Fairfield, Connecticut (August 1, 2023) – On a splendid day at the 54th Borck Junior Tournament hosted by The Patterson Club the fields in both the boys and girls divisions were cut to four.
In the girls division top-seed Isabella Thomas (Tashua Knolls GC) won the par-5 closing hole with a birdie to defeat Claire Yu (EClub of Connecticut) 1 up. Trailing 1 down after 15 holes Thomas needed to rally late. She pulled even with a birdie on the par-3 16th and then remained tied thanks to a clutch 5-foot par on No. 17 setting the stage for the final hole heroics.
“Last year in this tournament I missed match play and this year I was really excited because I wanted to come back and be on top,” said Isabella Thomas who will begin her freshman season at the University of New Haven in a few weeks. “Honestly, it felt really good (to play well) yesterday and today. My mindset going into the final day is that I don’t want to stress myself out. I just want to play a normal round of golf. Play the whole round of golf and take it one shot at a time.”
Thomas will face Shawna Aurora (EClub of Connecticut) in the semifinals after she defeated 2021 champion Mia Holbrook (Silver Spring CC) 1 up. Aurora jumped out to a 3-up lead at the turn and still held the same lead after 11 holes. However, Holbrook had a run in her winning Nos. 12 and 16 to force play to the 18th hole. That would be where the run stopped as Aurora clinched her victory with a par on the final hole.
The second semifinal will feature Lila Reiling (CC of Fairfield) and Isabella Hassan (Rolling Hills CC). Reiling bested Sadie Lee (EClub of Connecticut) 5&3 to punch her ticket to the next round. With Lee leading 1 up after 11 holes Reiling went on a tear winning Nos. 12-15 to win the match.
Hassan advanced to the semifinals with a 1-up triumph over Maxie Mirin (Silver Spring CC). In a match that seesawed back and forth, Hassan won the final hole with a bogey to emerge victorious.
In the boys division a battle of brothers highlighted the quarterfinal matches. Match number four featured older brother Henry Graham (Greenwich CC) and younger brother Leo Graham (Greenwich CC).
Henry, 15 years old, took an early 2-up lead with wins on two of the first three holes. Leo, 14 years old, battled back winning Nos. 5 and 6 to tie the match. The match wouldn’t remain tied for long as Henry took the next three holes to take a 3-up advantage at the turn. Henry, a sophomore at the Brunswick School, extended his lead to 4 up with a victory on the par-4 10th taking firm control of a match that he would go on to win 3&2.
“It was definitely interesting to play my brother. We play all the time and he usually gets the better of me,” Henry Graham said. “If you look at the graduation classes he is only 14 years old but I think that brother-to-brother relationship got in his head a little bit. I was just able to stay steady, he made a couple of mistakes and I made pars and that is what got me the victory.”
Graham will square off against Cameron St. Pierre (Newton CC) in the semifinals. St. Pierre survived a marathon 22-hole match against Luke Hoglund (CC of Fairfield) to move on. St. Pierre led 2 up early in the tilt but Hoglund would respond and tie the match by the par-4 11th. With the match still tied after the 18th play continued until it reach the par-4 fourth, the 22nd hole of the match, which St. Pierre was able to win with a par.
In the first boys quarterfinal match Harrison Browne (Great River GC) knocked off top-seed Will Lord (Suffield CC) 7&5 in a match he never trailed. Browne will face Andrew Beauton (Pine Orchard CC) in the semifinals. Beauton, a semifinalist for a second straight year, bested Sean Watchmaker (CC of New Canaan) 3&2 to continue his run. With the match tied after 12 holes, Beauton won Nos. 13, 14, and 16 to seal the deal.
The 54th Borck Junior Tournament will continue on Wednesday morning with the semifinals beginning at 8:00 a.m. and the championship matches to follow in the afternoon.
About the Connecticut State Golf Association
The Borck Junior is one of 20 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.