October 13, 2011 | email@example.com | The Hartford Courant
WALLINGFORD – Raymond Floyd Jr. shrugged off a 3-over par start on his first three holes in the final round of the Connecticut Mid-Amateur Championship Thursday.
"I use to be hot head, but I've gotten a lot better," said Floyd, the son of four-time major winner Raymond Floyd. "After bogeying one and doubling the third, I actually relaxed. I told myself, 'There's a lot of golf to play.'
Floyd went 2-under par over his last 15 holes to post a 1-over 73 to win the title at The Farms Country Club. His even-par 144 was one shot better than defending champion Brian Ahern (75-70—145) and first-round leader Scott Farrell (69-76—145).
The conclusion of the Mid-Amateur (for those 25 and over who have a USGA handicap not exceeding 6.4) was reduced from the scheduled two rounds to one because of the lack of daylight.
The scheduled conclusion had been August 31. But the first round had been postponed by rain August 30. The first round was played the next day. The 36-hole finale was moved to September 7 and was promptly rained out. Because of scheduling conflicts at The Farms CC the tournament couldn't be played again until Thursday.
"It has been what six weeks; swings and games can change in that time," said Floyd, 37, a member of Innis Arden Golf Club-Old Greenwich.
Ahern (Wampanaog CC-West Hartford) carded the best round of the day. "I hit it great and ended up making birdie on the last three holes," he said.
Double bogeys at Nos. 1 and 12 and bogeys at 8, 15 and 17 cost Farrell (Black Hall GC-Old Lyme). "I hit too many loose shots, especially with my driver at 1 and 17," he said.
Floyd believed he had lost the tournament with a double-bogey 5 at the par-3 16. But he bounced back with an 81-yard approach with his 64-degree wedge at 17. "I rolled that 15-footer right in the back," he said.
His birdie and a bogey 5 by Farrell, who was playing in the final threesome with Floyd and Steven Bugg, gave Floyd a one-shot lead.
Floyd and Farrell both parred the par-5 hole.
"I've finished first in some USGA U.S. Open or national Mid-Amateur local qualifiers," Floyd said. "This really was my first tournament victory since my junior golf days."
Farrell said Floyd "hit it a country mile and made three birdies on the back. That's how champions win; hats off to him."