BERLIN – Timberlin Golf Club professional Jeff Coderre and assistant professional Chuck Lasher have a lot to be proud of after the club hosted the Stan Trojanowski Memorial Tournament. A pair of familiar faces to the course came out on top, making a sunny day that much brighter for those who call the course home.
Berlin residents Kevin Josephson and Ryan Lee won the 16-17 and 13-15 year old age groups respectively, with Lee shooting his first ever sub-70 score, and the best on the day by any golfer, finishing at 69.
Josephson shot one stroke behind him at 70. Both are very familiar with the course after playing there for Berlin High the past two seasons and being club members.
“It was great,” Josephson said. “We got to play together today. We were just feeding off each other the whole day.”
Lee, who claimed his first tournament victory, talked about the advantage of familiarity.
“You know where to hit it, where the ridges are on the green. You usually get [good approach shots] considering you know which way the green breaks.”
Josephson will be a senior at Berlin next year and has been the team's top golfer the past two years, but Lee is quickly catching up in size and talent.
“The length [of his shots] and focus [are much improved],” Josephson said. “He can grind it out. He didn't finish over 40 very much [this season] and that's key.”
Lee says playing alongside Josephson is still sometimes intimidating.
“It's hard to play with him, because you think you hit a good drive and he's sixty yards past you.”
The boys weren't the only ones weaving a great story as the girls 13-15 division needed a sudden-victory playoff between Newington's Kirsten LaPointe and Liz Monty, a Suffield Academy student and North Granby native. The pair each shot 82, the low score on the day among the female competitors.
Monty won on the first playoff hole, shooting par 5 on the first hole. Her second shot, a well-struck five-wood from the short rough, set up a short chip and two-putts.
“I heard my dad say to me the other day 'never hit a five-wood out of the rough',” Monty said. “But I did it anyways and it worked.”
LaPointe, who said she struggled with near misses in her putting game throughout the day, hit her tee shot on the playoff into a right-side fairway bunker, and was unable to escape cleanly before bogeying the hole.
“It wasn't nerves, it was just a bad first shot,” LaPointe said. She added that she could not be very disappointed placing second in her first tournament of the summer.
Monty's older sister Laura placed second in the 16-17 age bracket, shooting 85. The pair play for the Suffield Academy boys' team.
Michelle Winkler shot 84 to win the older division, ironically making the low scorers for boys and girls both in the lower age range.
Berlin's Erica Barnes shot 88, good for third in her age bracket and sixth overall.
In the 10-12 age bracket, Matthew Naumec (42) and Andra Frappier (49) won for boys and girls respectively, in a nine-hole format.
The event, sponsored by the Connecticut section of the PGA Junior Golf Association, was run by brothers and Kensington natives Cody and Brent Paladino, each of whom won many junior tournaments over the past several years.