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Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Curl still the leader

GOSHEN - Jeff Curl hasn't been in this position in five years - sitting on a lead heading into the final round of a golf tournament.
After birdieing his first three holes to take the outright lead at the Connecticut Open, Curl never looked back. He fired his second straight 3-under-par 67 at Torrington Country Club to move to 10-under for the tournament and a three-shot lead.
"My ball-striking, I feel like I have been doing this all summer. I just haven't been in a tournament where I can showcase it," said Curl, an Ellington native.
Curl leads defending champion Jason Caron by three shots and four other golfers (Jim St. Pierre, Tommy McDonagh, Eric Steger and Bill Downes) by four. Curl and Caron will play in the final group at 11:40 a.m.
St. Pierre, a Shelton resident and assistant pro at Redding CC, is having his best effort in the Open since winning it in 2002 at New Haven CC. He made seven birdies en route to a 4-under 68 and a 6-under 138 total. He did it all despite tweaking a recurring back injury on the third hole.
"I played basically 15-16 holes today, so I don't think it can get any worse," St. Pierre said.
Mike Ballo Jr. is seventh at 4-under 140 and four more golfers are tied for seventh, but seven shots behind Curl.
Just 15 players are under par for the tournament, including two-time champion Frank Bensel and 2003 winner and Milford resident Steve Sokol, both of whom at 1-under 143. The cut came at 4-over 148. Among those missing the cut are Cody Paladino, the reigning Connecticut State Amateur champion (149), New Haven CC assistant pro Bill Street (149), former Yale University golfer Jeff Hatten (150), Jerry Courville Jr. (151) and Ivan Lendl (157).

79TH CONNECTICUT OPEN
(at Torrington CC)
Second round
a-denotes amateur
Jeff Curl (Cedar Knob GC), 67-67-134; Jason Caron (Stamford), 71-66-137; Jim St. Pierre (Redding CC), 70-68-138; Bill Downes (Longmeadow, Mass.), 70-68-138; Tommy McDonagh (Shorehaven GC), 68-70-138; Eric Steger (TPC River Highlands), 67-71-138; Mike Ballo Jr. (Woodway CC), 71-69-140; Sam Wiley (Wee Burn CC), 71-70-141; John Bushka (Aspetuck Valley CC), 70-71-141; a-Blake Morris (CC of Waterbury), 70-71-141; a-Jeff Hogan (Watertown GC), 68-73-141; John Martinchek (Blackledge CC), 71-71-142; Steve Sokol (Orange Hills CC), 71-72-143; Dan Balin (Burning Tree CC), 68-75-143; Frank Bensel (Norwalk), 72-71-143; a-John Jackopsic (Gillette Ridge GC), 76-68-144; Kyle Gallo (Connecticut National GC), 72-72-144; a-Peter Ballo (Woodway CC), 74-70-144; a-Brian Quilter (Farmingbury Hills GC), 72-72-144; Ben Conroy (CC of Woodbridge), 70-74-144; Brad Lusenhop (Fox Hopyard GC), 71-73-144; a-Greg Horvath (Manchester CC), 74-71-145; Kevin Shea (Great Neck CC), 70-75-145; Ryan Kalista (Innis Arden GC), 74-71-145; Fran Marrello (Plymouth), 74-71-145; Tom Gleeton (CC of Waterbury), 72-74-146; Ken Green (Richter Park GC), 71-75-146; Bobby Gage (Candlewood Valley CC), 74-72-146; Andrew Duvall (CC of Darien), 74-72-146; a-Addison Owens (Washington GC), 72-75-147; a-Sam Bernstein (Course at Yale), 74-73-147; Brian Lamberti (Richter park GC), 74-73-147; Matt Smith (Quinnatisset CC), 69-78-147; a-Zach Zaback (TPC River Highlands), 73-74-147; Garrett Murphy (Innis Arden GC), 72-75-147; a-Branden Chicorka (EClub River Valley), 75-72-147; a-Alex DiClemente (Fairview Farm GC), 75-73-148; a-John Vanderlaan (Heritage Village CC), 75-73-148; Andrew Broderick (Middlefield), 75-73-148; Shaun Powers (Fairview CC), 74-74-148; Duncan Littlefield (CC of New Canaan), 72-76-148; Curtis Loop (CC of New Canaan), 76-72-148; a-Chris Wiatr (CC of waterbury), 75-73-148; Joe Mongillo (Southington), 74-74-148; Tony Kelley (Holyoke, Mass.), 72-76-148.

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