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Hand overcomes Avon to win Division II state championship

NEW BRITAIN, June 3 – Hand High in Madison had three of their four golfers in the top 10 as the Tigers won their first CIAC Division II state championship since 2013 with a five-stroke win over defending champion Avon, 308-313 at Stanley Golf Course.

Hand sophomore Matthew Doyle won the Division II title with a one-under-par 70 – the only player to break par on the par 71 course. Doyle had four birdies and converted for par on 11 holes. Teammates Jake Bennett and Aidan Stuart each had 78 while Michael McKeon had an 82, a strong score for the No. 4 golfer in the lineup.

Bennett shot a 78 despite a pair of double bogies on the first and fourth holes.

“Great, great year for this group, you have five kids and they just love to play golf, they love to compete,” Hand coach Jim Holleran told GameTimeCT.com. “We don’t have a weak link on the team. I saw today my 5 guy [McKeon] came in with an 82 and he’s done that many times during the season.”

Avon’s Michael Hanratty led the Falcons with a three-over-par 74, good enough to finish tied for third. Hanratty had one birdie and made par 14 times. Colin Barrett was fourth with a 75 and he had 14 pars. Cole Hahn was tied for seventh with a 78 while Andrew Abbott shot an 86.

Berlin was a distant third with 318.

It was a special year for Hand (14-3), which won their first Southern Connecticut Conference title in five years and won the SCC Tournament in record fashion last week. The Falcons went 16-4-1 and won the CCC West championship. Avon finished tied for third in the recent CCC championship meet.

2019 CIAC Division II championship

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