Northern Junior: Grenus, Ding win titles
-- Northern Jr. Photo
-- Northern Jr. Photo
ELLINGTON, Conn. (Aug. 8, 2013) -- The final round of the 2013 Stan Trojanowski Northern Junior concluded today at Ellington Ridge Country Club, as Evan Grenus and Amy Ding were crowned champions of the Boys and Girls Championships, respectively.

Grenus, from Glastonbury, Connecticut, held the overnight lead after an opening round 67, while Brian Carlson of Madison, Connecticut started the day just two shots back. As anticipated, the final round provided plenty of excitement and drama between the two. Grenus maintained at least a share of the lead the entire day, while Carlson carded five birdies in an attempt to grab hold of the championship.

Connor Greenleaf of Windham, New Hampshire also held a share of the lead midway through the final round after a stretch of four birdies in a row. He would eventually share fifth place Matthew Naumec at one under par 143. Connor Rodrigues and Matt LeMay, both from Ontario, Canada, each made a charge up the leaderboard throughout the day, but had to settle for joint third place at three under par 143.

As the final round came to a close, it was Carlson who had to make a clutch birdie on the 18th hole to force a playoff with Grenus at five under par 139. The two returned to the 18th hole for a sudden death playoff, and after Grenus made a remarkable up and down from over the green on 18, the hole was tied with pars.

Moving to the par 3 17th hole, Carlson had a four foot par putt to win the championship after Grenus missed the green right. Unfortunately, Carlson failed to convert the par, and it was back to the 18th tee. This time however, it was Grenus with a chance to win. With a 20 foot birdie putt and a fist pump, Grenus finally captured the Northern Junior title he’s been wanting for so long.

“It feels amazing to have won this tournament,” said an elated Grenus. “I’ve played well on the first day of this tournament in the past, but I’m really proud of myself that I went out and played well today too, and to win in a playoff like that against Brian...what a thrill.”

Indeed, Evan is no stranger to the Northern Junior leaderboard; he’s been in contention each of the last three years. This year however, he’s leaving with his name on the trophy, and a beaming smile on his face.

In the Girls Championship, it was Amy Ding of Lexington, Massachusetts who emerged from the pack and waltzed her way to a five shot victory. Overnight leaders Alyssa Poentis of Honolulu, Hawaii and Angela Garvin of Feeding Hills, Massachusetts faded during the final round and went on to share fourth and fifth place, respectively.

Tied for second place were Lauren Thibodeau of Hampstead, New Hampshire and Catherine McEvoy of Riverside, Connecticut. Both players finished the championship at ten over par 154 after solid rounds of 75 and 78, respectively.

But it was Ding who saved the best for last carding a final round 73, the low round of the tournament by two shots. Ding was just one shot off the leaders after posting 76 on day one, and it soon became apparent that once she grabbed the lead, she wasn’t letting it go.

“Heading into today I felt like every part of my game was pretty strong, but it was my putting that really carried me,” said Ding. “I just tried to put my ball in the right places on the greens, because they’re so undulating and can be so tough if you get out of position.”

With a five shot victory, its clear Amy was doing just about everything right this week on her way to becoming a Northern Junior champion.

This year marked the 12th playing of the Stan Trojanowski Northern Junior, an internationally recognized junior championship. The 2013 field featured players from four different countries and 13 different states and provinces who have not reached their 19th birthday or entered college. More information about this year’s event can be found at Northern Junior.com. A sincere thanks to Ellington Ridge Country Club and the countless volunteers and officials who helped make this year’s Northern Junior a truly remarkable event. And congratulations to Evan Grenus and Amy Ding, champions of the 2013 Northern Junior.

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