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Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Bensel wins 3rd Connecticut Open championship





WILTON >> The strength of Frank Bensel’s golf game has always been his ball-striking. But in Wednesday’s final round of the 80th Connecticut Open, Bensel missed more fairways than he hit.

A couple of those misses resulted in bogeys. But good golfers know how to scramble and Bensel (pictured above) did plenty of that to stay in contention. Then his putter got hot late in the round at Rolling Hills Country Club.

Bensel birdied three straight holes, 15 thru 17, to take control of the tournament. A routine par on the final hole ended up giving him a two-shot win over Mike Ballo Jr. He finished at 7-under-par 203 for the 54-hole tournament.

“I love getting into the heat of battle and get the adrenaline going and respond well to it,” Bensel said. “Usually I am down the middle and on the green and make some putts when I’m hot with the putter. … I wasn’t comfortable with my driver today. I didn’t know where it was going.”

Said Ballo: “He is a consummate professional and a great player.”

It’s the third Open title for Bensel, a 46-year-old Norwalk resident. Bensel won his other titles in 2009 and 2011. He is now one victory short of the record held by former champions John Golden (1932-35) and Kyle Gallo (1998, 2000, 2004 and 2010), who tied for 14th this year.

(at Rolling Hills CC)
Final results

Frank Bensel (Norwalk), 70-67-66-203; Mike Ballo Jr. (Woodway CC), 68-70-67-205; Dave Pastore (Oak Hills Park GC), 71-65-70-206; Jason Caron (Stamford), 69-68-69-206; John Jackopsic (Gillette Ridge GC), 73-65-69-207; Peter Ballo (Woodway CC), 71-68-68-207; Adam Rainaud (Black Hall Club), 73-64-71-208; Sam Bernstein (Course at Yale), 72-69-67-208; Mike Gilmore (Bethel), 77-69-62-208; Bobby Gage (Candlewood Valley CC), 72-73-65-210; Chris Wiatr (CC of Waterbury), 75-69-67-211; Zach Zaback (TPC River Highlands), 70-71-70-211; John Flaherty (TPC River Highlands), 69-73-69-211; Kyle Gallo (Tallwood CC), 71-69-72-212; Evan Grenus (TPC River Highlands), 71-70-71-212; Evan Beirne (New Haven CC), 75-67-71-213; Ryan Kalista (Tamarack CC), 74-70-69-213; Brian Gaffney (Darien), 69-73-71-213.

Other area scores
Jerry Courville Jr. (Stratford), 75-71-72-218; Ryan Leahey (Orange), 76-70-75-221; Nathan Pereira (New Haven CC), 73-73-77-223; William Street (New Haven CC), 74-72-77-223.

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