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Saturday, June 18, 2016

CT Section PGA Hall of Fame to induct 5

Five people will be inducted into the Connecticut Section PGA Professional Hall of Fame. Among them is Paul Ryiz, the head pro at Brownson CC in Shelton. This is his 37th year as a Section PGA member.

Also being inducted: Bob Bodington (posthumously), a member of The PGA of America for 64 years, and the former head pro at CC of Farmington and Hartford GC; longtime Ellington Ridge CC head pro Tony Rowe; and Stanley and Ted Pisk, father and son and former and current head pro at Stanley GC in New Britain.


Friday, June 17, 2016

Zaback makes double-eagle en route to 2nd State Amateur title

Zach Zaback tees off on the first hole during the 114th State Amateur golf championship at Wethersfield Country Club on Friday. This shot went into the hole for a double-eagle.

WETHERSFIELD >> Zach Zaback was on his way to becoming a two-time State Amateur champion Friday afternoon when he struck the defining shot of the 114th edition of the championship — and one of the most notable in the history of Wethersfield Country Club.

Zaback (above) struck a driver off the 332-yard first hole, his 19th of the day in the 36-hole final. He not only drove the green, but the ball kicked in the right direction — into the hole for a double-eagle.

“I was going to look away, thinking it was probably going to be just short, but it kept rolling, kept rolling, went on the green then it just disappeared,” Zaback said. “I couldn’t believe it at first. I was like, ‘I think that went in.’”

The shot put Zaback, a member at TPC River Highlands in Cromwell, 7 up in the match. Zaback closed out Corey Birch (Silver Spring CC in Ridgefield) on the 29th hole. Birch missed a birdie putt, then conceded Zaback’s birdie from a shorter distance to give Zaback the 9 and 7 victory.



Reed, Leishman among latest Travelers commitments

Patrick Reed, seen here in 2013, plans to return to play the Travelers this year in August.

Patrick Reed (above), currently the 11th ranked player in the world, was one of four golfers announced Friday to play in the Travelers Championship Aug. 4-7 at TPC River Highlands.

Joining Reed will be 2012 Travelers champion Marc Leishman, three-time major champion Padraig Harrington and Charley Hoffman. Reed is currently the second-highest ranked player in the field behind defending champion Bubba Watson (4). He has two runner-up finishes this season and has four victories on the PGA Tour.

Leishman was in a three-way playoff for last year’s Open championship with eventual champion Zach Johnson and Louis Oosthuizen, both of whom have committed to play in the Travelers. He is currently ranked 40th in the world.

Hoffman is currently ranked 36th and won the Texas Valero Open in April. He tied for second the year Leishman won in Cromwell. Harrington, ranked 163rd, is making his seventh appearance at TPC River Highlands.


Thursday, June 16, 2016

Zaback, Birch to meet for State Amateur championship

Zach Zaback tees off on the seventh hole at Wethersfield Country Club during the semifinals on the 114th State Amateur.

WETHERSFIELD >> It will be a pair of former college golf teammates and roommates squaring off in today’s 114th State Amateur final at Wethersfield CC.

Zach Zaback (above), a member at TPC River Highlands in Cromwell, will take on former UConn teammate Corey Birch from Silver Spring CC in Ridgefield in the 36-hole final beginning at 7:30 a.m. They were roommates the last three years before both graduating from UConn in May.

“First things first, I want to win,” Zaback said. “I’m not going to deny the fact it’s against one of my best friends, a teammate, a guy I lived with for three years. ... I’m used to playing against him every day, so it will be fun. We know each other’s games really well.”

For Zaback, it’s a chance to earn his second Amateur crown in the last three years. He won at Lake of Isles in 2014. It took 20 holes in Thursday’s afternoon semifinal match before Zaback was able to eliminate Brent Dietz (Cedar Knob GC).

 more on Thursday's semifinals 


Hermanson, Dietrich reach quarterfinals at 114th State Amateur

Bill Hermanson reached the State Amateur quarterfinals for the first time in six years, defeating medalist Brian Ahern 5 and 4 in the second round of match play Wednesday at Wethersfield Country Club.

Hermanson, who was the 1991 Amateur champion, plays out of the Black hall Club. He will face Monte Mullen out of TPC River Highlands in today’s quarterfinals. Corey Birch (Silver Spring CC) defeated Geoff Vartelas (Lyman Orchards) 3 and 2 to advance to face Jonathan Klein of Wethersfield CC.

Brent Dietz of Cedar Knob CC, is the highest remaining seed left at No. 2. He beat a pair of GC at Oxford Greens members, Chet Hrostek and Preston Shortell, both 5 and 4. He will face Eric Dietrich (The Farms CC), who eliminated Jack Ayers (Wethersfield CC), 7 and 6.

Reigning Palmer Cup champ-ion Zach Zaback of TPC River Highlands will face Steve Gettings (Orange Hills CC) in the quarterfinals. Gettings eliminated Brian Hedstrom (Indian Hill CC) and Justin Clark (Rolling Hills CC) to get the chance to face Zaback.