John VanDerLaan captures the 71st Connecticut Junior title -- photo CSGA
WATERTOWN, Conn. (July 12, 2012) -- Co-medalist and number one seed John VanDerLaan from Heritage Village Country Club defeated number fifteen seed Patrick Hallisey of Shuttle Meadow Country Club 3&1 in the final of the 71st Connecticut Junior Amateur at Watertown Golf Club Thursday morning. VanDerLaan, who attends Pomperaug High School, is only the fifth medalist to go on to win the match play championship in the event's 71 year history.
Patrick Hallisey, a student at Kingswood Oxford School, took an early lead in the match by making birdie on the first and par on the second to VanDerLaan's par and bogey to go 2 up. Hallisey would then bogey the third, fifth and sixth holes while VanDerLaan made par to put him at 1 up. VanDerLaan was able to get to 2 up on ten and 3 up on twelve. Hallisey would win thirteen to close to within two but he gave that back on fifteen when he was unable to get up and down from the left hand bunker on the 160 yard par three. VanDerLaan was dormie on the par 5 sixteenth when both players hit to the middle of the fairway on their tee shots. VanDerLaan played first and elected to play a conservative shot short of the green. Hallisey pressed with an agressive shot which landed on the green pin high twenty feet away. He would two putt to win the hole with a four to VanDerLaan's five, keeping the match alive. The match ended 3&1 when VanDerLaan made par to Hallisey's bogey on the seventeenth hole.
Nearly one hundred players competed in stroke play vying to be one of the thirty two to make match play. John VanDerLaan and Eric Austin of Lyman Orchards Golf Club were co-medalists shooting even par 71. Between stroke play and match play the winner and runner-up played 95 and 102 holes respectively over four days.
Malcolm McLachlan, Director of Rules & Competitions for the CSGA congratulated the players and thanked the Watertown Golf Club for their hosptiality and the condition of the course at the awards lucheon following the event. This year was the fifty-seventh time Watertown has hosted the Conn. Junior Amateur and thirty-second in a row.