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Rhode Island (RIGA) Junior Amateur Championship

BY PAUL KENYON Journal Sports Writer

LINCOLN, RI (August 13, 2005) -- Garrett Medeiros made the right decision four years ago when he abandoned baseball in favor of golf. Now, he has the hardware to prove it.

Medeiros, a senior at St. Raphael, capped his rapid rise in golf yesterday when he won the 84th R.I. Golf Association Junior Championship at Lincoln.

He lost the first two holes, but rallied and beat Rhode Island County Club's Matt Broome, 4 and 3, in the scheduled 18-hole title match.

After two days of fabulous play by Medeiros and Broome, both leveled off and even struggled at times in the title match. It was Medeiros who steadied quickest and made the pivotal shots that were the difference.

"I'm glad I got away with that one. I know I didn't play that well and I'm sure he can say the same thing," Medeiros said.

Said Broome: "I just didn't make anything and I hit some bad shots. I made a couple good saves, but I didn't make anything. I never really clicked. It wasn't my day."

At the start, it looked as if Medeiros was the one in for a long day. He lost each of the first two holes to pars.

"I don't want people to get the idea I was nervous. I thought I made good swings and just came out with bad results," he said. "If there was a good side to it, it was that I lost those two early. I told myself that I know I can play better than this. I know my swing is there. It's just confidence."

While he is still relatively new to golf, Medeiros has learned how to compete, how to maintain his composure. Baseball was his sport when he was younger.

"I played from the time I was 6 years old. I was a two-time MVP in my Little League," said Medeiros, who is now 17.

"When I got to Senior League I just didn't really fall in love with it.

"The summer going into my freshman year is when I started to play golf more seriously. Before that I played once a week with my dad. That's how I got started. I just kind of quit baseball and focused on golf."

Medeiros lives in Rumford. He began making the short drive to Firefly, which is where he plays most often. He also spends a lot of time at Ledgemont, where he is working this summer. Soon after he began concentrating on golf, he came under the tutelage of Keith Allcock, the pro at Firefly. Allcock guided the progression of his game.

"He's a big part of it. He's a great guy. You're not going to find a better person than him," Medeiros said. "He gives me constructive criticism all the time." For the last year, Medeiros and Allcock have been working together even more -- Allcock took the job at St. Raphael golf coach a year ago.

This past season, Medeiros had the second-lowest stroke average in Interscholastic League play and also finished second to Brad Valois, the junior champion each of the last three years, in the Interscholastic League championship.

"It was great having (Allock) as our coach as school," Medeiros said. "He gave me a lot, confidence-wise. He's always telling me I can do it."

Earlier this summer, Medeiros finished 25th, among 180 starters in a national field, in the Optimist Juniors in Florida, a performance that boosted his confidence still more. His poise showed yesterday. Even after his bad start, he maintained his composure. He regularly spoke with his friend from Firefly and Ledgemont, Robert Marshalewski, who stepped off yardages and helped align properly.

Medeiros took the lead for the first time on the eighth, where Broome three-putted, his second putt doing a 360 around the hole and staying out. His lead went to 2-up when Broome drove in the water on 9 and bogeyed.

Broome saved par from the trees on 10 to halve that hole, but then missed a nine-footer for bird that could have drawn him closer on 11. Broome won 12 with a conceded bird to get within one. Rather than folding, Medeiros took control from there.

He won 13 with par to get his lead to 2 up. On 14, both hit excellent approaches that left birdie putts. Broome's, from 10 feet, hung on the lip.

"Come on," he moaned in frustration. But the putt would not fall. Medeiros then rolled his nine-footer in for bird and a 3-up advantage.

When Broome drove out of bounds on 15, Medeiros played conservatively and won that hole to close it out. He's now the state champion, but he hopes he is a long way from peaking.

"I know there are still some things I need to work on, both mentally and physically, but right now I'm pretty happy," he said. "I can only get better from here, I hope."

In the First Division, Jeff Sanders Jr. of Wannamoisett defeated Devin Beck of Montaup, 8 and 7. Jesse DiBaisio of Valley rallied to nip Brendan Clair of RICC in 19 holes in the Second Division. Beau Harrington of Woodland Greens topped Justin Misiaszek of Crystal Lake, 2 up, in the Third Division.

Broome will be playing in an AJGA event next week and will not be on the Rhode Island team that goes to Vermont for the New England Juniors. Medeiros will lead the team and be joined by Dave McAndrew, Danny Mollicone, Matt Sterling, Chuck Sullivan, Alex Jestings and Ben Conway.

LINCOLN -- Garrett Medeiros made the right decision four years ago when he abandoned baseball in favor of golf. Now, he has the hardware to prove it.

Medeiros, a senior at St. Raphael, capped his rapid rise in golf yesterday when he won the 84th R.I. Golf Association Junior Championship at Lincoln.

He lost the first two holes, but rallied and beat Rhode Island County Club's Matt Broome, 4 and 3, in the scheduled 18-hole title match.

After two days of fabulous play by Medeiros and Broome, both leveled off and even struggled at times in the title match. It was Medeiros who steadied quickest and made the pivotal shots that were the difference.

"I'm glad I got away with that one. I know I didn't play that well and I'm sure he can say the same thing," Medeiros said.

Said Broome: "I just didn't make anything and I hit some bad shots. I made a couple good saves, but I didn't make anything. I never really clicked. It wasn't my day."

At the start, it looked as if Medeiros was the one in for a long day. He lost each of the first two holes to pars.

"I don't want people to get the idea I was nervous. I thought I made good swings and just came out with bad results," he said. "If there was a good side to it, it was that I lost those two early. I told myself that I know I can play better than this. I know my swing is there. It's just confidence."

While he is still relatively new to golf, Medeiros has learned how to compete, how to maintain his composure. Baseball was his sport when he was younger.

"I played from the time I was 6 years old. I was a two-time MVP in my Little League," said Medeiros, who is now 17.

"When I got to Senior League I just didn't really fall in love with it.

"The summer going into my freshman year is when I started to play golf more seriously. Before that I played once a week with my dad. That's how I got started. I just kind of quit baseball and focused on golf."

Medeiros lives in Rumford. He began making the short drive to Firefly, which is where he plays most often. He also spends a lot of time at Ledgemont, where he is working this summer. Soon after he began concentrating on golf, he came under the tutelage of Keith Allcock, the pro at Firefly. Allcock guided the progression of his game.

"He's a big part of it. He's a great guy. You're not going to find a better person than him," Medeiros said. "He gives me constructive criticism all the time." For the last year, Medeiros and Allcock have been working together even more -- Allcock took the job at St. Raphael golf coach a year ago.

This past season, Medeiros had the second-lowest stroke average in Interscholastic League play and also finished second to Brad Valois, the junior champion each of the last three years, in the Interscholastic League championship.

"It was great having (Allock) as our coach as school," Medeiros said. "He gave me a lot, confidence-wise. He's always telling me I can do it."

Earlier this summer, Medeiros finished 25th, among 180 starters in a national field, in the Optimist Juniors in Florida, a performance that boosted his confidence still more. His poise showed yesterday. Even after his bad start, he maintained his composure. He regularly spoke with his friend from Firefly and Ledgemont, Robert Marshalewski, who stepped off yardages and helped align properly.

Medeiros took the lead for the first time on the eighth, where Broome three-putted, his second putt doing a 360 around the hole and staying out. His lead went to 2-up when Broome drove in the water on 9 and bogeyed.

Broome saved par from the trees on 10 to halve that hole, but then missed a nine-footer for bird that could have drawn him closer on 11. Broome won 12 with a conceded bird to get within one. Rather than folding, Medeiros took control from there.

He won 13 with par to get his lead to 2 up. On 14, both hit excellent approaches that left birdie putts. Broome's, from 10 feet, hung on the lip.

"Come on," he moaned in frustration. But the putt would not fall. Medeiros then rolled his nine-footer in for bird and a 3-up advantage.

When Broome drove out of bounds on 15, Medeiros played conservatively and won that hole to close it out. He's now the state champion, but he hopes he is a long way from peaking.

"I know there are still some things I need to work on, both mentally and physically, but right now I'm pretty happy," he said. "I can only get better from here, I hope."

In the First Division, Jeff Sanders Jr. of Wannamoisett defeated Devin Beck of Montaup, 8 and 7. Jesse DiBaisio of Valley rallied to nip Brendan Clair of RICC in 19 holes in the Second Division. Beau Harrington of Woodland Greens topped Justin Misiaszek of Crystal Lake, 2 up, in the Third Division.

Broome will be playing in an AJGA event next week and will not be on the Rhode Island team that goes to Vermont for the New England Juniors. Medeiros will lead the team and be joined by Dave McAndrew, Danny Mollicone, Matt Sterling, Chuck Sullivan, Alex Jestings and Ben Conway.

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