NEW BRITAIN â€“ Xavier Goode earned medalist honors for New Britain in Thursdayâ€™s tri-match with Newington and Wethersfield at Stanley Golf Course.
The Hurricanes senior shot a 34, including a birdie on the 452-yard, par-five ninth hole, to finish one-under the par-35 Blue Course.
â€śXavier was very consistent as always,â€ť New Britain coach Joe Vaverchak. â€śHe struck the ball well today.â€ť
In the team scores, the Norâ€™easters edged out the Eagles 164 to 167 with Evan Oliver leading the way for Newington with a 38. Wethersfieldâ€™s Christian Bonvisuto shot a 39 as its low-scorer.
â€śIt was a good day for us,â€ť Norâ€™easters coach Jayson Barbarotta said. â€śThat was our lowest score of the year. Our guys are coming into their own with a couple matches left.â€ť
New Britain tallied a 244 as Goode was the only golfer who represented the hosts.
On the 295-yard, par-four sixth hole, Goodeâ€™s approach shot hung onto the back edge of the green, allowing the Hurricanesâ€™ No. 1 to save par. It proved to be critical as Goode found the water on the seventh hole for a bogey, before shooting par on the 136-yard, par-three eighth hole. Had Goodeâ€™s shot on six rolled off the green, the New Britain starâ€™s final score may have changed dramatically.
â€śI think a big turn was on [hole] six, when he could have went down into the woods,â€ť Vaverchak said. â€śThe ball stayed up on top and he had two tough puts to get in for par and he saved par. Seven, he went into the water, could have lost it right there, but he came back with a nice wedge to three feet and made the putt for a five.
â€śFinished strong with a par on eight and on nine, couldnâ€™t have hit two better shots coming in, putting for eagle,â€ť Vaverchak said. â€śCame up a foot, two feet short on eagle, tap-in for birdie. Nice finish for a round of 34.â€ť
Goode finished with three birdies, four pars and two bogeys.
Oliver was paired up with Goode, along with Wethersfieldâ€™s Charlie Martindale and Newingtonâ€™s Drew Gallinoto and stayed with the Hurricanesâ€™ ace all afternoon.
Two bogeys early set Oliver back, but turned it around with five straight pars. The Norâ€™eastersâ€™ top performer carded six pars and three bogeys in total.
â€śEvanâ€™s shot three rounds in a row in the 30s, so thatâ€™s good for him,â€ť Barbarotta said. â€śHe kind of broke through a couple of days ago. Heâ€™s worked so hard, Iâ€™m happy to see it for him. Heâ€™s a great kid.â€ť
Rounding out Newingtonâ€™s four scorers were J.T. Gallinoto (41), Stone Bouchard (41) and Jon Strong (44).
The Norâ€™easters are just outside the qualification mark for the state tournament and look to continue to play well down the stretch.
â€śWeâ€™re in the 16th-spot, the top-15 qualify for stateâ€™s, so weâ€™re right there,â€ť Barbarotta said. â€śWe need to shoot two great scores at home next week and hope for the best.
â€śWeâ€™ve improved steadily and I wish there were another two weeks left in the season,â€ť Barbarotta said. â€śOur guys call this course the home away from home because we play here a lot. We like it here and we get a long great with New Britain and Wethersfield, we play a lot with both of those squads. This is a comfortable pairing for us.â€ť
Newington will host Bloomfield/MLC at Indian Hill Country Club while New Britain will welcome Rocky Hill next week. Both matches are on Tuesday with the first tee times set for 3 p.m.
Ryan Ames can be reached at 860-801-5094 or on Twitter @_RyanAmes.