Home course advantage ruled the day as the Staples boys golf team had five players break 40 in a 149-155 win over FCIAC rival Ridgefield on Wednesday afternoon at Westport's Longshore Country Club.
The Wreckers (6-0-1) and Tigers (8-1) entered the showdown without a loss on their records, but it was Staples that prevailed by shooting its lowest round of the season.
"To have a successful season, you pretty much have to beat everyone on your home course," Staples coach Tom Owen said. "It's a great advantage being on your home course, 149 is our lowest this year and to be quite honest really a pleasant surprise. We really clicked together, it was nice to see."
Andrew Felman led Staples with a 36, while teammates Stephen Gai and Noah Robins each shot a 37. B.K. Browne and Peter Richards each shot a 39 for the Wreckers, who lost to the Tigers by one shot (154-155) last season. The top four scores are counted in the final tally.
"We are really good at home; we know the course really well," Felman said. "We are used to the greens and I thought home field advantage was going to give us a leg up."
Felman was two under par through four holes, and missed a short birdie putt on the fifth hole. Felman bogeyed a few holes down the stretch to finish the round at one over par.
"I'm happy with how I played," Felman said. "I wish I held on stronger at the end, but all together it was a good round."
Ridgefield senior John Clouse earned medalist honors with a 35. Clouse birdied the eighth and ninth holes to close out his round.
"(Clouse) has been playing well as of late," Ridgefield coach Mike Merati said. "He's been playing well and I'm looking forward to what he can do the rest of the season."
Dan Kile and John Spicci each shot a 39 for the Tigers, while Hunter Tuccio and Will Senesac rounded out the scoring by each shooting a 42.
The Tigers are in the middle of a challenging week that includes a 156-160 win over Darien on Tuesday and a battle with defending FCIAC champion Greenwich set for Thursday.
"This week was definitely a big week," Merati said. "These are litmus tests to see where we are at; this is a tough three match stretch. I think we are definitely in the mix; there are other teams out there that can perform well. Hopefully the kids can learn from this."
Staples has the Cardinals (May 19) and Blue Wave (May 20) at Longshore on consecutive days late in the season.
"That's to our advantage, and those are two tough programs," Owen said. "We're definitely going to be in the mix; this is the first time we've put up a number that's comparable to what the top teams are shooting."