Lang, Barrand win Golfweek New England Junior
Jackson Lang’s back-to-back rounds of 71 at Mohegan Sun Country Club were set up by his short game. The 16-year-old set the pace in the opening round of the Golfweek New England Junior in Baltic, Conn., and the rest of the field never could catch up.
Lang, an up-and-comer who calls this victory the best of his young career, said being the leader was a new experience for him.
“I can’t say I’ve done it many times before,” Lang said, “but I think having the lead is a great thing because it gives you a jump on the competition.”
Lang, a native of Lexington, Mass., said his rounds were similar in that there was a lot of scrambling and a lot of putts dropping. He finished at 2-under 132.
“It was a really tough course and you had to be sharp all the time,” Lang said.
On Thursday, Lang’s round included two bogeys and three birdies. He holed a bunker shot at the par-3 fourth, made a 10-footer for birdie at the par-5 13th and holed a 25-footer for birdie at No. 16. Lang said he had a good feeling on the greens all week, and it produced his first victory this year.
In the girls’ division, Katie Barrand also did the wire-to-wire trick, opening with 4-over 76 then holding off a charge by Sophie DePetrillo. Barrand closed in 80 for a 12-over 156 total and a one-shot victory.
Barrand avoided the urge to panic after bogeying her first hole in Round 2, but fought back and had regained confidence by the time she birdied No. 4. A rain delay killed her momentum on the back nine. Play was halted for an hour after Barrand teed off at No. 13, and she struggled with her putting when she returned to the course. Barrand three-putted Nos. 16, 17 and 18 coming in, but made no worse than bogey on the back 9.
“I just stayed in the shot that I was hitting and I relaxed,” she said.
Barrand, 17, is a two-sport athlete at The Governor’s Academy in Beverly, Mass., and hasn’t decided if she wants to play golf or soccer in college. She plays center back for her high school and club soccer teams, and is the only girl on the boys’ golf team.
“I love them both,” Barrand said of the two sports.
On Thursday, golf prevailed.