GREENWICH, Conn. – Jason Caron of Greenwich just needed to be consistent on the final day of the 78th Connecticut Open, and he was, winning his first-ever title in the state’s most prestigious golf event.
He shot a one-under 71 on the final day of competition at Wee Burn Country Club in Darien to finish at a two-under 214.
The 40 year-old-golfer shot a sparkling two-under in the second round to enter the final day one shot behind front-runner Danny Balin of Greenwich. After opening the third round with a bogey, Caron recovered quickly with a birdie to pull back to one-under overall.
He needed only one more birdie on hole 10 to hold off the competition. He was the model of consistency otherwise, making par on every other hole.
“I practiced last week and knew if I played pretty solid golf I’d have a chance,” Caron said. “I just grinded it out. The rough is crazy-deep here. I didn’t know what I had to shoot today. I just feel fortunate that it was enough.”
Balin surrendered his lead after a bogey and a double-bogey on the first two holes and never recovered, shooting a plus-two on the day. The 2011 runner-up sank a birdie on the final hole to pull to an even 216 for the tournament.
“It wasn’t my best and it wasn’t my worst. You always want to win, but I just didn’t have it today,” Balin said. “Right off the bat I knew I was in trouble, but I came back and finished strong.”
Day one leaders Mike Ballo Jr., of Stamford, and Frank Bensel, of Norwalk, fell off the pace after strong starts. Bensel finished tied for fourth with a two-over 218. Ballo struggled on the back nine of the final round, finishing in a tie for tenth with a plus-five 221.