Lanzoni the Townwide champion at Men's Town Golf Tournament
Updated 12:16 am, Monday, June 30, 2014
William Lanzoni entered the Men's Town Golf Tournament just hoping to shoot under 80 in each round and finish near the top of the leaderboard. Well, it's safe to say Lanzoni exceeded his expectations.
After two strong rounds, featuring clutch putts and impressive drives off the tee, the 19-year-old Greenwich High School graduate left Griffith E. Harris Golf Course with something he didn't expect to have in his possession -- the Townwide championship trophy.
Shooting a 7-over-par 149 over 36 holes, Lanzoni won the 70th annual tournament's Townwide flight title on Sunday.
"This feels incredible. I can't believe I came out with the win today," said Lanzoni, who took a one-stroke lead over Jason Morilla and Chris Pavelic into Sunday's final round. "Not in a thousand years did I expect to win this tournament. I just wanted to play well and keep my name near the leaderboard. If I broke 80 and came in third, fourth or fifth I would have been happy."
Morilla, a Greenwich High graduate, was the runner-up, finishing only one shot behind Lanzoni. Morilla, who placed second behind Townwide champion Paul Pastore last year and has been the runner-up several times in the tournament, followed a round of 74 Saturday with a 76 Sunday. Recent Brunswick School graduate Michael Savitt placed third (75-76-151), while Dario Orlando and Pavelic, both Greenwich High graduates, tied for fourth with a two-round score of 154.
Morilla, who teed off with Lanzoni and Pavelic on Sunday, held a one-stroke lead on Lanzoni heading into the back nine at 2-over-par. Lanzoni, however, sank birdie putts on the par-4 12th and the par-4 13th holes. Birdies on two of the last three holes helped Morilla close to within one stroke, but Lanzoni held on for the win with a key par putt on No. 18.
"Going into today, I knew Jason had been in this situation before and Pavelic is a great golfer who is used to playing in tournaments, so I still felt like the underdog," Lanzoni said. "I knew I had my work cut out for me."
Though disappointed he was the runner-up again, Morilla knows he made his mark in the tournament.
"I am happy that I'm always in contention in this tournament," Morilla said. "I'm impressed with how he (Lanzoni) played. This was his first time in this type of situation and he handled it well. It's tough to finish second every time, but hopefully one of these years I'll win it."
"I have been around golf for a long time since my dad plays golf, but I didn't really get into it until my friend Ken Dorian (who played in the Townwide flight) picked up the game," Lanzoni said. "Then we started playing all the time. I guess you could say I'm a late bloomer, but now I love being on the golf course."
He credits his father, Craig Lanzoni, who played in the Senior flight on Sunday, for sparking his interest in the sport as well.
"My father has done everything for me in terms of providing me the opportunity to play this game," Lanzoni said. "He makes himself available to hit range balls with me and makes it possible for us to play together."
Orlando made a solid showing in his first appearance in the town tournament.
"It's good to finish in the top five in my first time in the town tournament," Orlando said. "But it would have been great to make a run to win the tournament. It was tough to score low, the pins were in difficult positions, so the course played pretty hard. The course was in great shape, I just wish I played a bit better."
Kumar Gyanendra and Vidar Perskaas were the Townwide flight low net winners (142). Paul Callahan captured the Townwide A flight championship. Callahan posted a score of 159 (79-80) over 36 holes. Kris Scarfone (81-88-169) finished second, while Sean Dowling (87-84-171) placed third in Townwide A. Eugene Pisacreta earned low net honors in the Townwide A flight (140). Michael Horvath was the Townwide B champion (93-95-188), followed by Chris Wuest (107-105-212). CJ Kocot was the net winner (152).