Christian Brothers Academy boys’ golf coach Tim Sewnig is not sure how his two best players, seniors Jack Wall and Brendan Hansen, originally became friends.
But he thinks they met on a golf course somewhere.
It’s a safe bet.
CBA’s captains are great friends who play golf together almost every day each spring. Their friendship has been fruitful, too.
On May 20 at Hopewell Valley Golf and Country Club, Wall and Hansen led the Colts to their third straight NJSIAA Tournament of Champions state title. The seniors both shot a 70 to lead CBA to a team score of 306. The second-place team, Bergen Catholic High School, finished with a 313.
And since Wall and Hansen tied during the regulation round, they went into a playoff to decide the NJSIAA Individual Tournament of Champions state crown. Wall topped his teammate and friend with a par on the second playoff hole, earning his second consecutive individual state title.
As a team in 2019, CBA also won the Garden State Cup on April 8 in Egg Harbor City, the Shore Conference Tournament on May 1 in Millstone Township and the NJSIAA South Jersey, Non-Public A sectional tournament on May 16 in Ewing Township. Hansen won the individual Shore Conference championship in a playoff over Wall. But Wall took home the individual trophy from the state sectional tournament.
“They love each other like brothers, and they push each other,” Sewnig said.
“It’s funny,” he continued. “Jack has won the state sectional title three years in row. So I was going through the record books to see who won his freshman year…and it was Brendan.”
“We like to go out there and have fun. We don’t care how well we play,” Wall said. “It’s a good time.”
“The competition between me and him didn’t matter as long as the team won,” Hansen added.
It is hard to tell if Wall and Hansen love golf or hanging out with each other, but they are really the same thing at this point. The duo just got back from playing in a U.S. Amateur Four-Ball tournament in Bandon, Ore., from May 25-29.
They missed CBA’s graduation festivities, on May 23, to travel to the tournament.
“You can’t get them off the course,” Sewnig said, laughing.
“It was a heartbreak to miss graduation but we played in such a prestigious event, and Bandon Dunes was incredible,” Wall said.
It is hardly a surprise that both seniors will be continuing their golf careers at Division 1 colleges. The surprise is that they won’t be doing it at the same school.
Wall is going to the University of South Carolina and Hansen is heading to Rutgers University.
They will miss each other, and CBA will miss them.
“Brendan is one of those guys where nothing is quite right, the greens, his putter, whatever it is,” Sewnig said, laughing. “So recently Brendan was stomping around on the ninth green and Jack looked at me and quietly said, ‘I’m going to really miss this.'”
“I said, ‘Believe it or not, so am I,'” Sewnig added, still laughing.
A golden era is ending for CBA, but Sewnig, who just completed his 25th season leading the Colts, will reload. He always does. Even before Wall and Hansen arrived, CBA won T of C state titles in 2006, 2009, 2011 and 2013.
The program is actually bringing back six golfers with varsity experience, too. Finbar Bonner, Chris DiGiorgio, Aidan McCague, Ricky Calve and Christian Lee, all juniors, and Joey Giamanco, a sophomore, will form a strong core in 2020.
“We should be pretty good,” Sewnig said.