MIDDLEFIELD, CT (August 8, 2016) -- Chris Meinke of Longshore Golf Course was the lone player to break par on day one of the 31st Connecticut Public Links Championship, firing a round of 1-under-par 71 on the Jones Course at Lyman Orchards Golf Club to grab the overnight lead.
Conducted by the Connecticut State Golf Association, the Connecticut Public Links Championship is a 36-hole stroke play competition that honors the true spirit of public golf in the state. The Public Links Championship is open to Connecticut amateur golfers who have been bona-fide public course players since the start of the calendar year. The Jones Course at Lyman Orchards Golf Club opened for play in 1969 and is set up to play at a total of 6,854 yards for the competitors.
Playing in just his second Public Links Championship, Meinke began his round on the difficult Jones Course one over-par through eight holes. After a birdie on the 9th hole, he played near perfect golf on the back, making eight pars and a lone birdie on the par-5 12th to finish at one under-par for the tournament.
“I got off to a good start on the front nine with two birdies and two bogies, and then settled down on the back nine,” said Meinke. “I played steady most of the day and hit a lot of greens, and my ball striking was really solid today. All in all, a good round, a good start and we’ll see where it goes from there.”
Given that seven of the nine hardest holes are on the front nine, a good start will be critical to his success in the final group. His round of 71 marked his first CSGA competitive round in red figures and he hopes to continue the momentum into tomorrow, where he will also be seeking to capture his first CSGA title of his young career.
Meinke holds a slim lead over a trio of players heading into Tuesday’s final round - Kyle Nolin of Tallwood Country Club, John Dailey of H.S. Richardson Golf Course and Chet Hrostek of the Golf Club at Oxford Greens all sit just one stroke back after rounds of even-par 72. Hrostek, the 2015 Public Links champion, is seeking to become the first player since 2004 (Joe Dennis) to successfully defend their title. Despite a disastrous double-bogey on the par-4 14th hole, he finished his opening round with a pair of birdies to keep himself in contention.
This year’s starting field of ninety-six players was trimmed to the low thirty competitors, plus ties, following the conclusion of the first round, with a score of 77 or better required to make the cut. Among those to advance included 2014 Public Links Champion Glen Boggini of Twin Hills CC (77) and four-time Public Links Champion Dave Szewczul of Tunxis Plantation Country Club (74).
The final round will begin at 7:30 a.m. EST, with the leaders teeing off last at 9:36 a.m.
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