DARIEN, Conn. (July 30, 2012) -- Blue skies, warm temperatures, and a long, difficult Wee Burn Country Club greeted the 129 man field on day one of the 78th Connecticut Open. Only five players scored even par or better on the 6,987 yard, par 72 layout.
First round leader Mike Ballo Jr. (Stamford, CT) shot three -under par 69 on day one of the championship. “I hit a lot of fairways and didn’t miss many greens”, said Ballo, which at Wee Burn will give you a chance to score well. Ballo recorded six birdies on a day when many players were scrambling for pars and trying to negotiate thick rough and a nearly 7,000 yard golf course. Though two of Ballo’s three bogeys came on par 5’s, he remains confident saying, “I played solid all day and I can’t complain.”
Paired alongside Ballo was defending Connecticut Open Champion Frank Bensel (Norwalk, CT). After shooting one over par (38) on his opening nine, Bensel made two birdies en route to a two-under par (33) on his second nine. Bensel’s 71 has him in third place by himself, two shots behind Ballo.
Making his return to the Connecticut Open after a one year hiatus is five-time PGA Tour winner Ken Green. Green, the 1985 and 1992 Connecticut Open Champion opened with a five-over par 77. “This is a really hard golf course and normally I wouldn’t be happy shooting 77. But this is the best I’ve felt physically in a while, so I’m excited to see what I can do.” Green’s quest for a third Connecticut Open victory will resume Tuesday at 12:40pm.
Tuesday’s morning wave of tee times will go from 7:30am-9:10am off the 1st and 10th tees and the afternoon wave will go from 12:30pm-2:10pm. Upon the completion of the second round the field will be cut to the low 40 scores and ties.