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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.

Sunday, May 15, 2016

TPC River Highlands close to finishing renovation project

CROMWELL >> For the first time since Travelers took over title sponsorship in 2007, the Travelers Championship golf tournament will not be played the week after the U.S. Open.

Instead, it will be held Aug. 4-7 at TPC River Highlands in Cromwell. A number of tournaments on the summer PGA Tour schedule were moved because of the Summer Olympics in Rio the week after the Travelers is played.

That change has provided some extra time to renovate TPC River Highlands. The multi-million dollar project did not lengthen the course (6,820 yards), but did make enough changes where spectators who have attended the tournament for years will notice the different nuances.

Some of those nuances include a new, flattened out viewing area behind the 16th green (pictured above).

What else will be different for this year's tournament? Check out the full story here.