Jessica Carafiello of Innis Arden Golf Club sits alone atop the leaderboard at the 18th Connecticut Women’s Open Championship after posting an impressive two under-par 69. Carafiello made a remarkable seven birdies on the day, and holds a 3-stroke lead over Lynn Valentine of East Lyme, Connecticut and Ashli Bunch of Morristown, Tennessee.
The 18th Connecticut Women’s Open Championship is a 36-hole stroke play competition being played at Round Hill Club in Greenwich, on May 31 and June 1. The tournament, which is conducted by the Connecticut State Golf Association annually attracts some of the best competitors from across the country. The immaculate 5747 yard, par-71 Round Hill Club proved to be a challenging test for many of the players.
Carafiello, who is preparing for the KPMG Women’s PGA Championship in early June, started off the day with two birdies on the first two holes, and continued that momentum for the rest of the round, carding four more birdies on the back nine. Although she also made 5 bogeys, she managed to answer every bogey with a birdie to keep her round on track.
“I drove the ball where I needed to, and hit some really close irons, but if you don’t read the greens well and respect the greens out here, it’s going to be tough,” said Carafiello.
Valentine is looking for her second Connecticut Women’s Open Championship, having won previously at Tumble Brook Country Club back in 2008. Valentine carded a three under-par 33 on the back nine to put herself three strokes off the lead. Bunch, who is looking for her first Connecticut Women’s Open title, was a regular on the LPGA Tour from 1999-2012 and has accumulated over $725,000 in career earnings. Bunch displayed consistent play throughout the day, making 15 pars en route to her one over-par 72.
Rounding out the top-5 are Emily Flanigan Motta of Davenport, Florida and Elizabeth Breed of Waynesboro Pennsylvania. Breed and Motta both recorded 3 birdies apiece, and maintained consistent ball striking in order to stay in contention. Motta cited great course conditions and mentioned that the speedy greens were tough but it was a fair test of golf.
“The greens were definitely a challenge, but it keeps your head in it. I had a couple three-putts but you just can’t let that get to you,” said Motta.
The final round of the 36-hole championship begins Wednesday morning at 7:30am off both the 1st and 10th tee. Those interested can follow tournament updates and live scoring online on the official tournament website at ctwomensopen.com.