Roller pg 6 5-16-19


Woodstock Academy senior Mason Stewart putts from off the green in a match against Putnam and Plainfield last week at the Quinnatisset Country Club. Last week Stewart finished fourth best among ECC golfers at the Wildcat Invitational. Photo by Joel Tretheway/Woodstock Academy

It was a bit of a roller coaster ride for the Woodstock Academy boys’ golf team this past week as far results were concerned.
Where it came to performance, the Centaurs were pretty consistent.
The Centaurs began the week with a 14th-place finish May 6 in the 47th annual Wildcat Invitational at the Norwich Golf Course, the first 18-hole event of the season for the local teams.
The Centaurs were consistent, shooting a 188 on the front and 189 on the back at the Invitational.
Woodstock Academy picked up a pair of wins at home May 7 at the Quinnatisset Country Club over Plainfield, 7-0, and Putnam which could field only three golfers.
The Centaurs returned to the Norwich Golf Course May 8 to play NFA and Old Lyme.
The Wildcats finished 15 strokes better than the Centaurs in the Wildcat.
Woodstock Academy turned that around and finished with a 186 total, just two strokes better than NFA, but good enough for the 4-3 dual match victory.
Old Lyme was also in the mix and despite the fact that the Centaurs bested them in aggregate score by just a stroke, Woodstock Academy posted the 6-1 victory.
The Centaurs played some of their best golf of the week May 9 at the Elmridge Golf Course in Stonington.
Unfortunately, it didn’t net them a victory. The Centaurs fired an aggregate 177, but fell five strokes short and lost to the Bears, 6-1.
Woodstock Academy goes into the week with a 7-2-1 record, 0-1-1 in Div. II of the ECC.
Mason Stewart had a respectable finish at the Wildcat. The Woodstock Academy senior shot an 80, fourth best among ECC golfers and tied for seventh overall, to lead the Centaurs to a 377 aggregate total.
There is another reason why Garceau wanted the Centaurs to participate in the Norwich Invitational. It was the first chance to play 18 holes. Regular season matches are only nine holes while postseason tournaments are double that.
Xavier won the event for a third consecutive year with a 307 stroke total while East Lyme came in second with a 326 and East Catholic was third at 330. The weather, as has been noted, has been less than perfect. That wasn’t the case for the Wildcat which experienced some of the best weather thus far this spring.
But the wetness and early season course preparation made things challenging.
Add to that, the task of playing double the normal amount of holes in a high school match.
“You run out of energy really fast, a lot quicker than you do in nine holes. The hardest part is to stay mentally focused.” Stewart said.
The senior said not all that much went right for him. He thought he had a couple of nice putts, but nothing really special and for the most part, he was battling inner demons.
“I could improve off the tee. I don’t think I hit one fairway all day. I was scrambling. Just waiting for the range to open (at Quinnatisset) so I can work on what I need to work on,” Stewart said.
Stewart said he normally spends a lot of the time on the range, but due to the wetness, it’s not available to golfers at Quinnatisset yet.
It left him a little frustrated
Garceau thinks Stewart has the talent to play golf in college although Stewart has committed to a stint in the Army.
Owen Borski shot a 93 for the Centaurs.  It was a case of Home Sweet Home for the Centaurs against the Panthers and Clippers.
Stewart fired a 3-over par 39 for the Centaurs while McDermott went low again and missed on his second medalist finish of the season by finishing a stroke behind his teammate.
 Borski added a 43 for the Centaurs.
Stewart (43), Borski (50) and Jake Starr (46) won their matches against NFA and the added point from the aggregate score pulled the Centaurs past the Wildcats and Old Lyme.
They weren’t so fortunate against the Bears. Only McDermott won his individual match with a 44. Stewart shot a 42 at Elmridge while Borski equaled McDermott’s performance.
“The golf side of the team is on track.  Statistically, all of the boys are improving their scores at a steady pace.  Their swings are improving and all the indicators show this.  Golf is a game of confidence.  The place we need to most improve is in our confidence.  It’s hard to do.  Once the boys make a decision to play a stroke in a particular manner, with a given club, they must commit.  The biggest mistakes I see are not with execution but with a failure of confidence in themselves.  We are to the point on the season that they need to understand just how good they are.  They need to learn that they can make a shot under pressure and to win a tournament. Many of the boys need to learn to believe in themselves,” Garceau said.
Marc Allard
Sports Information Director
The Woodstock Academy


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