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Connecticut Am brought to standstill as Fox Hopyard gets soaked
Ben Day (CSGA photo)
Ben Day (CSGA photo)

On the second day of 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 in East Haddam, Ct., from late morning through the afternoon, creating a more than five-hour rain delay and leaving the leaders, including Brian Zito of Black Hall, who shot 2-under 69 on Monday, 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 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 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 players to get back out One player who was not complaining, however, was Ben Day of the Country Club of Waterbury, who followed an uncharacteristic 80 Monday with a 4-under 66 Tuesday, 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 under to finish at 4 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 4-under 67 to jump into a tie for fourth. He made seven birdies, including consecutive ones on holes Nos. 10, 11 and 12. Day made eight 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 under, after yesterday's 2-under 69 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 1-under 70: 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.

ABOUT THE Connecticut Amateur

The Connecticut Amateur Championship is one of the nation’s oldest state amateur golf championships and is one of 19 championship tournaments conducted by the Connecticut State Golf Association. The challenging format tests the state's best amateur golfers over two rounds of stroke play to determine the low thirty-two match play qualifiers. Two rounds of match play each day culminate in a thirty-six hole final to crown the top amateur player in Connecticut.

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