ARMONK, N.Y. — Christian Cavaliere didn’t know it as he lined up a 35-foot putt, but if he made it he would secure a victory at the 98th Westchester Amateur golf championship at The Whippoorwill Club in Armonk.
His putt was pure and he nailed the long-range shot to capture the Westchester Amateur title on Friday, June 16.
“This tournament is a real honor to win,” Cavaliere said. “It has always been a goal of mine to win my home county amateur tournament. It is such a great event and one of the most fun ones of the year because I get to play against my friends in the area.”
The 19-year-old Somers resident recorded a 6-and-5 win over Brad Tilley after he sank the birdie putt.
“The putt on the last hole was really awesome to see go in because I really wasn’t making anything on the greens that day,” said Cavaliere, who is a rising sophomore at Boston College and a member of the golf team. “I had a good feeling about it the whole way in but I didn’t realize it was for the win until after it dropped. I was a little surprised when I realized the match was over after that.”
Cavaliere, a Mahopac golf club member, added to his trophy case as he has also won WGA and MGA junior titles.
The 2016 Somers graduate and Tilley were neck and neck in the early going but a stretch of bogeys from Tilley gave Cavaliere his opportunity to garner some breathing room.
Cavaliere drained a birdie on the 22nd hole to expand his lead to 5-up. He also added birdies on the 30th and 31st holes.
“The key was my course management and my wedge play was pretty solid throughout the week so that was something I could rely on,” Cavaliere said.
Last year, which was Cavaliere’s first time playing in the event, he lost in the round of 16.
“I did not hit the ball very well that week during the tournament,” Cavaliere admitted, “but I did a great job of keeping the ball in play and in good positions around the golf course.”
Cavaliere, who had a stellar freshman season at Boston College and led the Eagles with a T30 at the ACC Championships, said his game has really evolved over the past year.
“I have been working very hard on my ball striking lately to improve my consistency,” Cavaliere said, “but what I really think has improved is my wedge play and my short game.”