DARIEN, Conn. – Danny Balin of Greenwich enters today's final day of play at the 78th Connecticut Open at Wee Burn Country Club in Darien tied for the lead with amateur golfer Jeffery Hatten of Farmington.
Both golfers are at 2-under after two rounds and have a slim one-stroke lead over Jason Caron, also of Greenwich.
Balin started and finished strong on day two, but a tough stretch of holes in the middle prevented him from pulling away from the pack. A double-bogey on the seventh hole nearly derailed the two-time PGA Championship participant, but birdies on 13 and 17 put Balin back on top.
Also helping Balin rise to first was a pair of tough rounds by the leaders from day one, Mike Ballo, Jr., of Stamford, and Frank Bensel of Norwalk. Ballo was the victim of three double-bogies, as the Stamford resident tumbled from 3-under to plus-2.
Bensel, meanwhile, stood tied with Balin for the lead after 12 holes, but bogies on four of his final six holes put him in a tie with Ballo in fifth place.
Caron stormed his way from the middle of the pack to trail Balin and Hatten by just one stroke. Caron had fallen back to plus-2, but an eagle and two birdies in the home stretch put the Greenwich resident in the mix to win it all entering the final day.
Balin was featured in a series of instructional golf videos on The Daily Voice last summer.
Ballo, Jr., and Bensel start their final round at 10:40 a.m. Caron tees off at 11 a.m., while the co-leaders, Balin and Hatten, begin their final round at 11:10 a.m.