EAST PROVIDENCE—All Corey Zegarzewski could do is wait.
Hours earlier the soon-to-be junior at Chariho High School had turned in his scorecard at the opening round of the 92nd Junior Amateur Championship at Agawam Hunt and he knew his seven-over par 77 put him squarely on the bubble.
“It’s definitely nerve wracking,” he said of waiting to see if he’d make the cut Monday. “I really want to make the championship flight.”
Last summer he had come close to making the top division but fell just shy.
Zegarzewski went on to lose in the finals of the First Division to now two-time RIIL State Champion David Kraunelis of Barrington but this time around he felt different.
“I came in pretty confident coming into this tournament” Zegarzewski said. “I hit some great shots today but the greens hurt me a little bit. I had five three-putts today but I hit some great shots so I’m still feeling confident.”
It’s the same confidence Zegarzewski – who plays out of Laurel Lanes CC – has had since the high school season ended, where he was a first- team, all-state selection.
“I’ve been posting some great numbers ever since the state tournament. I shot my first 68 [at Laurel Lanes] recently in between those two tournaments so the game’s feeling better than it ever has been right now,” he said.
“A 68 no matter where it is is still a number but even today a 77. I’ve never seen the course before, not playing greens like this every day. I mean I was happy with it.”
So he did the only thing he could do; prepare on the practice green for a potential playoff and check the leader board as other players turned in their cards.
Zegarzewski was joined by Matthew Corio, Will Hall, Harry Wall and Riley Griffin at seven-over, which meant if any of the days’ remaining golfers carded better than eight-over – where John Aitken and Mitch Kubik sat tied for the 16th and final spot in the championship flight – there would be a playoff.
That never happened though, allowing Zegarzewski to keep his hopes of a Junior Amateur Championship alive.
Unfortunately for the Charger the Round of 16 is also where his tournament came to a close, as he dropped a 5 and 3 decision to Wannamoisett’s Daniel Lynch Tuesday.
Having been matched up in Lynch’s group for the stroke play portion of the tournament, Zegarzewski knew he had a challenge on his hands heading into Tuesday’s match.
“He’s a great competitor,” Zegarzewski said. “He came out six over on the front and came back two under [on the back] so he can recover. There’s no easy matches in this tournament.”
Lynch was 2-up heading into the back nine when he went on a tremendous stretch – a birdie on the par-three 11th, eagle on the par-four 12th and birdie on the par-four 13th – to all but put the match away.
Zegarzewski bounced back with a par on the 14th to keep his tournament alive but Lynch’s par on 15 sealed the soon-to-be junior’s fate.
While he was the most successful Charger at this year’s Junior Am, he was not the only one as recent graduate Kory Log and soon-to-be senior Sam Martel also competed.
Log posted a 15-over-par 85 on day one but did not play Tuesday in the Round of 16 of the Second Division, allowing his opponent, Nate Perry, to win by default.
Martel qualified for the Third Division after shooting 22-over and had some success in match play Tuesday after closing out a tight, 1-up win over Wyatt Alberigo.
Neither player took a lead greater than 1-up throughout the entire match but in the final four holes Martel did just enough to get the win.
His bogey on No. 15 squared the match and another bogey two holes later put him 1-up heading into the par-four 18th. Both players made par to secure the win for Martel, who played Point Judith CC’s Joe McNamara Wednesday morning in the quarterfinals.
The soon-to-be Chariho senior held a 3-up lead at the turn but McNamara came from behind for a 1-up win after taking the 18th hole with a par to knock Martel out.