FAIRFIELD COUNTY, Conn. – Stamford’s Faith Garcia won her second Borck Junior Golf Tournament championship Tuesday at Mill River Country Club in Stratford, and New Canaan’s Tyler Sands won his first. The smiles on the faces of both young golfers indicated they were equally excited.
Garcia, a rising junior at Trinity Catholic High School in Stamford, won 3 and 1 in the match play final over Westport’s Mary Bennewitz, a rising sophomore at Staples. Sands, a rising junior at New Canaan, won 3 and 1 over Norwalk’s Connor O’Brien.
It was the second straight title for Garcia, who plays out of Fairchild Wheeler in Bridgeport. She took a 2-up lead after four holes, but could not put away Bennewitz until the 16th hole. Garcia was only 1 up with three to play before closing it out.
“This was my primary goal for the summer,’’ said Garcia, who earned medalist honors in qualifying with a 71, 19 shots better than Bennewitz. “This is the biggest tournament that I’ve won, so it’s nice to repeat. It was hard because Mary played really well.”
Sands led 3 up at the turn on O’Brien, a rising sophomore at Brien McMahon. He closed out the match on the 16th hole to earn the first tournament win of his blossoming career.
“Oh, no doubt,’’ Sands said when asked if the victory was the highlight of his golf career to date. “I wanted to be the best that I could. Before the tournament, I wanted to win, because that’s what golf is all about. My main goal was just to play consistently.”
Sands, who plays out of Great River in Milford, also won a semifinal match over Tom Gannon on Wednesday while O’Brien beat Max Hayes in the semis. Sands said he tried to focus on staying consistent when he made the turn with a lead.
“I had big leads in some other matches in the tournament and let them slide,’’ he said. “I didn’t have the win in the bag yet. I just tried to stay out of trouble.”
The Borck is the most prestigious tournament for young Fairfield County golfers. The tournament is held in memory of Jay Borck, a young golfer who died of a cerebral hemorrhage in 1968 at the age of 16. He died one week after winning the junior championship at Brooklawn Country Club.