MANCHESTER, Vermont - Team Connecticut captured the boys' and girls' division titles at the New England Junior Amateur on Wednesday, with the boys' team riding a Day 1 lead to an overall win and the girls' team fending off a final-round challenge. Connecticut also swept the divisional titles, won by Will Lodge and Arabella Lopez.
The team finished with a 27-stroke advantage in the Boys Division and a 10-stroke advantage in the Girls Division to secure Connecticut's 19th and 20th divisional titles at the New England Junior Amateur.
Coming into the final round with an advantage of more than 30 strokes, Connecticut cruised to a Boys Division win with a 1-over Round 3 score. The team was able to count two below-par scores on Wednesday: a 6-under 66 from Elias Kennon, which included a hole-in-one, and a 1-under 71 from eventual champion Lodge. Bradley Sawka and Alex Elia both contributed 2-over 74s.
The Connecticut girls' team entered the day with an 11-stroke advantage, but found themselves in a battle to hold their lead after Team Massachusetts challenged them on the front nine. With at or below-par scores from Massachusetts' Morgan Smith and Annie Dai on the front nine, the two teams made the turn with just a five-stroke difference between them in favor of Connecticut. However, Connecticut took control on the back nine to rebuild their lead and come away with the win. Yvette O'Brien led the Connecticut girls with an even-par 72, while Lopez shot a 2-over 74.
In the individual competition, both Lodge and Lopez battled through a multiple-hole playoff to come out on top. Smith and Lopez both went to a playoff in the girls' competition after an eagle by Lopez on 17 tied them heading into hole 18, which they also tied to finish at 1-under for the championship. Lopez defeated Smith on their second playoff hole. Lodge defeated Maine's Elliot Spaulding in multiple holes to take home the boys' title.
Team Massachusetts finished in second place in both divisions, with both the girls' and boys' teams from the Bay State shooting the lowest Round 3 scores in their respective divisions. Team Maine took third in the Boys Division, while Team Rhode Island rounded out the top three in the Girls Division.
Connecticut's Lodge, Kennon and Sawka, as well as Maine's Spaulding and Rhode Island's Max Jackson rounded out the top five finishers in the Boys Division. In the Girls Division, the top five consisted of Lopez, Smith, O'Brien, Rhode Island's Olivia Williams and Rhode Island's Kylie Eaton.