PGA Jr. League: Torrington CC All-Stars Earn 4th Trip to National Championship at Lyman Orchards
The 13u Champions at Regional 1 get a pep talk.
This weekend, 14 teams of junior golfers from the Northeast competed in the National Car Rental PGA Jr. League Regional at Lyman Orchards Golf Club in Middlefield, Conn., to determine a winner from both the 13u and 17u age divisions.
FOURTH TRIP TO NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP FOR TORRINGTON 13U ALL-STARS
In the 13u division of golfers ages 10-13, eight teams competed for a spot in the ESPN live-televised National Car Rental PGA Jr. League Championship at Grayhawk Golf Club in Scottsdale, Ariz., coming up on Oct. 6-9. The Connecticut-based Torrington CC 13u All-Stars made the win look as easy as apple pie, heading into day two with an impressive 26-under-par stroke play qualifying round on Saturday. This will mark Torrington’s fourth consecutive National Championship appearance.
Advancing to the Sunday semi-finals were New Hampshire’s Atkinson CC 13u All-Stars seeded second (-6); Massachusetts’ Norwood CC Select 13u All-Stars seeded third (-6); and Connecticut’s TPC River Highlands seeded fourth (-3). Two seed Atkinson beat three seed Norwood 8-4. Torrington faced four seed and fellow Connecticut 13u team TPC River Highlands, defeating them 8.5-3.5.
“My teammate had 77 yards in, and I holed it in… one hop, it released a little bit and went in,” said 13-year-old Rocco Capalbo of the Torrington team, after an impressive eagle in semi-final round. “I was kind of in shock, but it was a good way to start the day. We’re not done yet… We’re trying to make it to Arizona, you know. Drive to the Championship.”
Ultimately, Capalbo and his teammates got their wish––Torrington defeated Atkinson 9-3 in the championship round to claim their trip to the desert in October.
The remaining four lower seeded teams from Saturday’s stroke play qualifying––New York City’s First Tee Mosholu Bronx 13u All-Stars (-3); New York’s Upstate 1 13u All-Stars (-1); Central Massachusetts 13u All-Stars (E) and Lyman Orchards’ 13u All-Stars (+9)––could participate in an optional 9-hole, two-person scramble Raptor Shootout on Sunday. In the 13u division, Leon Bui and Rikito Araki of the First Tee Mosholu Bronx 13u All-Stars and brothers Marcus and Calvin Huang of the Central Massachusetts 13u All-Stars both took home top honors with a 4-under-par 32. Fellow Central Massachusetts 13u All-Stars brothers Cael and Dermont Duggan finished just behind at 3-under-par 33.
MASSACHUSETTS-BASED WINCHESTER 17U ALL-STARS TAKE REGIONAL DIVISION TITLE
Competing in the National Car Rental PGA Jr. League Championship Season for the second year, the growing 17u division (ages 14-17) concludes its All-Star journey at the Regional.
Sunday was a day of bracket of upsets in the 17u division––going into Sunday match play, Connecticut-based NPI 17u All-Stars were top seeded (-7); followed by the Vermont 17u All-Stars (-6); Massachusetts’ Winchester 17u All-Stars (-5); and the Lyman Orchards 17u All-Stars (-4).
In Sunday morning’s semi-finals, No. 4 Lyman Orchards defeated the No. 1 NPI All-Stars 5.5-3.5, while the No. 3 Winchester 17u All-Stars bested the No. 2 Vermont All-Stars 6.5-2.5. In the afternoon, the Massachusetts team came out victorious over the host site’s 17u All-Stars, with a 6.5-2.5 victory to become Region Champions.
In the Sunday Raptor Shootout for the non-advancing fifth seeded First Tee of Mosholu Bronx All-Stars (-3), sixth seeded Upstate 1 17u All-Stars (-2) and seventh seeded Central Massachusetts’ 17u All-Stars (+7), two pairs from the First Tee team––David Goldin-McCarthy with Diego Ocasio and Lucas Ocasio with Austin Cepeda ––captured first and second place, with a one-under-par 25 and an even-par 36, respectively.