Killingly continues special golf tradition

Killingly continues special golf tradition

Golfers always remember the day they won a championship. Usually, in vivid detail.

Kevin Marcoux experienced one of those “magical” Sundays: a July day in 2012 when he won the prestigious Norwich Invitational.

Marcoux, now the athletic director and golf coach at Killingly High School, had competed in the state’s oldest amateur tournament for a number of years. But he almost missed the 86th edition.

His son, Nolan, who was 10 years old at the time, had a Little League All Star tournament that weekend and Marcoux had a tough decision to make: coach his son’s baseball team or play in the tourney.

Nolan made the decision for him.

“We had a conversation and he didn’t even bat an eyelash,” Marcoux recalled. “He said ‘I know how you love playing in the tournament. Go play.’ ”

Marcoux went out and shot a 70 during Friday’s pressure-packed qualifier, earning a spot in the Championship Flight where he reeled off four straight match play victories, including the final two against new UConn alums Chris DeLucia and Brett Siekierski.

During Sunday’s championship match Marcoux was walking along the 17th fairway and spotted his son, Nolan, whose Little League team had been eliminated.

“He was still wearing his baseball uniform,” Marcoux said.

When Marcoux clinched the tournament with an eight-foot putt on the 18th hole, Nolan ran up and gave him a big hug.

“There’s a great picture of that,” Marcoux said. “It was a special day.”

On Friday, Marcoux was back on the Norwich Golf Course again competing against some of the area’s top amateur golfers in the 95th annual Norwich Invitational. Marcoux’s quest for his second title will have to wait. He missed the Championship Flight by one shot.

“That’s what it comes down to in golf … one shot here or one shot there,” Marcoux said.

Marcoux three-putted on the 14th hole and finished with a 4-over 75, which placed him in Saturday’s First Bracket for match play (after press time).

“The pressure of Friday is always what we really enjoy,” Marcoux said. “You have to play a really solid round and shoot a good score. Everybody aspires to be in that Championship Flight and one of them is the defending champ. So there are only 15 spots and there are 150 golfers or so competing.”

The summer rains made the course challenging on Friday.

“The scores are about as high as I can ever remember,” Marcoux said. “Everyone knew the rough was going to be a major factor and it certainly played its role. The course played really hard.”

For Marcoux, one of the biggest highlights of competing in the Norwich Invite is playing with his Killingly players and alums. It has become a Killingly golf tradition.

“When the kids come into the program I say to them this is a program where you’re not just playing from March to June,” Marcoux said. “When you graduate we want you to still be part of the program. They all just wanted to play together and be the best and leave their own legacy and that included playing in these tournaments in the summer.”

The tradition started around 2015 when Marcoux’s foursome included the Aitken brothers, twins Drew and John, who helped Killingly capture the school’s first state championship in 2016.

Killingly made four straight state championship appearances from 2016-2019, including winning their second state title in 2018.

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