Albanesi, Southard win at Golfweek's New England Junior
Patrick Albanesi used a final-round, even-par 72 to clear Sean Smothers by two shots and win the boys division at the 54-hole Golfweek New England Junior on Tuesday afternoon. The event was played at the par-72 Blue Hill Country Club in Canton, Mass.
Meanwhile, Isabel Southard cruised to a four-shot victory on the girls side, firing a 4-over 76 on Tuesday to clinch the win.
The players completed 36 holes on Monday and finished with 18 on Tuesday.
Albanesi, a soon-to-be junior in high school, fired rounds of 68-72-72 to beat Sean Smothers of Tamarac, Fla., by two shots and finished 4 under for the tournament. Mark Reilly of Babylon, N.Y. and Brian Carlson of Madison, Conn., finished T-3 with a 216 total.
Albanesi, of Avon, Conn., has been playing well this summer. He recently posted a T-5 finish at the AJGA Killington Junior Golf Championship in June. But winning a tournament means a lot.
“I’ve had some good finishes, but I haven’t won a tournament this summer,” said Albanesi. “So it’s really special.”
Albanesi displayed a solid all-around game to win, noting that his putter was huge the first day. Blue Hill is known for fast, tricky greens. Albanesi said the greens were rolling around 11.5-12 on the stimpmeter and that he didn’t miss a putt inside 7 feet during the first 36 holes.
The final round was a different story. During Day 1 he had to rely on his putter. On Day 2 his ball-striking was crucial to getting the win, as he hit around 15 greens in the final round. The boys played the par-72 course from 6,646 yards.
“I three-putted on the second hole from about 12 feet (on Tuesday),” said Albanesi. “I was really mad at myself. But after that I made seven pars in a row and I kind of steadied myself.”
Albanesi didn’t play with the eventual second-place finisher, and therefore didn’t know where he stood in the tournament standing on the last tee. He only had a one-shot lead.
“I didn’t know that,” Albanesi said. “I thought I had a two- or three-shot lead.”
He managed to make a birdie on the par-5 finishing hole.
“(Not knowing the lead) was kind of a blessing,” said Albanesi.
Southard, of Sharon, Mass., was able to take home the title with rounds of 75-80-76 to beat Vinh-Hop Ngo of Newton, Mass., by four strokes. Sophie DiPetrillo of Dover, Mass., finished third, five shots back.
“I’m glad I won, obviously,” said Southard. “I haven’t had a really good summer actually…so I guess it’s nice to have a win under my belt.”
Southard, who will be playing at Boston College in the fall, thought the format of the tournament prepared her well for when she eventually steps foot on campus.
“(The 36 holes on Monday) wasn’t as bad as I thought it would be,” said Southard. “I think it was good to see what it’s like to do that in a tournament just because it’s going to be like that in college.”
Heading into the final round, Southard only had a one-shot lead on Ngo, but she wasn’t worried.
“I was pretty confident I was going to win,” Southard said. “I wasn’t really thinking about (the other players). I’m pretty good at playing my own game and not worrying about other people.”
Blue Hill has hosted several professional tournaments, including seven LPGA tour events during the early 1990s and also hosted a men’s PGA Championship in 1956, won by Jack Burke, Jr.