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Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Curl wins Connecticut Open in a playoff

GOSHEN - Jeff Curl twice blew leads in Wednesday's final round of the 79th Connecticut Open golf championship at Torrington Country Club. The second collapse put him to a four-man, sudden-death playoff.
But Curl regrouped, sinking a dramatic 35-foot birdie putt on the first playoff hole to win his second Open title.
"I was hitting it so good all week, I felt like it was my tournament to win if I could hang in there long enough," Curl said.
Eric Steger, Ben Conroy and William Downes all shot 7-under-par 209 to join Curl in the playoff. Steger and Conroy missed birdie attempts before Curl made his. Downes mised from off the front of the green to end the playoff.
Curl won $12,500. Downes, Conroy and Steger all took hme $3,667.
Curl won this title in 2007 at his then home course, Lake of Isles in North Stonington.


(at Torrington CC)
Final round
a-denotes amateur; x-won in sudden-death playoff
x-Jeff Curl (Cedar Knob GC), 67-67-75-209; Ben Conroy (CC of Woodbridge), 70-74-65-209; Ben Conroy (CC of Woodbridge), 70-74-71-209; Eric Steger (TPC River Highlands), 67-71-71-209; Jason Caron (Stamford), 71-66-73-210; Frank Bensel (Norwalk), 72-71-67-210; Steve Sokol (Orange Hills CC), 71-72-68-211; John Martinchek (Blackledge CC), 71-71-70-212; John Bushka (Aspetuck Valley CC), 70-71-71-212; Dan Balin (Burning Tree CC), 68-75-69-212; a-Jeff Hogan (Watertown GC), 68-73-71-212; Mike Ballo Jr. (Woodway CC), 71-69-72-212; Jim St. Pierre (Redding CC), 70-68-75-213; a-John Vanderlaan (Heritage Village CC), 75-73-66-214; Tommy McDonagh (Shorehaven GC), 68-70-76-214; Brian Lamberti (Richter Park GC), 74-73-68-215; Fran Marrello (Plymouth), 74-71-70-215; a-John Jackopsic (Gillette Ridge GC), 76-68-7-215; Kyle Gallo (Connecticut National GC), 72-72-71-215; a-Peter ballo (Woodway CC), 74-70-72-216; Sam Wiley (Wee Burn CC), 7-70-75-216; Ryan Kalista (Innis Arden GC), 74-71-72-217; Ken Green (Richter Park GC), 7-75-72-218.

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).

(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.

Monday, July 29, 2013

Duo shares first-round lead at CT Open

Jeff Curl and Eric Steger both shot 5-under-par 67s to share the first-round lead at the Connecticut Open at Torrington Country Club Monday.

Curl, the 2007 Open champion, is an Ellington native. Steger is an Indiana native who moved here two years ago and lives in Rocky Hill.

Dan Balin, an assistant pro out of Burning Tree CC in Greenwich, Jeff Hogan, an amateur from Watertown GC, and Tommy McDonagh, the 2006 Connecticut State Amateur winner at Torrington CC, all shot 68 and trail the leaders by 1.

Matt Smith, the 2012 Amateur winner, and C.J. Swift (Great River GC) are tied for sixth at 68. 2002 CT Open champ and Shelton resident Jim St. Pierre leads a big group of golfers who posted 70. Defending champion Jason Caron and ex-PGA Tour players and two-time CT Open winner are among group at 71.