WATERBURY, Conn. (May 21, 2013) -- Cody Paladino of Wethersfield Country Club captured the 10th Russell C. Palmer Cup in decisive fashion, shooting a final round 71 to win by three strokes over Blake Morris. Paladino, who led wire-to-wire, took a three shot lead into the afternoon and played steady the entire day.
Conducted by the Connecticut State Golf Association, the Russell C. Palmer Cup is a 54-hole stroke play competition being played at the Country Club of Waterbury on Monday and Tuesday, May 20th and 21st. Named for former Executive Director of the CSGA and Connecticut Golf Hall of Fame Member Russell C. Palmer, the event features Connecticut's top amateur golfers who are vying for the state's amateur stroke play title. The par-69 Donald Ross layout was originally founded in 1899 and played at a total of 6,539 yards for the competitors.
After carrying the overnight lead into the final 36-holes, Paladinopicked up right where he left off. He made the turn at 1-under par and fired a one-over par round of 70, which was second lowest for the morning round. Paladino held a three stroke advantage heading into the final round, which he would never relinquish.
Paladino started off his final round with six straight pars, and made birdies on #8 and #9 to make the turn in 34. His only double bogey on the week came on the par-4 10th, which cut his lead to two over Blake Morris and Kevin Josephson. Morris appeared to be within shouting distance, and despite a slow start to his final round, made birdies on both 12 and 13 to cut the lead to 2 strokes.
Sensing his lead was slipping away, Paladino stepped up to the challenge with a big birdie putt on the par-4 13th. The putt would extend his lead back to four, as both Josephson and Morris both made bogey on the 14th hole in the group ahead.
“Making birdie on #13 was huge for me,” Paladino said. “I drove the ball really well all week and just tried to stay patient out there. I made a couple of really big putts when I needed to, which kept the momentum going.”
When all was said and done, it was Paladino holding the title. He recorded rounds of 67-70-71—208, which proved to be enough for a three shot victory. “It kind of hard to put it into words right now”, said an emotional Paladino. “It sounds cliché, but it really hasn’t sunk in yet. I think in a few days when I look back on it, I’ll realize how far I’ve come in the past couple of years.”
With his win, Paladino continues his impressive start to the 2013 season. He was the medalist for Connecticut Amateur Qualifying at Great Neck Country Club last week, and also captured a CSGA One Day Tournament title at Chippanee Golf Club.
Finishing alone in second place with rounds of 70-70-71—211 was Blake Morris, a Waterbury, Conn. Native who was competing on his home course. Morris, who is also a member of the University of Mississippi golf team, recently returned from NCAA Regional’s at LSU, which he qualified for as an individual.
Finishing in third place was defending Champion Sam Bernstein of the Course art Yale, who also added some drama to the final round. Bernstein fired a final round 69, second lowest for the afternoon round, but a 75 in his second round proved to be too much to overcome. Rounding out the top five was Kevin Josephson of Personal Golf Network with rounds of 71-70-72—213, and John Flaherty of TPC River Highlands with rounds of 68-80-67—215.
One of the biggest highlights of the week was the fantastic course conditions that players found at the Country Club of Waterbury. Fast and firm greens, combined with thick rough and tight fairways made the course play fair, yet very difficult. As CSGA Executive Director Michael Moraghan noted, “It’s the best condition I’ve ever seen the Country Club of Waterbury in my more than 40 years of playing here.”
The CSGA is back in action next Tuesday and Wednesday, May 28th and 29th, when it hosts the 15th Connecticut Women’s Open at Tumble Brook Country Club. Admission is free and spectators are encouraged to attend. For more information on the CT Women’s Open, visit ctwomensopen.com.
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