Zach Zaback won the Connecticut Amateur Championship with a 1-up victory over Kevin Josephson of the Country Club of Farmington. The 112th Connecticut Amateur was contested at Lake of Isles Golf Club in North Stonington, Conn.
Zaback, who is a junior on the University of Connecticut golf team, led the Huskies with a scoring average of 74.85 and had an individual win at the New England Div. I Championships while leading his team to the tournament victory.
Entering the final round of the Connecticut Amateur, Zaback’s only thought was capturing his first CSGA major championship. A mission he would accomplish with his 1-up victory over Josephson, a former player on the Central Connecticut State University golf team.
“It’s an amazing feeling to win (the Amateur),” said Zaback after his victory. “I never thought I would be able to say I was the Connecticut Amateur Champion, but now I can.”
Both Zaback and Josephson entered the morning round chasing their first state title and after 18 holes the match remained all square. Both rounds were highlighted by a flurry of clutch birdies and incredible par saves with both players carding rounds of 2-under 70.
While the match remained all square through 24 holes, the turning point came on the 25th hole, the difficult par-4 seventh hole. With both players laying four in the fairway after finding the trees with their tee shots, Zaback hit a career approach to the back left hole location and drained a 10-foot downhill slider to take a 1-up lead with 11 holes to play.
“We both kind of shot ourselves in the foot there,” said Zaback. “I was able to get up-and-down for a six and win the hole which was a huge momentum boost for me.”
It was just the boost Zaback needed as he would go on to win Nos. 9 and 11 to take a 3-up lead with seven holes to play.
However, Josephson found new life and bounced back to win holes No. 12 and No. 13 narrowing the gap to one. Needing a birdie on the par-5 17th to square the match, Josephson found the green-side bunker and made a magnificent up-and-down to take the match to No. 18.
Zaback’s par on the final hole gave him a 1-up victory over Josephson and the Connecticut Amateur trophy.
Both Zaback and Josephson will be competing in the 80th Connecticut Open Championship, which will be played later this summer at Rolling Hills Country Club in Wilton, Conn.