HARTFORD, Conn – Mike Martin of New Haven and Peter Ballo of Stamford combined to shoot 26-under-par 262 to tie for second in the PGA of America’s Senior-Junior Team Championship at PGA Golf Club in Port St. Lucie, Florida.
Martin and Ballo shared the runner-up spot with Bob Sowards of Dublin, Ohio, and Doug Wade of South Lebanon, Ohio. Those two teams each won $10,500 after finishing two strokes behind Craig Bowden of Bloomington, Ind., and Brett Melton of Coatesville, Pa. They each won $15,000.
Craig Bowden made a putt he needed to and partner Brett Melton holed a chip he didn’t expect to make and that was the winning formula. Those late birdies were the difference as Bowden and Melton shot a 7-under 65 Thursday to win the PGA Senior-Junior Team Championship by two shots at 28-under at PGA Golf Club.
The duo were tied for the lead at 26-under with two teams when Melton had a 25-foot downhill putt on the par-5 16th hole on the Wanamaker Course. Bowden had also reached the green in 2, but rolled his eagle putt 12 feet past. Bowden chose to hit his birdie putt first made to seal the victory in dramatic fashion.
FRANK BENSEL WINS IN PLAYOFF
Three-time Connecticut Open champion Frank Bensel made a 15-foot birdie putt on the first playoff hole and then made a par two holes later to win the PGA of America Stroke Play Championship at PGA Golf Club in Port St. Lucie, Fla. Bensel, the assistant pro at Century CC in Purchase, N.Y., was facing elimination when David Muttitt rolled in a 25-birdie putt on the first playoff hole. Bensel matched that birdie and went on to claim his fifth PGA Winter Championship after he and Muttitt each shot 5-under 211 for 54 holes. Former Ellington Ridge CC pro Rob Corcoran and Central Connecticut State University grad Rob Labritz finished in a four-way tie for third at 212.
SOFIA ALVAREZ NAMED PGA WORKS FELLOW
PGA Reach, the 501©(3) charitable foundation of the PGA of America, in conjunction with the Connecticut Section PGA, has selected Sofia Alvarez, of Maracaibo, Venezuela, to join the team as a PGA WORKS Fellow. The PGA WORKS Fellowship program aspires to be the most valuable entry-level opportunity for individuals from diverse backgrounds to gain experience in all facets of the golf industry.
In this role, Alvarez will support the mission and purpose of the Connecticut PGA Section Foundation and support PGA HOPE programming, PGA Jr. League and Drive, Chip & Putt. She will also assist with foundation administration, operations and fundraising events, as related to PGA REACH and the Connecticut PGA Section. Previously, Alvarez served as an intern in the USGA’s P.J. Boatwright Internship Program.