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Thursday, July 21, 2016

Turner rallies to win New England Amateur by 5

WEST HARTFORD >> Things were not looking too promising for Massachusetts native James Turner (above) at the 87th New England Amateur on Wednesday.

Through 23 holes nearing the midway point of his second round, Turner stood at 5-over-par. “I was 11 (shots) back. I knew I had to start turning things around,” he said.

There was still plenty of time to make up ground. He made four birdies to complete his second round, then shot 3-under 67 in the third round on Thursday to move into contention. The final round Thursday afternoon turned into the best moment of Turner’s young career.

The 18 year old fired a 5-under-65 at The Hartford Golf Club to win the New England Amateur by five strokes over five golfers. Turner finished with a four-round total of 7-under-par 273.

“There are a lot of guys here capable of shooting the same scores I did,” Turner said. “It was just my day. The putts dropped for me.”

Turner was tied with Ryan Tombs with nine holes left. Then Turner went eagle-par-birdie-birdie to move out in front by five strokes.

“With a five-shot lead, I was trying not to make any big numbers coming in,” Turner said.

Two bogeys on his final four holes didn’t matter. Tombs couldn’t keep pace, finishing in that five-way tie for second place that included Zach Zaback, Geoff Vartelas, Bobby Leopold and Matt Paradis.

(at The Hartford GC)
James Turner (Mass.), 73-68-67-65-273; Zach Zaback (TPC River Highlands), 72-71-69-66-278; Geoff Vartelas (Lyman Orchards GC), 68-71-71-68-278; Bobby Leopold (RI), 68-73-69-68-278; Matthew Paradis (NH), 72-68-69-69-278; Ryan Tombs (NH), 72-67-67-72-278; Christopher Gentle (Mass.), 73-67-68-72-280; Davis Chatfield (RI), 71-72-71-67-281; Matt Hutchins (Maine), 69-73-70-69-281; Chet Hrostek (GC at Oxford Greens), 71-69-72-69-281; Brad Valois (RI), 69-67-74-71-281; Max Theodorakis (Ridgewood CC), 69-69-71-72-281; Logan Broyles (VT), 68-69-71-73-281; Garren Poirier (VT), 72-71-70-69-282; John Flaherty (TPC River Highlands), 75-66-71-70-282; Brian Carlson (Clinton CC), 67-76-67-72-282; Matt Parziale (Mass.), 75-69-71-68-283; Peter French (Mass.), 70-72-70-71-283; Monte Mullen (TPC River Highlands), 72-68-71-72-283.
Other state finishers
Rasmey Kong (Eclub of New Haven), 74-70-67-73-284; Brian Ahern (Wampanoag CC), 72-69-69-74-284; Eric Dietrich (The Farms CC), 75-69-71-70-285; Corey Birch (Silver Spring CC), 71-71-70-73-285; Nick Harrington (The GC of Windham), 71-71-70-75-287; Kyle Buschmann (Middlesex Eclub), 69-73-73-73-288; Gabe Van Ness (Clinton CC), 72-72-76-71-291.


Thomas, DeChambeau among latest coming to play Travelers Championship

The Travelers Championship secured four more commitments with just over a week remaining before its deadline. All four could be an important part of the PGA Tour’s future.

Justin Thomas’s first tournament as a professional was the 2013 Travelers Championship,. Where he tied for 30th place. He is now currently ranked 39th in the world rankings thanks to four top-10 finishes this season, including his first PGA Tour victory at the 2015 CIMB Classic last fall.

Patrick Rodgers made his pro debut at the 2014 Travelers Championship, tying for 46th place. He missed the cut as an amateur in the 2012 event. Rodgers has seven top-25 finishes on tour this season.

Bryson DeChambeau won the U.S. Amateur and NCAA Division I championship in 2015, then tied for 21st at the Masters in April, his final event as an amateur. DeChambeau, who is making his first appearance at the Travelers, tied for 15th at the U.S. Open last month.

Jon Rahm tied for 64th as an amateur at last year’s Travelers. A native of Spain, Rahm turned professional after finishing tied for 23rd at the U.S. Open. His first event as a pro, he tied for third at the Quicken Loans Invitational. He is the only person to win the Ben Hogan Award twice as an amateur.

Golfers have until July 29 to decide if they will play in this year’s Travelers Championship, which will be held Aug. 4-7 at TPC River Highlands in Cromwell.

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Umphrey leads NE Amateur at midway point

WEST HARTFORD >> There is a good enough crop of state golfers already either on or headed to the University of Connecticut men’s golf team this fall.

You can add the 36-hole leader at the 87th New England Amateur to that roster as well.

Tim Umphrey of Massachusetts fired a 3-under-par 67 to stand at 5-under 135 after two rounds of the Amateur at The Hartford Golf Club.

“I have pretty high confidence right now,” Umphrey said. I am really excited to start the season at school. I feel that if I am playing like this, I should be able to play and be in the starting five for the matches.

Umphrey, 19, leads Brad Valois of Rhode Island (4-under 136) by one stroke and Logan Broyles of Vermont by two.

Max Theodorakis, who just graduated from Danbury High in June, stands in fourth place after a pair of 69s put him at 2-under 138.  Theodorakis, who will play at Campbell University this fall, was the medalist at the CIAC Division I championship meet last month.

Geoff Vartelas of Lyman Orchards GC in Middlefield, and a former standout at Xavier High and Penn State, is tied for fifth at 1-under 139, four strokes behind Umphrey.

Monte Mullen (TPC River Highlands) and Chet Hrostek (GC of Oxford Greens) moved within striking distance of Umphrey. Both trail by five strokes after shooting 68 and 69, respectively.

First-round co-leader Brian Carlson out of Clinton CC and a junior-to-be at Purdue University, bogeyed six of his first nine holes. He ended up with a 76 and tied for 28th place (143).

Fifteen of the 45 players who made the cut for the final 36 holes today are from Connecticut. The final group of Umphrey and Valois go off the 10th tee at 8:50 a.m. Thursday. The final round is scheduled to begin at noon.

(At The Hartford GC)
Timothy Umphrey (Mass.), 68-67-135; Brad Valois (R.I.), 69-67-136; Logan Broyles (Vt.), 68-69-137; Max Theodorakis (CT, Ridgewood CC), 69-69-138; Ryan Tombs (N.H.), 72-67-139; Brandon Parker (Mass.), 71-68-139; Ben Balter (Mass.), 69-70-139; Geoff Vartelas (CT, Lyman Orchards GC), 68-71-139; Christopher Gentle (Mass.), 73-67-140; Matthew Paradis (N.H.), 72-68-140; Monte Mullen (CT, TPC River Highlands), 72-68-140; Chet Hrostek (CT, GC at Oxford Greens), 71-69-140; Connor Daly (Vt.), 67-73-140; John Flaherty (CT,  TPC River Highlands), 75-66-141; James Turner (Mass.), 73-68-141; Brian Ahern (CT, Wampanoag CC), 72-69-141; Mackenzie Nelson (Mass.), 71-70-141; Eric Marchetti (R.I.), 71-70-141; Bobby Leopold (R.I.), 68-73-141
Other CT finishers

Nick Harrington (GC of Windham), 71-71-142; Corey Birch (Silver Spring CC), 71-71-142; Kyle Buschmann (Middlesex Eclub), 69-73-142; Zach Zaback (TPC River Highlands), 72-71-143; Clark Robinson (Ellington Ridge CC), 70-73-143; Brian Carlson (Clinton CC), 67-76-143; Eric Dietrich (The Farms CC), 75-69-144; Rasmey Kong (Eclub of New Haven), 74-70-144; Gabe Vanness (Clinton CC), 72-72-144