By Ken Morse, Citizen’s News
NAUGATUCK — The Hop Brook Golf Course men’s tournament tees off July 31 with four flights of golfers vying for titles.
The women’s tournament, which features four golfers, gets underway next weekend.
Qualifying rounds wrapped up July 26. In spite of recent wet weather, 58 competitors qualified for the championships.
“We are pleased with the overall turnout,” Hop Brook golf pro Bryan Nixon said. “We have 54 competing in the men’s tournament and four in the women’s tournament.
“We do have a couple of golfers who were not able to compete this year due to injuries. But we do have the returning men’s champion, Tim Christensen, defending his title along with last year’s women’s champion, Dawn Bruenn. We are looking for an exciting finish just like last year.”
The women’s tournament is set to play out Aug. 7-8 with Stephanie Slekis (five-time champion), Carol Douty and Jill Waldron looking to unseat Bruenn.
The semifinal and championship rounds of the men’s championships are set for Aug. 7-8, as well.
The top 16 qualifiers made up the field of the men’s championship flight. The matchups for the opening round are: No. 1 Steve Slekis vs. No. 16 Brandon Sweet; No. 2 Christensen vs. No. 15 Ryan Murphy; No. 3 Bob Swierbitowicz vs. No. 14 Mike Fox; No. 4 Glenn Petelle vs. No. 13 Joe Pascucci; No. 5 Jesse Cyr vs. No. 12 Matt McClain; No. 6 Nick Tribanas vs. No. 8 Brian Divito; No. 7 John Pinto vs. No. 10 Billy Testone; No. 9 Steve Hiscock vs. No. 11 Larry Testone.
The first flight matches are: Shane Swierbitowicz vs. Rob Stabile; Manny Tribanas vs. Logan McKinley; Steve Rager vs. James Coll; George Lockwood vs. Joe Edmonds; Nick Konecky vs. Steve Nester; Ethan Mester vs. Dave Ranno; PJ Murphy vs. Joe Ardito; Paul Granahan vs. Jeff Brody.
Anthony Fartaria and John Tzetzo drew first-round byes in the second flight. The rest of the matches are: Ron Swierbitowicz vs. Charlie Fredericks; Keith Ljungquist vs. Doug Palomino; Tony Sapata vs. Joey Tribanas; Joe Pisco vs. Jim Russo; Bill Klusis vs. Joe Tribanas; Herb Grandpre vs. Paul Padilla.
The third flight matches are: John Cerreta vs. Anthony Mazzadra; Sam Molnar vs. Ully Hilse; Joe Cantillion vs. Michael Duque; Ron Wallace vs. Stefano Ciccone.
Junior golfers named to All-Star team: Hop Brook junior golfers Joey Belletti, Nate Testone and Jax Bowen were selected to the Naugatuck Valley All-Star team in the Junior PGA League.
They will represent the Hop Brook Hounds on Aug. 4 in a tournament at Lyman Orchards in Wallingford.