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Championships

Long Rain Delay on Day Two of Amateur

Before the heavy stuff came down Ben Day of Waterbury shot 66 (-5) to play himself back into contention after an opening-round 80.

On the second day of 117th Connecticut Amateur Championship competitors spent more time looking at weather radar on their phones than they did at distance measuring devices. 

Cell after cell of rain pummeled Fox Hopyard from late morning through the afternoon, creating a 5-hour 20-minute rain delay and leaving the leaders, including Brian Zito of Black Hall, who shot 69 (-2) yesterday, with only a few holes completed when darkness—and more rain—fell.

Though the course drains well and there was no lightening, puddling on fairways, tees and a few greens eventually kept players from the course from 1:00-6:20 p.m. 

“We really only had to squeegee a single green, the third, after all that rain before we went out at the end of the day,” said Superintendent Wayne Lagasse. “It was the fairway puddling that was the challenge.” 

Play will resume at 7:00 a.m. on Wednesday, with the completion of stroke play qualifying in the morning the beginning of matches in the afternoon. 

It was a frustrating day for players as officials waited for breaks in the rain that would allow the field to resume play for more than a few minutes. One who was not complaining, however, was Ben Day of the Country Club of Waterbury, who followed an uncharacteristic 80 yesterday with a five-under 66 today, the low round of the championship. Day got the best of the morning weather and was minus four with 15 holes complete when the delay occurred. He played his final three holes, Nos. 7, 8 and 9 in -1 to finish at four over for the championship, T15. Day was almost the last of the morning wave to finish. The final hour and a half of play allowed that wave to complete their rounds.  

Finishing just before the delay was another Waterbury member, UConn star Chandler Morris, who also found the soft conditions and light rain (for him) to his liking. Morris shot 68 (-3) to jump into a tie for fourth. He made seven birdies, including consecutive ones on holes No. 10, 11 and 12. Day made 8 birdies, also had three in a row on his front nine, bouncing back from by a double-bogey on the par-5 15th. 

Brian Zito of Black Hall Club got only three holes in after the delay. He remains at -2, after yesterday's 69 (-2) with three birdies in his final six holes on Monday. His 34-35 was a shot better than two college players also in that wave who shot 70 (-1): Old Dominion junior Chris Ayers and Bryant University standout Nick Piersall, who made the round 16 in the 2018 Amateur. They also got in only a few holes after the delay. 

Though the projected cut, as play ended on Tuesday, was six over par, it was expected to rise and end closer to last year’s cut line, when ten-over played off. 

Of those completing their second rounds, Richard Dowling, the 2017 Connecticut Amateur Champion was one over today and plus-four for the championship. Mathew Chorches of Hartford Golf Club and Randy Rizy of Timberlin were both plus five. 

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The CSGA functions as an extension of the USGA and provides stewardship for amateur golf in Connecticut. Founded in 1899, it is the country’s oldest state golf association and conducts over 50 Championships, Qualifiers and One-Day Tournaments throughout the year, in addition to administering handicaps for over 40,000 members and 181 member clubs. As a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization, the CSGA supports a variety of golf organizations within Connecticut, including the Connecticut Women’s Golf Association, Southern New England Women’s Golf Association, The First Tee, the Connecticut PGA, the Connecticut Association of Golf Course Superintendents and the CSGA Scholarship Fund in honor of Widdy Neale.