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.
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.
# # #
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