Fletcher Babcock Fights Back and Wins the Inaugural Connecticut PGA Open

BLOOMFIELD, Conn. (August 17, 2021) – After firing a course record tying 65 yesterday in round one and taking a two-shot lead in the Connecticut PGA Open, Fletcher Babcock was asked how he slept last night.

“I slept fine,” the Danielson, Conn., professional said. “But I got off to a rough start today.”

Babcock started the final round at Gillette Ridge Golf Club paired with two competitors, Max Theodorakis (Danbury, Conn.) and Jim Becker (Bloomfield, Conn.), who were no strangers to playing in the final group in a final round for a golf championship. Both are former Connecticut Open champions and it was evident from the start that they were going to be there in the end.

Theodorakis wasted no time making his presence known. He knocked it stiff on hole number 1 for birdie and he also birdied the second hole.

Meanwhile, Babcock found trouble on his opening tee shot on the first hole. He had to punch out from under a tree and he worked hard to save par with a 12-foot putt after missing the green in regulation. And, despite making a par on the second hole, his lead had already evaporated.

By the fifth hole, Theodorakis took the lead outright when he parred and Babcock bogeyed.

Becker bogeyed the second hole, but he started making his presence known by recording birdies on the par 3, fourth, par 4, sixth, and par 5, seventh.

Babcock’s struggles continued when he hit into a penalty area on the par 5, seventh, a hole which yielded a number of birdies for the field of competitors.

“I thought about playing it from the penalty area,” Babcock said. “But I decided to play it smart and take the penalty stroke and drop.”

Again, it wasn’t easy for him. A clutch 9-foot putt to save bogey left him two behind Theodorakis and one behind Becker.

The turning point came on the par 3, hole number eight.

After a pedestrian approach, Babcock drained a 30-foot putt for birdie, while Becker parred and Theodorakis 3-putted for bogey.

Now all three were tied at 6-under par for the championship.

“I knew I didn’t have my best game up to this point,” Babcock confessed. “But I was still in it and I just told myself I have to start playing like I know how to.”

All three players parred number nine and stood 6-under for the championship and were three clear of the nearest competitors after 27 holes.

More pars for all three on holes 10 and 11.

Meanwhile, Tim Hegarty of Briarcliff, NY, who was playing four groups ahead got it to 5-under for his round and the tournament and was suddenly only one stroke behind the leaders. A disappointing bogey, triple bogey finish on his last two holes took him out of contention and made it essentially a 3-horse race.

Holes 15 and 16 proved to be pivotal for the championship’s outcome.

Theodorakis made back to back birdies on holes number 13 and 14 and reached to 8-under par for the tournament and took a 2-shot lead over both Babcock and Becker.

At the par 3, 15th Becker birdied, Babcock parred, and Theodorakis double bogeyed. So now Becker had a one-shot lead on both.

Babcock turned the tables on hole 16 as he birdied and both Becker and Theodorakis bogeyed.

Becker bogeyed hole 17 while Babcock and Theodorakis parred.

Standing on the 18th tee, Babcock reclaimed the two-shot lead he started the final round with.

All three players found the fairway on their drives and the green on their approaches. Babcock was the first to putt and sent his birdie try three and a half feet past the hole.

Theodorakis was next and his birdie try violently lipped out and he settled for par.

Becker’s birdie try from six feet also missed, thus leaving Babcock with the luxury of two putts for the win.

With victory in hand, Babcock confidently sank his final par putt making him the first champion of the Connecticut PGA Open.

Division winners

With three sets of tees used for men 49 & under; men 50 & over; and women, all professional prize money and amateur golf shop credit was awarded based upon finish within one’s division.

Babcock took the top $2,000 prize in the 49 & under division; Becker claimed $1,700 in the 50 & over division; and Marie Allo (80-75-155) of Newington, Conn., won $1,000 for winning the women’s division.

Jo Rasmussen (82-84-166) of Westport, Conn., was low women’s amateur; and Johnny Bush (69-74-143) of Cranford, NJ, was the men’s low amateur.

The Connecticut PGA Open is supported and sponsored in part by the PGA’s Korn Ferry Tour.

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FINAL Results

 1    Fletcher Babcock       Danielson, CT          65-71–136 -8

 T2   Max Theodorakis        Danbury, CT            67-71–138 -6

 T2   Jim Becker             Bloomfield, CT         68-70–138 -6

 4    Ian Thimble            Hyde Park, MA          70-69–139 -5

 5    Jay Card               Shelter island, NY     71-69–140 -4

 T6   Josh Goldenberg        Scarsdale, NY          71-71–142 -2

 T6   Geno Giancola          Plantsville, CT        68-74–142 -2

 T8   Timothy Hegarty        Briarcliff Manor, NY   72-71–143 -1

 T8   Charlie Blanchard      Warwick, RI            70-73–143 -1

 T8   Andrew Stock           Danbury, CT            69-74–143 -1

 T8   Johnny Bush (a)        Cranford, NJ           69-74–143 -1

 12   Nicholas Dilio         Poughkeepsie, NY       71-74–145 +1

 T13  Adam Rainaud           Chester, CT            75-72–147 +3

 T13  Kyle Gallo             Berlin, CT             74-73–147 +3

 T13  Fran Marrello          Plymouth, CT           73-74–147 +3

 T13  Austin Cilley (a)      Westerly, RI           73-74–147 +3

 T13  Clancy Waugh           North Palm Beach, FL   72-75–147 +3

 T18  Noah Pilipski (a)      New York, NY           76-72–148 +4

 T18  Steven DiLisio         Swampscott, MA         75-73–148 +4

 T18  William Thornton       Lake Worth, FL         73-75–148 +4

 T21  Eric Egloff            Arnold, MD             78-71–149 +5

 T21  Paul Pastore           Stamford, CT           72-77–149 +5

 23   Timmy Rosenhouse       Dix Hills, NY          74-76–150 +6

 T24  Alexander Phibbs       Avon, CT               77-74–151 +7

 T24  Mike Gillette          Plainville, CT         74-77–151 +7

 T26  Jae Kwon               Little Ferry, NJ       80-72–152 +8

 T26  Ronnie Pfaefflin       Winsted, CT            79-73–152 +8

 T26  Alec Martinez          Orland Park, IL        78-74–152 +8

 T26  Edward Hilario         Willimantic, CT        75-77–152 +8

 T26  Christopher Tallman    Holyoke, MA            73-79–152 +8

 T31  Brad Lusenhop          Waterbury, CT          81-72–153 +9

 T31  James MacKenzie        Newton, MA             80-73–153 +9

 T33  Jonathan Pannone       Warwick, RI            83-71–154 +10

 T33  William Street         Shelton, CT            73-81–154 +10

 T35  Matt Stein             Hampden, MA            82-73–155 +11

 T35  Marie Allo             Newington, CT          80-75–155 +11

 T35  Dan Simons             West Cornwall, CT      79-76–155 +11

 T35  Dave Cook              Middlefield, CT        78-77–155 +11

 T35  C.J. Konkowski         West Chesterfield, NH  77-78–155 +11

 T35  Jason Gobleck          Madison, CT            76-79–155 +11

 T35  Uttdom Sowinkong (a)   Newington, CT          75-80–155 +11

 T42  Kerry Johnston         Indio, CA              83-73–156 +12

 T42  Dan Woodbury           Upton, MA              82-74–156 +12

 T42  John Herbert (a)       New York, NY           82-74–156 +12

 T42  Ian Wivestad (a)       Watertown, CT          75-81–156 +12

 46   Bart McCarthy          Ludlow, MA             78-79–157 +13

 T47  Conor Deasy (a)        Hartford, CT           80-78–158 +14

 T47  Andra Frappier         Cheshire, CT           80-78–158 +14

 T49  Brian Keiser           Longmeadow, MA         83-76–159 +15

 T49  Adam D’Amario          West Hartford, CT      83-76–159 +15

 T49  Kevin Ausserlechner    West Harrison, NY      80-79–159 +15

 T49  Ron Dellostritto       Branford, CT           78-81–159 +15

 T53  Michael Allo (a)       Newington, CT          83-77–160 +16

 T53  Jordan Lintz           Milford, CT            81-79–160 +16

 T53  Jan Wivestad           Watertown, CT          80-80–160 +16

 T53  Ian Wilson             Poughkeepise, NY       79-81–160 +16

 T53  Philip Krick           Groton, CT             79-81–160 +16

 T53  Mike Gramelis          West Haven, CT         75-85–160 +16

 59   Shamus Landers         Marlborough, MA        79-82–161 +17

 T60  E.J. Altobello         Westfield, MA          85-79–164 +20

 T60  Joe Mentz              Hartford, CT           81-83–164 +20

 T62  Donny Kirkpatrick      West Hartford, CT      84-82–166 +22

 T62  Mike McCarthy (a)      Berlin, CT             83-83–166 +22

 T62  Jo Rasmussen (a)       Westport, CT           82-84–166 +22

 T65  Kevin Mahaffy          Southington, CT        84-83–167 +23

 T65  Kyle Leeds             Riverside, CT          79-88–167 +23

 T65  Bobby Powell           Hartford, CT           78-89–167 +23

 T65  Bryan Truszkowski      Manalapan, NJ          77-90–167 +23

 T69  Joseph Carlone         Bristol, CT            85-83–168 +24

 T69  Marty Burns (a)        Terryville, CT         85-83–168 +24

 T69  William Wallis         New Haven, CT          83-85–168 +24

 72   Matthew Smith          Hamden, CT             90-79–169 +25

 73   Arnold Wright (a)      Redding, CT            82-89–171 +27

 74   Michael Patrizzi       Norwalk, CT            91-82–173 +29

 T75  David Wright           Belchertown, MA        86-88–174 +30

 T75  Ellie Large (a)        West Hartford, CT      84-90–174 +30

 T75  John-Paul Avenoso (a)  Newington, CT          80-94–174 +30

 T78  Glen Kallinich (a)     Madison, CT            90-86–176 +32

 T78  Sathscia Sowinkong (a) Newington, CT          88-88–176 +32

 80   Sadie Martinez (a)     Hartford               89-90–179 +35

 81   Frank Lonardo          Kings Park, NY         92-89–181 +37

 82   Charles Vigilante (a)  New York, NY           92-97–189 +45

 83   David James            Hanover, MA            98-93–191 +47