Fairfield, Conn. – Frank Bensel from Danbury, Conn. fired his third sub-seventy round to win his second Connecticut Open in the last three years.
Bensel, the assistant golf professional at Century Country Club in Purchase, New York, who slept on a two-stroke lead finished with that same margin of victory.
There were several players chasing Bensel throughout the day including Daniel Balin from Burning Tree Country Club and Dave Szewcul from Tunxis Plantation Country Club. But no other made a better move up the leaderboard than Tom McCarthy from Twin Hills Country Club. McCarthy, a recent graduate of Yale University, began the day five shots back but quickly moved up throughout the front nine. McCarthy made one bogey but still made the turn at four-under par for the tournament. He would go on to make three consecutive birdies on eleven, twelve, and thirteen to pull within one stroke off the lead but would make bogey on his final hole of the tournament to finish at six-under par.
Daniel Balin, an assistant golf professional and 2010 MET PGA Player of the Year, also completed a third round of sub-par golf to finished tied with McCarthy for second place. Balin started the day only three shots back and played extremely consistent making birdies on six, nine, eleven and thirteen before suffering his only bogey of the round on the par three fifteenth hole.
Bensel began his final round sixty-nine with a birdie three on the first hole. He would add one more birdie on the front nine and would not make a bogey until the par four sixteenth hole. Giving back a stroke to the field would not affect Bensel as he puts his tee shot on seventeen down the middle of the fairway. A par on seventeen and a green in regulation on eighteen gave Bensel three putts for the win. He would only need two. He rolled his first putt one foot by the hole, reset and put the ball into the back of the hole earning him the 2011 title and the $10,000 first place check.
“Brad (referring to Brooklawn Golf Professional Brad Worthington) invites me to play in his pro-am here every year and this is one of my favorite courses,” said Bensel following the awards presentation. “It has been a difficult summer to keep golf courses in tournament conditions but Brooklawn has been tremendous all week long.” This was the sixth time Brooklawn has hosted the Connecticut Open (second only to New Haven Country Club’s seven).
The 2012 Connecticut Open Championship will be held at Wee Burn Country Club in late July.