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North Branford Golf Struggles with Numbers

By PJ Foti

Publication: Shore Publishing

Published July 10. 2013 4:00AM

The numbers weren't there for the North Branford golf team to be successful as Head Coach Tommy Fair carried the minimum number of athletes throughout the season and the T-Birds did not win a match.

Although the Thunderbirds never beat their opposition as a team, their scores continually dropped as they started as high as 207 in the first match and were as low as 183 later in the year.

Senior captain AJ Cooney was a big reason why as he consistently shot the lowest score, earning medalist honors in 10 of North Branford's 13 matches.

"I tried to keep it as simple as possible because he was playing so well that I didn't want to change that up," Fair said. "I tried to keep everything low key so he would continue playing the game the way he'd been playing."

The low scores continued in tournaments as Cooney finished second in the Shoreline Conference Championship with a score of 72 was and fifth out of 105 players in the Division III State Championship by shooting a 76. For his play this season, Cooney was the North Branford team MVP, a member of the All-Shoreline team, part of the All-State team, and an All-Area player, as well. Fair called him the best golfer in North Branford history.

"Since I've been here, by far, yes," he said. "It was great to have him on the team."

Even with Cooney lighting it up on the course, the lack of other golfers on the roster really hurt the T-Birds. Three years ago, Fair said he had 14 players on the roster. This year, he had just five. Although the CIAC ruled against moving golf to the fall, Fair would love for the move to be made as he feels many baseball players are avid golfers, but choose to play baseball over golf.

"The numbers need to rise," he said. "It would really help us out."

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