The CSGA Links Volume 6 Issue 4 August 2018 - Page 13

I AT JUNIOR AMATEUR Patient, come-from- behind style surprises strong field at Watertown c onnor Belcastro plays from behind more often than the New York Mets. In the 77th Connecticut Junior Amateur final at Water- town Golf Club, Belcastro came from behind for the fourth time in five matches to defeat Matt Doyle of Madison and take home the William A. Salvatore trophy. Down two after the opening nine, a familiar position for him, Belcastro won four straight holes to overtake 15-year-old Doyle, whose steady putting had begun to falter. After winning 15 with par, Belcastro closed things out with another on 16. “You know, I really don’t feel uncomfortable coming from behind,” said the 17-year-old from Rowayton. “I’ve kind of learned to play when down. It doesn’t bother me to be down. But maybe it’s about time I learned how not to do that!” Doyle, who the day before had defeated highly-regarded Justin Mathew, one of only two Connecticut juniors to qualify for the U.S. Junior Amateur at Baltusrol Golf Club, was not able to place his approaches as close as he had earlier in the week. Three putts from the fringe on both ten and 11 hurt. “It’s tough when you’re leaving yourself 50- and 60-foot- ers,” Doyle said. “Off the tee I was leaving myself in places where it was was difficult to get the ball close. My distance control was not quite there.” When he did put an approach close, as he did on the par-5 seventh and the 12th, so did Belcastro, who birdied both. Normally accurate off the tee, Doyle had driven it out of bounds on the 13th, exacerbating his problems. He hit his fourth to about 12 feet and made the putt for five, Belcastro, after leav- ing a 40-foot approach putt more than ten feet long, made the come-backer. It was at 13 that things might have gone very differently were it not for a moment of sportsmanship on Doyle’s part. Belcastro had moved is marker for Doyle, and was about CSGA Links // August 2018 13