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Evan Grenus Claims Medalist Honors with 3-Under 68

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Watertown, Conn. – Evan Grenus of TPC River Highlands shot a 3-under par 68 to earn medalist honors at the 72nd Connecticut Junior Amateur Championship. The state’s oldest junior amateur championship is being held July 8th – 11th at the 6,423 yard, par 71 Watertown Golf Club.

The Connecticut Junior Amateur Championship presented by Cobra Puma Golf 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.

Grenus, who was a Quarterfinalist in last year’s Connecticut Junior, made five birdies and two bogeys on his round. Grenus began the day with a birdie and six pars, before making a pair of bogey’s on Holes #7 and #9 to turn at 1-over par. However, Grenus would rebound and go on to make four birdies on his inward nine to shoot a blistering 31, the lowest back nine score recorded by any competitor in the field.

“I played really solid today,” said Grenus. “I didn’t really miss too many shots, and just tried to focus on hitting fairways and greens.”

At sixteen years old, Grenus will try to become just the sixth medalist in the events’ extensive history to win both the stroke play qualifying and match play championship trophies in the same year. The feat was last accomplished by John VanDerLaan of Hertitage Village Country Club in 2012.

VanDerLaan entered this year's tournament as the defending champion, and successfully qualified, claiming the 6th seed after a round of two-over par 73.

“Considering I didn’t hit the ball that well, I am pretty satisfied with my round. I scrambled quite a bit and was able to scrape out a good score despite my ball striking,” said VanDerLann.

VanDerLaan will face Joshua Unkrich of Pequabuck Golf Club in his first round match as he looks to become the first repeat champion since Geoffrey Walker won back-to-back titles in 1993 and 1994.

“It would be pretty cool. Winning this championship once was great, but to win back-to-back titles would be really special. I’m just going to try to keep playing my game and stay aggressive.”

In order to defend his title, John could potentially face his brother Michael in match play, who also qualified as the 14th seed. The two would face each other in the Round of 16 should they both win their first two matches tomorrow.

Last year’s Runner-Up, Patrick Hallisey of TPC River Highlands, also advanced with the second lowest round of the day, shooting a 2-under par 69. Hallisey entered the tournament as the top ranked junior in the field and is looking for redemption after losing in the finals to VanDerLaan last year, 3 and 1.

A playoff at a score of 77 (+6) was required to determine the final match play seeds, with thirteen players vying for a coveted seven spots. Six players birdied the first playoff hole, with six others continuing play with pars. A birdie on the third playoff hole by Eric Austin secured the final spot in match play.

Among those advancing in the playoff was Eddie Hill of Crestbrook Park Golf Club, who was a member of the victorious 2012 New England Junior Team, and Patrick Albanesi, winner of the 2012 Golfweek New England Junior Invitational.

The Round of 32 and Round of 16 Matches will be played on Tuesday beginning at 7:30 a.m. The championship will conclude on Thursday morning with an 18-hole final. For more information and live scoring, visit