Watertown, Connecticut (July 8, 2021) – Thursday marked quarterfinal and semifinal action at the 80th Connecticut Junior Amateur at the Watertown Golf Club. It was another wet and dreary day in Watertown which would lead to less-than-ideal conditions for the eight remaining golfers.
So far the week has seen double-digit seeds pull off immaculate upsets, that gave us a quarterfinal with only one single-digit seed left in defending champion Matt Doyle.
Doyle (Madison Country Club) would cruise to a dominant 6&5 win over Luke Stennett (Twin Hills Country Club) in his quarterfinal match.
After making quick work of Stennett, Doyle would then await the winner of the Vasily Konachenkov-Jackson Roman match. Konachenkov (Eclub of Connecticut) would catapult his way into the semis after a 3&2 win over Roman (Shuttle Meadow Country Club).
On the flip side of the bracket, 31-seeded Connor Goode (Glastonbury Hills Country Club) would punch his ticket to the semifinals with a 2&1 win over Elias Kennon (Golf Performance Center).
Seeded only one spot ahead of Goode at 30 was Bennett Ostern (Hop Meadow Country Club) who had a comfortable victory taking down Sebastian Beaver (Salem Golf Club) 3&2 sending him into a semifinal match with Goode.
The first semifinal match between Doyle and Konachenkov would go back and forth throughout the entirety of the front nine. Doyle would take advantage of a few mistakes from Konachenkov on holes three and six where Doyle was able to walk away with par while Konachenkov found double bogeys on both.
Konachenkov would rebound nicely to finish off his front nine with a solid par on the tricky par-5 seventh and then finished off his front with a bogey that was good enough to take the hole after a double from Doyle. That would tie things up at the turn.
Doyle would then kick it into another gear on the back-nine. After ties on both 10 and 11, Doyle would go onto take holes 12-15 en route to securing a spot in his second consecutive Connecticut Junior Amateur championship match.
“It’s great to make my second consecutive final match,” said Doyle after his 4&3 semifinal victory, “I love Watertown and the Junior Amateur, it’s always one of my favorite events. I am very grateful to have found success at such a great event.”
In the second semifinal between Goode and Ostern, Goode would put himself in good position winning three of five holes in the middle portion of the front nine thanks to a birdie on the third and a solid up and down for par on the tricky par-5 seventh hole.
Goode would make the turn 1 up on Ostern and the two would go on to tie holes 10-12 before Goode was able to create some space with a par on 13 that put him 2 up with five to play. A nice par save on 14 to tie the hole followed by a par on 15 to go 3 up would put Goode in firm control with only three to play.
Inclement weather would then cause a suspension of play following the conclusion of the 15th hole.
Once the seas parted just enough for play to resume, Goode would end things quickly with a 10-foot putt from off the fringe to tie the par-5 16th hole and take the match.
“A big thing about match play is just keeping the momentum,” mentioned Goode after his triumphant semifinal victory, “All of those par putts I made, for example a 10-footer on 11 to tie the hole and keep my 1 up lead. Those allowed me to keep my momentum and stay in control of the match.”
The championship match was originally scheduled to go off early Friday morning, incoming rain and travel conflicts for Goode and Doyle has caused the final match to be scheduled at a date to be determined.
About the Connecticut State Golf Association
The Connecticut Junior Amateur is one of 19 championships conducted by the Connecticut State Golf Association. The CSGA functions as an extension of the USGA and provides stewardship for amateur golf in Connecticut. Founded in 1899, it is the country’s oldest state golf association and conducts over 60 Championships, Qualifiers, and One Day Tournaments throughout the year.