Hop Brook crowns golf champions

NAUGATUCK — The Hop Brook Golf Course club championships finished in dramatic fashion.

Dave Leroy needed a sudden death playoff hole to win his first championship. On the women’s side, Stephanie Slekis turned it on over the final nine holes to win her fourth straight title.

The semifinal and championship rounds played out Aug. 10-11 at the nine-hole borough course.

“It was an eventful weekend and a nice way to end the tournament,” Hop Brook golf pro Bryan Nixon said. “Had a few down-to-the-wire matches in the semifinals, and it took 37 holes to decide the men’s championship in a thriller.”

The men’s championship flight is a 36-hole marathon, but Leroy still needed a playoff hole to defeat Nick Tribanas.

“It was a long day on the golf course, that’s for sure,” said Leroy, who has been playing in the tournament the past seven years. “It was a tight match throughout. I made par on the 37th hole and Nick bogeyed.

“I have played him before and it’s always a close match. He’s a great kid and a great golfer. My game has been pretty steady this year, but 36 holes is a long adventure. My putting was really on and it got me through.”

Leroy edged out Derek Bizier in the semifinals. Tribanas came back from down four to beat Bob Swierbitowicz in the semifinals.

Three women competed for the women’s championship, which started in 2014.

“We are looking to see it grow with more players,” Slekis said.

Dawn Bruenn defeated Carol Douty in the semifinals, setting up the 18-hole final match with five-time champion Slekis.

“The first nine was really close, then on the next nine everything just started to click and I won the first five holes and that was it,” Slekis said. “I usually have a rough time with all the par fives, that’s what kept it close early on.

“Dawn is a real good golfer and I played her last year in the final. The way I started off I really thought I could lose my title. But once I get into that competition mode something kind of takes over.”

Jesse Cyr defeated Jerry Russo to win the 18-hole first flight championship. In the semifinals, Cyr beat Herb Grandpre and Russo beat Jim Robinson.

In the second flight championship, Bill Klisus beat Steve Nestor to win the title. In the semifinals, Klisus topped Ron Wallace and Nestor beat Sam Molnar.