Peter Tomlinson (Connecticut State Golf Association Photo)
Right out of the gates, Peter Tomlinson was locked in. Tomlinson began the final round of the 38th Connecticut Public Links Championship at Keney Park Golf Course tied for the lead with Dave Jones at 1-under but after a birdie on the first from 6 feet he had an advantage he would never relinquish.
From the opening tee shot to the final putt Tomlinson rarely missed his target finishing the tournament 4-under to win his second Connecticut Public Links title by an impressive five shots.
“The birdie on the opening hole definitely settled me down a little bit,” Peter Tomlinson said of his start. “I took the risk of hitting driver and fortunately I got up and down and that helped me settle into the round.”
Often in prime position off the tee Tomlinson played a selectively aggressive style of golf resulting in six birdies throughout his stellar final round 3-under 67.
“I think I did a really good with strategy today and knowing when to pick my spots to be aggressive,” said Tomlinson.
Already 2-under on his round and 3-under for the tournament, Tomlinson stepped onto the tee of the 142-yard par-3 No. 6 with a chance for an early knockout blow. With a 9 iron in hand and a green light pin location, Tomlinson lofted his shot high into the air and watched as it landed with a feathery softness coming to rest just a foot from the hole.
Moments later Tomlinson brushed in the birdie try to move to 4-under and push his lead to four strokes.
“With the pin location on No. 6 that was one where I knew I could be aggressive,” Tomlinson explained. “With it only being a 9 iron for me I knew that as long as I hit it somewhat on line with there being a little bowl around the pin [I knew I could stick it close].”
From that moment on for Tomlinson, a member of last week’s victorious Tri-State team, it was about maintaining focus for the remainder of the round.
“It sounds cliché but I really took it one hole at a time and no matter what my score to par was mentally I was always even-par. I was looking at each hole as a blank slate where you can make birdie but you also have to keep in mind that you have to play smart enough that you don’t make a mistake. Just treating every hole as its own little tournament was able to keep me sharp for the entire day,” said Tomlinson.
Despite the growing lead, Tomlinson never relented, converting a birdie on the par-5 No. 10, and then after a double-bogey on the long downhill par-3 11th that cracked the door slightly open, he responded with birdies on Holes No. 13 and 14.
In the driver’s seat, the exclamation point came on the 397-yard par-4 No. 16. Tomlinson, a full-time caddie at The Stanwich Club in the summer, left his third shot short of the elevated green and then he was too aggressive with his pitch shot sending it 30 feet past the hole.
Staring a bogey in the face Tomlinson rolled in the long par putt from just off the green, and as it slammed into the bottom of the cup, he unleashed a vicious fist pump. It was with that stroke that any potential late drama was removed from the proceedings.
“Winning for a second time is really an honor,” said Tomlinson who also won in 2019. “Winning once is great but winning twice is just a little bit sweeter. I am really proud of the way I played today and I am really proud to represent Orange Hills Country Club. I would like to dedicate this win to the late Bud Smith at Orange Hills CC."
Tomlinson added "The Smith family has been great to me over the years and I grew up learning the game and playing the game my whole life at Orange Hills so I think about Bud quite a lot. He had such a positive influence in my life and in my golf game and I had a feeling he was looking down on me today. So I am really happy to close it out for him and the guys at Orange Hills.”
On a day where Tomlinson was never challenged Kyle Bilodeau finished second at 1-over while Mike Kennedy, Chris Maxwell, and Dave Jones finished in a tie for third at 3-over.View results for Connecticut Public Links
ABOUT THE Connecticut Public Links
36-hole stroke play championship with a cut to the
30 players and ties after the first round. Must hold
active USGA handicap at a CSGA member club not
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