For Immediate Release
CONNECTICUT SECTION PGA
May 22, 2023
SVOBODA LEADS CONNECTICUT PGA CHAMPIONSHIP BY THREE
By Bruce Berlet
FARMINGTON, Conn. (May 22, 2023) – After 14 years playing the PGA Tour and Korn Ferry Tour, Andy Svoboda was the favorite to win the 92nd Connecticut PGA Championship at the Country Club of Farmington and earn a spot in the Travelers Championship in June.
Svoboda fulfilled the expectations during the first round on Monday, shooting a bogey-free, 4-under-par 67 highlighted by an eagle 3 at the 10th hole and good for a three-stroke lead over four-time Connecticut Open champion Kyle Gallo, Craig Hocknull (Glen Arbor Golf Club – New York) and Eric Flood (Indian Hill Country Club), who made double-bogey 5 on No. 18 to lose solo second place.
“It was a good solid day with some good saves,” said Svoboda, who is in his first year as head golf professional at Great River Golf Club in Milford.
Svoboda, 43, played on the PGA Tour in 2013-15 and on the Korn Ferry Tour in 2009-12 and 2016-20, winning three tournaments on the latter circuit. He also had several strong showings in national championships before returning to the club professional ranks.
“The Tours are a lot of traveling, and it’s such a fine line to being successful,” Svoboda said. “A shot here, a couple of putts there can make such a difference.”
Svoboda made a 12-foot birdie putt at the third hole and two-putted the par-5 sixth to go with seven pars that put him at 2-under 34 at the turn. He immediately doubled his position at the par-5 10th with a drive, 6-iron from 200 yards and a 20-foot putt for eagle. Eight closing pars, which included three good saves, gave Svoboda his 67.
Gallo, 48, an All-American and men’s golf coach at Central Connecticut State University, is “just playing golf again” in preparation for trying to qualify for the PGA Tour Seniors in 2024. But he’s not eligible for the exemption into the Travelers Championship because he’s a PGA of America associate working towards Class A membership.
“Hey, it is what it is, no big deal,” said Gallo, a member of the Connecticut Golf Hall of Fame. “I’ve got three levels of bookwork so hope to get my Class A status that way.
While trying to earn his Class A status, he’s teaching, coaching, and managing at Full Circle Golf, an indoor golf facility in Berlin that he started with John Vitale 16 months ago.
“Playing in events like this is good for business,” Gallo said.
Gallo, who missed qualifying for the PGA Tour by a shot in 2005, had four birdies and three bogeys and plans to take a different strategy in the final round on Tuesday.
“I left some shots out there, but I’ll be more aggressive tomorrow,” Gallo said
Geno Giancola, son of Connecticut Golf Hall of Fame member Kevin Giancola, who won the event five times (the last being in 2015), is tied for fifth with Kevin Mahaffy (Pequabuck Golf Club), Scott Vroman (Ellington Ridge Country Club), Corey Harris (Washington Golf Club), and three-time champion Adam Rainaud (Country Club of New Canaan) at 71.
Giancola, 30, had an adventurous opening 12 holes with an eagle 3 at the 10th hole (5-iron from 206 yards to 3 feet), three birdies, three bogeys and a double-bogey 5 at the second hole before closing with six pars.
“I kept it in play,” said Giancola, 30, of Timberlin Golf Club in Berlin. “I didn’t hit the driver that well and clunked three iron shots but hit some good iron shots to save pars.”
The final round on Tuesday begins at 8 a.m., and Svoboda, Gallo and Flood will be in the final group at 11:27 a.m. The winner earns $4,000 from a $21,500 purse. While the low scoring Connecticut Section PGA Member will receive an exemption into the 2023 Travelers Championship to be played June 22-25, at TPC River Highlands.
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Round 1 Results
1 Andy Svoboda Great River Golf Club 34-33–67 -4
T2 Eric Flood Indian Hill Country Club 35-35–70 -1
T2 Kyle Gallo Full Circle Golf 35-35–70 -1
T2 Craig Hocknull GlenArbor Golf Club 37-33–70 -1
T5 Geno Giancola Timberlin Golf Club 36-35–71 E
T5 Corey Harris Washington Golf Club 36-35–71 E
T5 Kevin Mahaffy Pequabuck Golf Club 36-35–71 E
T5 Adam Rainaud CC of New Canaan 38-33–71 E
T5 Scott Vroman Ellington Ridge Country Club 37-34–71 E
T10 Chris Ayers Goodwin Park Golf Club 39-33–72 +1
T10 Brad Lusenhop Country Club of Waterbury 36-36–72 +1
T12 Andy Stock Ridgewood Country Club 37-36–73 +2
T12 Christopher Tallman GreatHorse 35-38–73 +2
T14 Sean Sweitzer Madison Country Club 37-37–74 +3
T14 Milton Torres Crestview Country Club 39-35–74 +3
T16 Archie Cart Troon Golf Management 37-38–75 +4
T16 Adam D’Amario Indian Hill Country Club 37-38–75 +4
T16 Geoff Gelderman H. Smith Richardson Golf Course 39-36–75 +4
T16 Steve Madison Golf Club of Avon 40-35–75 +4
T16 William Street Whitney Farms Golf Club 37-38–75 +4
T21 Michael Jezierski Raceway Golf Club 35-41–76 +5
T21 Donny Kirkpatrick Wampanoag Country Club 36-40–76 +5
T21 John Vitale Full Circle Golf 39-37–76 +5
T24 Rick Fleury PGA Life Member 39-38–77 +6
T24 Jim Hanlon The Farms Country Club 38-39–77 +6
T24 Brian Keiser Longmeadow Country Club 40-37–77 +6
T24 C.J. Konkowski Hartford Golf Club 36-41–77 +6
T24 Jack McConachie PGA Life Member 39-38–77 +6
T24 Gerard Scheer Aspetuck Valley Country Club 41-36–77 +6
T30 Jeff DelRosso Prospect Golf 39-39–78 +7
T30 Jason Gobleck Golf Center at Lyman Orchards 41-37–78 +7
T30 Jordan Gosler Manchester Country Club 41-37–78 +7
T30 Mike Martin Tashua Knolls Golf Course 38-40–78 +7
T30 Terry Slater Race Brook Country Club 38-40–78 +7
T30 Jan Wivestad Chris Cote’s School of Golf 38-40–78 +7
T36 Bob Bigonette H. Smith Richardson Golf Course 42-37–79 +8
T36 Nick Calabrese Chippanee Country Club 41-38–79 +8
T36 Joe Cordani Hop Meadow Country Club 40-39–79 +8
T36 Ron Dellostritto Fairways Golf Range and Pro Shop 42-37–79 +8
T36 Brian Hussey Rock Ridge Country Club 43-36–79 +8
T36 Bryan Truszkowski Candlewood Lake Club 39-40–79 +8
T42 Glenn Carlson Torrington Country Club 40-40–80 +9
T42 Zac Stennett Tallwood Country Club 40-40–80 +9
T42 William Wallis New Haven Country Club 39-41–80 +9
T45 Joseph Carlone Litchfield Country Club 43-38–81 +10
T45 Kenny Hall Great Neck Country Club 38-43–81 +10
T45 Bart McCarthy Gillette Ridge Golf Club 38-43–81 +10
T45 Bob Mucha Edgewood Golf Course 41-40–81 +10
T45 Nicholas Tamburini The Ranch Golf Club 40-41–81 +10
T50 E.J. Altobello Springfield Country Club 41-41–82 +11
T50 Dan Harrison Country Club of Waterbury 43-39–82 +11
T50 Brian Huber Wampanoag Country Club 42-40–82 +11
T50 Bobby Powell The First Tee of Connecticut 43-39–82 +11
54 Marc Bayram Timberlin Golf Club 38-45–83 +12
T55 Tom Halsted Sharon Country Club 41-43–84 +13
T55 Mark Ingala Golf Lounge 18 – Canton 40-44–84 +13
T55 David Wright Cold Spring Country Club 44-40–84 +13
58 Shaun Maher Ellington Ridge Country Club 42-43–85 +14
T59 Marie Allo Lake of Isles 44-42–86 +15
T59 Joe Mentz Mohegan Sun Golf Club 45-41–86 +15
T59 Ronnie Pfaefflin Norfolk Country Club 43-43–86 +15
T62 Josh Carney Manchester Country Club 43-44–87 +16
T62 Philip Krick Mohegan Sun Golf Club 43-44–87 +16
T64 William Burns Hartford Golf Club 48-40–88 +17
T64 Dave Cook Pomperaug Golf Course 46-42–88 +17
T64 Justin Smith TPC River Highlands 44-44–88 +17