GOLF A perfect finish
Whether it was a dual match that followed several formats or a tournament, the Brunswick School golf team just couldn’t be topped this spring.
One by one, the Bruins crossed each of their lofty goals off their list and by season’s end, they accomplished more than any squad in program history.
When Brunswick registered a first-place finish at the Silo Ridge Challenge Cup on Wednesday in Amenia, N.Y., the championship result capped an absolutely perfect season.
“We participated in 15 events, including five tournaments and emerged victorious in all of them, going 48-0,” Brunswick coach Anthony Fischetti said. “This team set extremely high goals and then went out and achieved them all. Their consistency was the hallmark. The team played well to start the season and never really had any sort of dip. It’s hard to win a golf tournament — to win five in the space of a month is remarkable. To do so when you’re favored to win and the rest of the field has placed a target on your back, is even more noteworthy.”
One of the first signs of special season in the making occured when the Bruins won its own Invitational Tournament for the first time since 2014 on April 25, at The Round Hill Club. Charlie Marvin shot a 73, Connor Belcastro posted a 75, Matt Camel had a round of 77 and Matty Dzialga and Ben Carpenter registered rounds of 78 and 79, respectively for the Bruins in the four-team event that saw the squad compile an aggregate score of 309.
A week later, Brunswick finished first at the four-team Greenwich Invitational at The Stanwich Club in Greenwich, tallying a four-player aggregate score of 299. Camel carded a 73, Belcastro and Marvin each shot a 74, while Carpenter posted a 78.
Belcastro, Camel, Marvin and Dzialga are each seniors, who will graduate from Brunswick next week.
“They have been on the varsity team since they were freshman, so there are 20 years of varsity experience on the team,” Fischetti said. “It’s tough to manufacture that experience.”
Belcastro will join the golf team at Princeton University.
“Connor is a thinking man’s golfer, he has a wealth of knowledge regarding the history of the game,” Fischetti said. “He’s into the technology of the game and he’s an encyclopedia of golf knowledge. It’s fun to talk golf with him.”
Camel will continue his golf career at Northwestern University. He’s also experienced a lot of success in junior tournaments during the summer months. Last July, he won an AJGA title — the Circle K Championship — with a 19-under-par 197. He tied an AJGA 54-hole tournament record by shooting 19-under — a score highlighted by an eye-popping two-hole-in-ones.
“Matt is a golf technician, who really knows the game,” Fischetti said of Camel, who competed in the drive-chip-and-putt competition at Augusta National on Sunday morning of Masters week when he was a ninth grader. “He is going to Northwestern with a wealth of experience, after being so consistent and steady for us. He’s been around par every time he’s played.”
Fixtures in the lineup for several seasons, Dzialga and Marvin, both of whom have made their mark on most of the courses they’ve played, are also graduating.
“Matty is another very solid player,” Fischetti said. “He has been a little bit under the radar because of Connor and Matt, but I think it suits his comfort zone. Charlie has been on a steady growth pattern in terms of improvement,” Fischetti said. “He goes on birdie barrages when he gets hot.”
Such was the case at the Greenwich Invitational at Stanwich, as he recorded five birdies over the first 11 holes. Carpenter, a junior, will be relied upon for leadership on next spring’s squad.
“Ben would be No. 1 on almost every team we play,” Fischetti said. “He can do his thing in relative anonymity.”
Brunswick’s first tournament win of the season came on April 13 when it claimed the Hotchkiss Invitational with a team score of 183 — 21 strokes better than runner-up Salisbury School. Junior Chase Caffray shot a 1-under-par 34, Camel fired a 35, Marvin finished with a 36 and junior Bladen Smith posted a 38.
At the Western New England Prep Golf Invitational last week at Bull’s Bridge Golf Club in South Kent, Brunswick (388) won the 17-team event by six strokes over second-place finisher Avon Old Farms School.
Carpenter shot a 2-over-par 74, Belcastro had a round of 75 and Camel carded a 76.
“We played to a five-player average of 76, which was very impressive,” Fischetti said. “Last year we won it for the first time, so there was some pressure on our guys. They walked in there knowing they were expected to win.”
The Bruins’ season concluded Wednesday with its victory at the Silo Ridge Challenge Cup, as it topped 10 teams at the event. On the par-35 layout, the teams played a four-ball format in teams of two players. The two low paris counted for the team total and the duo of Carpenter and Caffray shot a tournment-best 29 for the Bruins. Smith and freshman Owen Hayes carded a 32, while Belcastro and Marvin posted a 34.
Fischetti, a history teacher at Brunswick’s middle school, taught most of his Bruins golfers when they were youngsters.
“I have known these guys since they were little boys, now they’re young men, looking forward to going to college,” Fischetti said. “That’s a very special thing for me. It’s going to be emotional for me on graduation day.”
Fischetti was impressed with the togetherness the team displayed throughout the season.
“A golf team doesn’t really have a locker room, but we had an incredible locker room,” he said. “Everyone got along great during our van rides, road trips and meals together. When I see players from season’s past, that’s what the talk about — the camaraderie they shared.”
This season’s seniors will indeed, be missed.
“The seniors will be gone, but they left a great legacy behind,” Fischetti said. “I don’t think you can replace a group like this, but our returning players can start a new legacy next year.”