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Monday, May 16, 2016

Morris, Street, Beirne among those advancing to US Open sectional qualifying

HAMDEN >> Monday’s local U.S. Open qualifier at New Haven Country Club was really about being able to survive the less-than-ideal conditions.

Sure the sun was out, but with wind gusts over 30 miles per hour throughout the day, and firm greens to hit approach shots into, it turned New Haven CC into the winner. Only Waterbury’s Blake Morris (pictured above) managed to shoot even-par 70 to earn medalist laurels.

“It was basically a contest of who can make the least amount of bogeys,” Morris said. “When you get it gusting 30 miles per hour hitting it close becomes really, really hard, even if you have a wedge shot. You have to play more conservative.”

Morris got the first of seven spots available into the Open sectional qualifiers being held June 6. The other six golfers who qualified all posted 1-over 71, including the New Haven CC course record holder, Evan Beirne.

“I thought with normal conditions it would be a 68 probably (to qualify),” Beirne said. “It was certainly tough, without a doubt.”

The other five golfers qualifying were: Billy Street (New Haven), the former assistant pro at New Haven CC; Evan Grenus (Glastonbury), the reigning Connecticut Amateur champion; Stephen Colodny (Westport) and Matt Doyle (West Simsbury).

Eight more golfers played off for the two alternate spots. Former Fairfield Prep standout Brian Hughes and reigning Connecticut Open champion Cody Paladino earned those positions.


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