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Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Bensel wins 2nd Connecticut Open

Frank Bensel posted a 3-under-par 69 to win the 77th Connecticut Open championship by two shots over Tom McCarthy and Dan Balin.
It is the second time Bensel, 43, has won the Open, also doing so in 2009 at Hartford GC. He birdied the first and fourth holes, then made 10 straight pars. He never lost sole possession of the lead.
Bensel is a Danbury resident and an assistant pro at the Century Club in Purchase, N.Y.

McCarthy, the former Yale University standout, made seven birdies, including three straight at holes 11 thru 13, to get to 7-under for the tournament and one behind Bensel. He had to get up and down on the next three holes to salvage pars, almost made another birdie at 17, then had an unfortunate occurrence at 18.

His drive on the par-4 finishing hole plugged in the fairway bunker on the right side. He could only use sand wedge to get it back to the fairway. He failed to get up and down from there, settling for bogey. But it was a great run for McCarthy after finishing sixth last week at the New England Amateur.

Balin, an assistant pro at Burning Tree CC in Greenwich, also got it to 7-under, but bogeyed the 15th hole coming in. He qualified to play for the PGA Championship in two weeks in Atlanta Aug. 11-14. You will be hearing about this player in the future at Met events.

Dave Szewczul and Jack McConachie, who were both tied for second coming into the final round, finished fourth and fifth respectively.

The Connecticut Open stays in Fairfield County for 2012, going to Wee Burn CC in Darien.

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