Bernie D'Amato, Weston High School class of '09, has won the 108th Connecticut Amateur Golf Championship. A standout golfer for WHS and now for the Princeton University golf team, D'Amato took his game to another level to defeat Nick Taylor in match play, 8 and 6.
"This is, by far, my biggest win individually," D'Amato said. "I've been a pretty consistent golfer, but I've never really won anything big outright."
D'Amato said he came close in several regional tournaments, but his consistency with his iron shots on the course in Waterbury put him over the top. What made the win even sweeter, according to D'Amato, was the fact that it was over Taylor, who he formed a friendly rivalry with during their high school days.
"I definitely consider [Nick] a friend," D'Amato said of his opponent from Southbury. "It was nice to be playing him in the final. He's a really good competitor. That was pretty neat."
D'Amato had a long road to qualify for the Connecticut Amateurs, first scoring a 70 at the sectional qualifiers at Tashua Knolls Golf Club in Trumbull. D'Amato then had to put up a 69 and a 70 in the first two rounds of open play at the Connecticut Amateurs to set up the match play showdown with Taylor.
Getting his name etched on the 108-year-old silver cup with the other Connecticut Amateur winners is something D'Amato says he will never forget.
"My family was able to be there and my brother Joe was caddying," D'Amato said. "It was pretty neat to play in a tournament for an entire week and win. It made everything very special."
With the win at the Connecticut Amateurs, D'Amato earned an exemption into this year's 76th Connecticut Open Championship to be held July 26 through July 28 at the Country Club of Fairfield.
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