HAMDEN, Conn. (June 20, 2013) — Lawrence Haertel, Jr., 27, of Round Hill Club, Peter Ballo, 21, of Woodway Country Club, Paul Schaeffer, 29, of Rockledge Country Club and Cody Paladino, 24, of Wethersfield Country Club, all won quarterfinal matches Thursday to advance to the semifinals at the 111th Connecticut Amateur Championship, being played at the par-70, 6,543 yard New Haven Country Club.
Conducted by the Connecticut State Golf Association, the Connecticut Amateur Championship is one of the nation’s oldest state amateur golf championships. 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.
Haertel, the 2005 Russell C. Palmer Cup Champion, made headlines in his Round of 16 match this morning by knocking off Kevin Josephson, the Medalist and overall number one seed. Haertel advanced to face Jeff Evanier of Clinton Country Club in the afternoon, and similar to his morning match, Haertel fell behind early. However, a birdie on the difficult 12th hole gave him a 1 up lead, which he would never relinquish.
Haertel next faces Ballo, who is making his first trip to the semifinals at the Connecticut Amateur. Ballo has played more holes than any of the semifinalists, having won two of previous three matches on the 19th hole, and the other on the 18th hole against the number four seed Jason Hogan of Watertown Golf Club. In his quarterfinal match, Ballo had yet to hold the lead until a crucial birdie on the 16th hole put him 1-up against Hogan.
The third player to advance this afternoon was Schaeffer, who defeated Benjamin Day of New Haven Country Club. Large crowds followed the match as Day attempted to capture his first Connecticut Amateur Championship on his home course. Schaeffer held the lead for the entire match and secured his place in the semifinals by winning Holes #9, #10, #12 and #13 to go from 1-up to 5-up. Schaeffer has put on quite an impressive performance thus far, having won all of his previous matches before reaching the 18th hole.
Schaeffer will face Paladino in the second semifinal on Friday, who will come into the match with plenty of experience. Paladino was a runner-up to Tommy McDonagh at the 2006 Connecticut Amateur Championship at Torrington Country Club, and recently captured the Russell C. Palmer Cup at the Country Club of Waterbury. Paladino advanced to the semifinals after defeating John Flaherty of TPC River Highlands 2 and 1. Earlier in the day, Flaherty defeated the number six seed Glen Boggini in a staggering 22 holes.
Although all four of the semifinalists are looking to capture their first Connecticut Amateur Championship, they enter the semifinals with a tremendous amount of experience. Most notably, Paladino advanced to the 2007 U.S. Amateur Public Links Final, where 36-holes stood between him and a trip to Augusta National.
“No question that experience in the Pub Links final is something I always carry with me, especially in match play events. Being on that big stage, there’s nothing quite like it. It’s fun to remember and think back, but I’m just trying to stay focused on this week and my next match.”
The Semifinal Matches will be played on Friday morning beginning at 7:00 a.m. and the championship will conclude on Saturday with a 36-hole final. Live hole-by-hole scoring will be available for the semifinal matches, and the final match will feature Live, Shot-By-Shot Coverage. For more information, visit CTAmateur.com.
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