September 15, 2011

Giancola Wins 4th Straight Conn. PGA Title

Head men's golf coach Kevin Giancola won his fourth consecutive Connecticut PGA Championship on Wednesday.  Giancola won a three-way playoff on the first playoff hole to defend his title. 

Giancola needed just a two-putt on the first playoff hole at Black Hall Club in Old Lyme, CT.  Giancola entered the final round with a three-stroke lead and shot a 79 on the tournament's final day.  He rebounded on the first playoff hole and his par won the title.

Connecticut PGA Website

Hartford Courant Story

Story From CTPGA.com:

Giancola, Kelley, and Marrello Eight Over After 54 Holes

OLD LYME, Conn. (September 14, 2011) – Three-time champion, Kevin Giancola, of Golf Quest Family Sports Center, pulled out his fourth title in the 80th Connecticut PGA Championship hosted by PGA Professional, Andrew Campbell and Black Hall Club administered by the Connecticut Section PGA. At the end of regular play, Giancola, four-time champion, Tony Kelley of Wycoff C.C., and two-time champion, Fran Marrello of Canaan C.C., all sat at eight-over-par 221 to send one of the longest running golf events in New England, into an exciting final group sudden death playoff.
 
With Giancola and Kelley teeing off on the par 4 first with fairway woods, Marrello could not have hit better drive gaining the obvious distance and angle advantage into #1 green which is guarded heavily by sand traps and a large tree front left. Kelley was the first to hit his approach shot, sending his ball directly into the top of the tree coming to rest in the front left bunker. Giancola saw this as an opportunity.
 
"I hit a really really hard SW from the left side of the fairway because I knew it was down wind and I could carry the bunker at 101," Giancola explains. "When I hit it, as soon as I left, I said 'that's good'." Giancola was safely on the green with Marrello happily in the middle of the fairway. Marrello's fate was similar to Kelley's, striking the tree and landing directly beneath it making the playoff, Giancola's to lose.
 
Marrello and Kelley gave themselves difficult par putts and were unsuccessful in their attempts to put the pressure on Giancola. Giancola safely two putted to win the Championship for his fourth time.
 
"I wasn't aggressive with my putt because I didn't want to give up par," says Giancola. "Tony was sitting there with a tough par putt but I was ready and expecting another playoff hole… and my God, I'm amazed. I can't even believe I'm the Champion."
 
"Kevin Giancola is the best player in the Section, what can I say," President of the Connecticut PGA, John Korolyshun explains. "It's too bad about that tree though. It is such a killer, demanding approach shot and if you don't hit it perfect, that tree comes in to play easily. Overall, it can't get any better than have three of the best players in the Section, competing in a play off after 54 holes. Nothing's better."