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Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Rainaud wins second CT PGA Championship

Adam Rainaud fired a 3-under-par 67 Wednesday to win the 85th Connecticut PGA Championship by two shots at Keney Park Golf Course in Hartford.

It is the second title in three years for Rainaud, Chester resident and assistant pro at the Black Hall Club in Old Lyme. He finished with a two-round total of 5-under 135. Rainaud won the Connecticut Open last month and qualified for the Travelers Championship earlier this month.

Five-time winner Fran Marrello (Canaan CC) finished second after posting a 69 (3-under 137). Defending champion Kevin Giancola (Golf Quest) placed third (138) while Brent Paladino of the Connecticut State Golf Association took fourth (139).

Donny Kilpatrick (Wampanoag CC) finished fifth at 140 while Whitney Farms GC head pro Billy Street tied for sixth at 1-over 141 with Shaun Powers (Fairview CC) and John Detmer (Wethersfield CC). New Haven resident Mike Martin (Clubs to Go) tied for ninth at 142.

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Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Massachusetts wins NE Junior Invitational by record 35 strokes

Jack Boulger shot a 3-round total of  3-under-par 207 to be low man for the Massachusetts Junior Team, which won the New Eng;and Junior Amateur Invitational by a record 35 strokes over Connecticut  Wednesday at Cochecho Country Club in Dover New Hampshire.

Massachusetts breaks the previous record of 29 strokes by Connecticut in 2014.

Cole Anderson of Maine was the overall medalist, shooting a 10-under 200 for 54 holes, seven shots better than Boulger and Patrick Welch of Rhode Island. Ben James of Milford was the top finisher for Connecticut, finishing at 3-over 213.

McEvoy defends CT Women's Amateur title

Defending champion Catherine McEvoy of the Innis Arden Golf Club in Greenwich fired a final round 71 for a three round total of 218 (1-under-par) and a six-stroke victory at the 51st Connecticut State Women’s Amateur Wednesday at Heritage Village Country Club in Southbury.

Her victory marks the 11th time in the history of the event that a player has successfully defended their title.

After an opening round of 78, McEvoy, 18, played the final 36 holes at 6-under-par. The scoring average for the field on the challenging par-73 layout was 85.7. In the second round on Tuesday, McEvoy finished with a remarkable four under-par round of 69 that catapulted her from five strokes behind to a six-stroke lead.

McEvoy will be playing for the Michigan State women's golf team this fall as a freshman.

Maisie Filler (Hartford GC) finished second at 5-over 224, followed by Ellen Nighbor of Great River GC in Milford (229), Mackenzie Hawkes of Madison CC (235) and Jen Holland of Branford (238).  

Saturday, August 13, 2016

Vartelas ready for U.S. Amateur

Geoff Vartelas will be playing in his first U.S. Amateur this week.

Geoff Vartelas (above) has had quite a summer already: a tie for second in the New England Amateur, a round of 65 in the pre-qualifier for the Travelers Championship and a fourth-place finish at the Palmer Cup.

But the biggest highlight is yet to come for Vartelas, a former Xavier High standout. He is currently in Michigan preparing for his first appearance in the U.S. Amateur.

“It’s one of those things where no matter how you play in other events, if you qualify for the U.S. Amateur, it turns a so-so summer into a great summer,” Vartelas said. “No matter how yo do at the Am, the fact is you get to go there and experience a USGA event. USGA events are top notch.”

Vartelas, 22, qualified on July 12 at Great River Golf Club in Milford, shooting a 3-under 141 for 36 holes.

MORE ABOUT VARTELAS, THE U.S.AMATEUR, THE CT WOMEN'S AMATEUR AND THE NEW ENGLAND JUNIOR.

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Tuesday, August 9, 2016

Nolin captures Publinx title


MIDDLEFIELD >> Kyle Nolin took a look at the names on the Connecticut Public Links championship trophy before he teed off in Tuesday’s final round.

One name Nolin noted in particular was Dave Szewczul, who has won the tournament four times. He played with Szewczul during last year’s State Mid-Amateur and the veteran golfer offered Nolin some advice during that round.

“He gave me one mental thing, ‘It’s golf, don’t take it too serious. There are a lot of other important things in life. Golf is not that important.”

How much putting those words to use relieved the pressure only Nolin knows, but his second straight even-par round of 72 at the Lyman Orchards Jones Course helped him win in the 31st edition of the Public Links by two shots.

“This means a lot, it really does, to know I’m in with this group of players that’s on that trophy,” said Nolin, 30, who recently moved to Middletown and is a member at Tallwood CC in Hebron.

31st Connecticut Public Links
(at Lyman Orchards GC, Jones Course)
Final results
Kyle Nolin (Tallwood CC), 72-72-144; Chris Flowers (Smith Richardson GC), 74-72-146; Steve Gettings (Orange Hills CC), 75-72-147; Jason Longo (Smith Richardson GC), 75-73-148; Dave Jones (Mohegan Sun GC), 74-74-148; Chris Meinke (Longshore GC), 71-78-149; Dave Renski (Wheeler Park GC), 77-73-150; Keith Salamon (Tunxis Plantation CC), 74-76-150; Dave Szewczul (Tunxis Plantation CC), 74-76-150; John Dailey (Smith Richardson GC), 72-78-150; Chad Boudreau (Hunter GC), 74-76-150; Matt Gaieski (Manchester CC), 77-74-151; Mike Jezierski (Raceway CC), 74-77-151; Chet Hrostek (Oxford Greens GC), 72-79-151; Jonathan Meissner (Great River GC), 75-77-152; Scott Johnson (Green Woods CC), 75-77-152; Pat McKenna (Manchester CC), 73-79-152; Frank Geiger (Smith Richardson GC), 77-76-153; James Sheltman (Alling Memorial GC), 73-80-153.


Wednesday, August 3, 2016

Whaley reaches U.S. Women's Amateur match play

Farmington's Kelly Whaley, the three-time winner of the Connecticut State Women's Amateur and a rising sophomore at North Carolina, advanced into the final 64 players for match play at the U.S. Women's Amateur this week being held at Rolling Greens Golf Club in Springfield, Pa.

Whaley advances to face Andrea Lee of Hermosa Beach, Calif., today (Wednesday) at 1:50 p.m.



Friday, July 29, 2016

The full Travelers Championship field

Tom Aiken
Tyler Aldridge
Robert Allenby
Abraham Ancer
Aaron Baddeley
Blayne Barber
Ricky Barnes
Daniel Berger
Zac Blair
Jonas Blixt
Steven Bowditch
Keegan Bradley
Scott Brown
Bronson Burgoon
Angel Cabrera
Chad Campbell
Miguel Angel Carballo
Paul Casey
Bud Cauley
Alex Cejka
Greg Chalmers
Kevin Chappell
Chad Collins
Erik Compton
Ben Crane
Jon Curran
Brendon de Jonge
Bryson DeChambeau|
Jamie Donaldson
Luke Donald
Ken Duke
Ernie Els
Derek Ernst
Derek Fathauer
Tony Finau
Jim Furyk
Robert Garrigus
Brian Gay
Lucas Glover
Andres Gonzales
Retief Goosen
Jason Gore
Branden Grace
Chesson Hadley
Adam Hadwin
James Hahn
Brian Harman
Padraig Harrington
Russell Henley
J.J. Henry
Charley Hoffman
Morgan Hoffmann
Tom Hoge
J.B. Holmes
John Huh
Billy Hurley III
Hiroshi Iwata
Freddie Jacobson
Zach Johnson
Matt Jones
Sung Kang
Smylie Kaufman
Jerry Kelly
Michael Kim
Si Woo Kim
Whee Kim
Patton Kizzire
Soren Kjeldsen
Colt Knost
Russell Knox
Brooks Koepka
Jason Kokrak
Kelly Kraft
Matt Kuchar
Martin Laird
Andrew Landry
D.H. Lee
Marc Leishman
Justin Leonard
Spencer Levin
Luke List
Andrew Loupe
Jamie Lovemark
Shane Lowry
Will Mackenzie
Hunter Mahan
Peter Malanti
Steve Marino
Ben Martin
Lee McCoy
George McNeill
Troy Merritt
Bryce Molder
Francesco Molinari
Ryan Moore
Jordan Niebrugge
Seung-Yul Noh
Henrik Norlander
Sean O’Hair
Geoff Ogilvy
Louis Oosthuizen
Rob Oppenheim
Carlos Ortiz
Greg Owen
Rod Pampling
Tim Petrovic
Martin Piller
Scott Pinckney
Ted Potter, Jr.
Dicky Pride
Jon Rahm
Adam Rainaud
Chez Reavie
Patrick Reed
Kyle Reifers
Wes Roach
Patrick Rodgers
Rory Sabbatini
Sam Saunders
John Senden
Robby Shelton
Webb Simpson
Vijay Singh
Heath Slocum
Cameron Smith
Scott Stallings
Kyle Stanley
Brendan Steele
Shawn Stefani
Brett Stegmaier
Darron Stiles
Kevin Streelman
Chris Stroud
Brian Stuard
Daniel Summerhays
Hudson Swafford
Nick Taylor
Vaughn Taylor
Justin Thomas
Michael Thompson
Brendon Todd
David Toms
Tyrone Van Aswegen
Dawie van der Walt
Camilo Villegas
Johnson Wagner
Bubba Watson
Boo Weekley
Steve Wheatcroft
Tim Wilkinson
Mark Wilson
Four available spots for Monday’s Open qualifier

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Thursday, July 28, 2016

Travelers adds three more golfers ranked inside the top 30 worldwide

The Travelers Championship landed three more golfers inside the top 30 a day before the deadline to commit for this year’s Travelers Championship.

Branden Grace is the highest ranked of the three golfers, currently at No. 12. The South African won his first PGA Tour event at the RBC Heritage in April. He had top-five performances in the U.S. Open each of the last two years. Grace is making his second straight appearance at the Travelers, missing the cut last year.

Brooks Koepka tied for 51st in his only other appearance in the Travelers Championship in 2014. He has moved up to No. 18 in the world rankings and has a pair of second-place finishes on the tour this season.

Shane Lowry, ranked 28th, became a recognizable name once he led the U.S. Open heading into the final round before finishing second to Dustin Johnson last month. Lowry won the 2015 Bridgestone Invitational.

Those three join Bubba Watson (ranked sixth), Patrick Reed (14), Louis Oosthuizen (15), Matt Kuchar (17), Zach Johnson (20), Jim Furyk (22) and Paul Casey (30) at the Travelers, which will be held Aug. 4-7 at TPC River Highlands in Cromwell.

Also Jon Rahm and Bryson DeChambeau received two of the six sponsor’s exemptions the tournament is giving out this year. The deadline for golfers to commit to play is tonight.

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Adam Rainaud ties course record, wins Connecticut Open by 5


DARIEN >> Adam Rainaud (above) felt the pain in his back after his second shot in the second round of the 82nd Connecticut Open on Tuesday.

He ended up lying flat on his back on the second hole at Woodway Country Club. Rainaud even considered withdrawing. With a precious spot in the Travelers Championship next week, who would have faulted him to get healthy for that tournament instead?

“On the second hole (Tuesday), it got really bad,” Rainaud said. “I don’t want to keep pushing it, hurt it worse and not be able to play next week. I’m lucky it was really hot (weather-wise) this week.”

By the turn, Rainaud already trailed the leader, who happened to be his playing partner, Cody Paladino, by 10 shots. He kept playing and was within six when the second round ended.

Then Rainaud went out and tied the course record Wednesday, posting a 6-under-par 65, one of only five rounds under par among 41 golfers. The round was good enough for a five-shot victory, Rainaud’s first Connecticut Open championship.

“I’m 30 years old, played in a total of 15 state opens, I now live in Chester, I’ve worked at Black Hall (in Old Lyme) for six years,so this  feels like my home state Open,” said Rainaud, a Massachusetts native. “I pulled a muscle I hope is what I did. It was hurting really bad. I had to take a few Advil. Since the second hole (Tuesday), I didn’t hit one shot that in my head that was over 70 percent (swing rotation).”

Rainaud pocketed $12,500 for the win. He made six birdies (1, 4, 6, 12, 13, 16) and no bogeys to to shoot 7-under 206 for 54 holes and become the first active member of the Connecticut Section PGA to win the Open since Jim St. Pierre in 2002 at New Haven CC.

“It’s more 27 holes. He was even (par) on the front (Tuesday). He played 11-under for 27 holes. That’s remarkable. Adam is an awesome player and I’m happy for him,” Paladino said.

Rainaud tied the course record set by Mike Ballo Jr. in 2014. Ballo, a member at Woodway CC, trailed Paladino by eight shots heading into the third round, but shot 68 to vault into that tie for second place with Corey Birch, who was playing in his first professional tournament.

Rainaud played six groups ahead of Paladino, who went bogey-birdie-bogey-birdie on holes 8-11 to stand at 6-under for the tournament, tied with Rainaud, who was through 15.

Then Paladino, the defending champion, made three consecutive bogeys on 12 through 14 to fall out of the mix. He shot a 77 to finish tied for fourth place with Anthony Casalino, the first-round leader, at 1-under 212.

“It doesn’t change my thinking on how I’m playing right now. I had a bad day at the wrong time,” Paladino said. “We don’t have enough hours in the day to talk about all the disappointment, quote-unquote, that I’ve had in my golf career. But I’ve also had a lot of thrills and a lot of success. Every time that I have a disappointment, I always come back twice as strong.”

Frank Bensel and Jeff Curl played together in the penultimate group, combining to have won five of the last 10 Connecticut Open titles. Neither could get anything going Wednesday, combining to shoot 7-over and tie for sixth place (213).

While Rainaud had already secured his spot in the Travelers Championship, a number of golfers had entered the tournament’s pre-qualifier which was held Wednesday at Ellington Ridge CC - an approximate 90-minute drive from Woodway CC.

Among those racing up to Ellington were Paladino, Curl, Shaun Powers (tie for eighth at the Open), Zach Zaback (T8), John Flaherty (T8), Greg Reilly (T15), Blake Morris (T17) and Jordan Gosler (T34). The only one to withdraw was Birch, who played in the final group with Paladino.

The top 40 and ties advanced to Monday’s final stage of qualifying, also at Ellington Ridge CC.

82nd CONNECTICUT OPEN
(at Woodway CC, Darien)
Final results
Adam Rainaud (Black Hall Club), 75-66-65-206; Mike Ballo Jr. (Woodway CC), 71-72-68-211; Corey Birch (Silver Spring VCC), 71-66-74-211; Cody Paladino (Wethersfield CC), 67-68-77-212; Anthony Casalino (Innis Arden GC), 66-75-71-212; Frank Bensel (Century CC), 72-67-74-213; Jeff Curl (Cedar Knob GC), 72-66-75-213; Shaun Powers (Fairview CC), 73-76-66-215; John Flaherty (TPC River Highlands), 71-73-71-215; Bobby Gage (Candlewood Valley CC), 74-70-71-215; Zach Zaback (TPC River Highlands), 76-66-73-215; Pete Ballo (Woodway CC), 72-69-74-215; Dan Balin (Burning Tree CC), 71-69-77-217; William Street (Whitney Farms GC), 68-71-78-217; Dave Giulietti (GC of Avon), 74-75-69-218; Greg Reilly (CC of Darien), 69-72-77-218; Jim Smith (CC of Waterbury), 75-74-70-219; Ryan Leahey (Glastonbury Hills CC), 73-74-72-219; Max Theodorakis (Ridgewood CC), 73-73-73-219; Blake Morris (CC of Waterbury), 75-71-73-219; Johnny Patridge (Course at Yale), 77-68-74-219; Geoff Gelderman (Tashua Knolls GC), 72-70-77-219.


Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Paladino leads CT Open by two heading into final round



DARIEN >> That name is there once again, staring the other competitors in the 82nd Connecticut Open square in the face.

You expect Frank Bensel’s name to be atop the leaderboard in the state’s second-biggest golf tournament behind the Travelers Championship. In his last six appearances, Bensel has done no worse than a tie for seventh place and won the event three times.

But despite shooting a 4-under-par 67 to get into contention, Bensel still trails the leader by four. That would be the defending champion - Cody Paladino - who posted a 68 for a two-shot lead heading into today’s final round.

“I had a lot of really good (birdie) chances I didn’t convert on, but I hit the ball exceptionally well and that’s kind of the most important thing,” Paladino said.

Corey Birch, who just turned pro this week and finished second in the State Amateur last month, fired a 5-under 66 to stand two behind Paladino.

“It will be fun. I’m excited,” Birch said about the final round. “I’m doing a good job at hitting the reset button after every shot and hole.”

Jeff Curl, a former two-time champion himself, also shot 66 while playing with Birch. He is third all alone 4-under 138. He will play with Bensel today in the penultimate group. Whitney Farms GC head pro Billy Street is tied for fourth with Bensel at 139.

Paladino is looking to become the first player to repeat since 2005-06 by Shelton native Nick Cook - Paladino’s playing partner the first two rounds.

CONNECTICUT OPEN SCORES

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