Williamstown, MA – The seven-person team from Connecticut took a huge step towards capturing the New England Junior Amateur Championship title on Monday by jumping out to a commanding 16-stroke lead following day one of competition which was held at Taconic Golf Club.


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This annual event that is sponsored by the New England Golf Association (NEGA) features seven players from each of the six New England states who compete in 54 holes of stroke play over a two-day period. The format for the championship is the best five of seven scores for each of three rounds.

On Monday, Connecticut was simply dominating as they posted a team score of 7-over par 717 for two rounds of stroke play. Reigning champion Massachusetts stands in second place with a team score of 23-over par 733. Vermont and Maine stand in third and fourth place at 32-over par 742 and 40-over par 750 points, respectively.

Although Team Connecticut was led on Tuesday by Eddie Hill (Crestbrook Park GC) – who carded a two-round total of 1-under par 141 – it was a team effort as its next top four scorers were separated by just five strokes.

Finishing second on the Connecticut team following day one was Jason Hogan (Watertown GC) with a score of 2-over par 144, while Brian Butler (Wampanoag CC) was right behind him with a score of 3-over par 145. Those three competitors currently hold three out of the top six scores in the individual stroke play battle.

Leading the way in the individual category, however, is Rhode Island’s Will Dickson (Ledgemont CC), who followed up a morning round of 2-over par 73 with a stellar 4-under par 67. In fact, Dickson played 7-under par golf through his final 20 holes on Monday after he capped off his morning round with an eagle and birdie! The only other player in the field to match that 18-hole score of 4-under par 67 was Hill, who carded four birdies and 14 pars during the morning hours.

Dickson – who is just 13 years old – has been on a recent run as he won the 2012 Rhode Island Junior Amateur Championship last month with a decisive 9 and 7 victory in the final match. He stands as the youngest player to win that title.

Hill, meanwhile, finished T2 at the Connecticut PGA Section Championship and was a quarterfinalist at the 2012 CSGA Junior Amateur Championship. He is currently ranked fifth in the Connecticut PGA Section Junior Rankings.

Reigning champion Massachusetts was led on day one by Charlie May (Ferncroft CC) who finished with a 3-over par 145. Steven Dilisio (Salem CC) and James Park (Crumpin-Fox Club) were second with scores of 4-over par 146.

Dilisio is coming off a Pre-Junior Division victory at the 2012 Massachusetts Junior Amateur Championship, while Park qualified for and competed at the 2012 U.S. Junior Amateur Championship.

Massachusetts won the championship in 2011 in a rain-shortened event, while Connecticut won in 2010 and has captured seven of the past 11 titles.

The entire field will take part in a final round of 18 holes at stroke play on Wednesday at Taconic Golf Club.