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Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Ben Day rallies to win 12th Palmer Cup



WATERBURY >> Ben Day and John Flaherty barely survived the cut following Monday’s opening round of the 12th Russell Palmer Cup tournament.

But with two rounds to play, the two playing partners on Tuesday only trailed by eight shots. By the end of regulation, the two were paired together again - this time in a sudden-death playoff to decide the title.

That lasted just one hole as Day birdied the par-4 18th from 25 feet behind the hole to win the Cup at Country Club of Waterbury.

“Once I saw the leaderboard (in between rounds), I knew we both had a chance,” said Day, a Cheshire native, North Haven resident and member at New Haven CC. “This is our state championship stroke-play wise. I love playing stroke-play events and it’s a wonderful field. Anytime you win a tournament like this, it is a thrill.”

Flaherty, who just completed his junior year at UConn, drove well right on the playoff hole while Day found the left side of the fairway off the tee. After Flaherty’s approach came up short, Day landed his second shot on the back fringe.

Flaherty failed to get up and down for par before Day, 34, made his birdie. Day also plays at CC of Waterbury because the company he works for, Summit Corporation of America in Thomaston, has a membership there.

“I was happy I got the speed right. It was a total bonus for it to go in,” Day said. “I love this place. It’s been good to me. Now, I will love it forever.”

As for Flaherty, it was the second straight year he lost in a sudden-death playoff in this event. He fell to Blake Morris last year.

“(His drive) almost went out of bounds,” said Flaherty, who plays out of TPC River Highlands. “The ball was on a couple of twigs and I couldn’t move them because the ball would have moved, so I had no idea how it was going to come out. I knocked it a little left, but at least I lost to a birdie.”

The 10th hole at CC of Waterbury was not used for the tournament due to an unplayable green. So each round consisted of just 17 holes and the tournament was reduced to 51 holes rather than 54.

12th Palmer Cup
(at CC of Waterbury)
Final results (51-hole tournament)
x-Ben Day (New Haven CC), 69-62-64-195; John Flaherty (TPC River Highlands), 69-65-61-195; Chris Wiatr (CC of Waterbury), 69-63-64-196; Zach Zaback (TPC River Highlands), 64-67-65-196; Brent Dietz (Cedar Knob GC), 67-62-67-196; Mike Masso (Lake of Isles GC), 62-65-70-197; Geoff Vartelas (Lyman Orchards GC), 61-68-69-198; Corey Birch (Silver Spring CC), 63-68-67-198; Eric Dietrich (The Farms CC), 69-66-66-201; Brian Ahern (Wampanoag CC), 66-68-67-201; Nick Torrance (Lake of Isles GC), 69-66-67-202; Greg Reilly (CC of Darien), 66-69-67-202; Mike Thompson (Glastonbury Hills CC), 66-67-69-202; Dave Szewczul (Tunxis Plantation CC), 65-67-70-202; Tom McCarthy (Twin Hills CC), 68-63-71-202.

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