West Hartford, Connecticut (June 14, 2021) – On a rain-soaked first day of the 119th Connecticut Amateur at Hartford Golf Club defending champion Chris Fosdick and 2020 semifinalist Brad Tilley jumped into the lead. Fosdick completed his round in 4-under 66 while Tilley was still on the course when the horn sounded at 8:17 p.m. ending play due to darkness on a marathon day of golf.
Play was originally slated to begin at 7:30 a.m. but due to lightning in the area and heavy rain play didn’t begin until 10 a.m. The field was on the course for only a short time before play was paused at 11 a.m. Play resumed for the remainder of the day at 12:20 p.m.
Originally scheduled to tee off at 8:40 a.m. Fosdick began his first round at 12:40 p.m. and got off to a slow start with a couple of missed birdie opportunities and a bogey on No. 4. However, as the course conditions improved so did Fosdick’s game. Following the dropped shot on the 4th he birdied the par-5 5th for the first of three consecutive birdies that vaulted him onto the first page of the leaderboard.
“I made a good bogey on No. 4 and I don’t know if that jump started my round but I made three birdies in a row after that,” Fosdick said.
The 2021 Russell C. Palmer Cup winner made the turn in 2-under 33 and began his back nine with six consecutive pars before providing some fireworks down the stretch. Fosdick hit his approach shot long on the par-4 16th and faced a difficult chip shot. With the green sloping away from him Fosdick lofted a flop shot well into the air and watched as it slammed into the bottom of the cup for a birdie to move to 3-under.
“I probably hit it a little too hard but it hit the pin and fell in,” Fosdick said of his chip in.
On the ensuing par-3 17th the Virginia sophomore knocked his tee shot to 10-feet and then curled in the putt to reach 4-under. A scrambling par on the 18th completed his five birdie, one bogey round.
“Heading into tomorrow’s round I think I can be a little bit more confident putting. I putted fine, the greens are rolling well and some of the downhillers I was a little scared of and I didn’t put a confident stroke on them so tomorrow if I do that I can maybe shoot a little lower,” Fosdick said.
Through 13 reported holes Tilley had played bogey-free golf. Tilley began his round quickly with three straight birdies and then added his fourth of the round on the par-3 11th.
2018 Connecticut Amateur champion Ben Conroy turn in the second lowest completed round of the day signing for a 3-under 67. After a birdie on the par-4 3rd hole the round could have gone sideways for Conroy on the par-5 6th hole. He found the right rough off the tee and tried to cut his second shot around a tree. As soon as the ball left the club it was heading too far right and looked to be headed out of bounds. However, the ball clanked off a tree branch and dropped into the fairway allowing Conroy to get up and down for par.
For the remainder of the round Conroy played solid golf rolling in birdies on the 7th and 15th holes to complete a bogey-free round.
“I played well all around. I wasn’t super comfortable but I figured it out while I was on the course and everything got better as the round went on,” said Conroy. “I drove it really well on the back and I putted well.”
2020 semifinalist Ben Day is 3-under through 13 recorded holes while Chris Pieper, Adam Friedman, and Chase Barbe are 2-under. Of the group, Pieper is the only player to have completed his round with a 2-under 68.
Play is scheduled to resume tomorrow at 7:30 a.m. with the second round beginning at 8:00 a.m.