Darien's Ostberg takes fourth place in Holahan Invitational
DARIEN -- Will Essigs was pleased with his round of 73 at the Hap Holahan Invitational Tuesday, but the New Canaan High School senior didn't think it would be enough to win the annual tournament.
"I bogeyed 17 and 18 and when I bogeyed 18 I thought for sure that was it," Essigs said. "I was 1-under on the 17th tee, so I thought I would have to hold that."
Yet less than an hour after concluding his round, Essigs received a pleasant surprise -- he was the 2013 Holahan Invitational champion.
Inclement weather made the already challenging Wee Burn Country Club golf course even tougher Tuesday, but Essigs still carded a 1-over-par 73 to claim the first-place medal. Greenwich High School senior Danny Guise was the runner-up with a 2-over-par 75, while Cardinals junior Paul Pastore finished third (78).
"It feels great," Essigs said. "We all know what an amazing golfer Danny is, so it feels great to come out on top, especially with how well some of those later groups played. This is the biggest high school tournament I've won."
Guise was 2-over-par through five holes, but holed two straight birdie putts to get back to even-par. He was even going into No. 14, but made a double bogey, then bogeyed No. 15.
"Overall, it was a solid round, but I wish I finished better," Guise said. "You have to really concentrate out there in this type of weather. It was fun to go out there and hit shots you don't normally hit. It was tough, but it was a fun day. Will played great, he hung in there the whole way."
Pastore, who teamed up with Guise to win the Chappa Invitational at Longshore Golf Course last week, knew it was going to be a challenging round from the start.
"It was really cold and rainy and the greens were very tough," Pastore said. "In these type of conditions you had to hit it in the right spot. Every single hole, you had to do that. I hit it well today, I just couldn't do anything on the greens."
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Christian Ostberg of Darien finished fourth (79) along with Stephen Colodny of Staples (79). Michael Swift (New Canaan), Tyler Mazut (Fairfield Warde), Pat Adams (Trumbull) and Justin Clark (New Canaan) each shot an 80, while Connor O'Brien of McMahon carded an 81. Danbury's Max Theodorakis was one of four players that posted an 83.
"It wasn't pretty to say the least under those conditions, but my round wasn't too bad," Theodorakis said. "Toward the end I started getting into a bit of a rhythm, knocking in a few approach shots. A few holes on the back nine here are really tough, especially 14 and 15."
One of the highlights of Essig's round came when he birdied the par-4, 13th hole, hitting a five iron to within a few feet of the cup. When he got back to the club following his round, he made a point of not looking at the scoreboard.
"When I get in I try not to think about it," Essigs said. "I just like to sit and talk to people, no point in watching it when you don't have to."
Up next is the FCIAC Tournament, which takes place Thursday at Heritage Valley Country Club in Southbury. Greenwich won the title last year.
"We are all playing solid going into it and really looking forward to it," said Guise, the FCIAC's MVP. "Hopefully, we'll get it done."
at Wee Burn Country Club, par 72
Will Essigs, New Canaan, 73; Danny Guise, Greenwich, 75; Paul Pastore, Greenwich, 78; Christian Ostberg, Darien, 79; Stephen Colodny, Staples, 79; Michael Swift, New Canaan, 80; Tyler Mazut, Fairfield Warde, 80; Pat Adams, Trumbull, 80; Justin Clark, New Canaan, 80; Connor O'Brien, Brien McMahon, 81; James Henderson, Norwalk, 83; Steven Lambrinakos, Trinity Catholic, 83; Max Theodorakis, Danbury, 83; Sam Knowlton, Darien, 83; Hunter Tuccio, Ridgefield, 84; Peter Richards, Staples, 84; David Dobson, Ridgefield, 86; Ross Whelan, Staples, 86; Tim Grace, Fairfield Warde, 86; Jacob Meisel, Staples, 87; Robert Lemone, Greenwich, 87; Kieran Suri, Darien, 87; Jack Ferrone, Stamford, 88; Michael Slattery, New Canaan, 90; Andrew Feldman, Staples, 91; Jonathan Pinto, Danbury, 91; Dan Kile, Ridgefield, 92; Scott Cagganiello Wilton, 93; Tom Kelley, Fairfield Ludlowe, 94; Matt Kubli, Westhill, 97; Sean Brady, Ridgefield, 98; Oscar Grizzle, Bassick, 110