even-par 35 on the back to finish with a 74. He had one birdie and 12 pars overall. The Rounds of 32 and 16 will be played on Tuesday, followed by quarterfinal and semifinal rounds on Wednesday. The tournament will conclude with the finals on Thursday.