Martino wins Hop Brook championship, ties course record


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NAUGATUCK — The sun finally came out long enough to greet the golfers at Hop Brook Golf Course. After numerous rain delays over the past month, the Hop Brook men’s and women’s championships were decided the weekend of Aug. 18-19.

Ray Martino won his sixth men’s championship, tying a course record set by Tommy Ambrose for the most titles.

Stephanie Slekis knocked off Dawn Bruenn, 2-up, to win the women’s title for the third straight year, giving her four titles overall.

“Overall the tournament went well, despite having to reschedule matches with all the rain we had,” Hop Brook golf pro Bryan Nixon said. “Congratulations goes out to Ray Martino for his sixth championship and for Stephanie with her fourth title along with the other flight finalists.”

Martino and Dave Leroy were close in the championship match until Martino took control with birdies on the 11th, 12th and 13th holes to go five stokes up. Martino sealed the deal on the par three 14th hole.

Martino reached the championship round by knocking off past champion Jessie Cyr, 4-3, in the semifinals. Leroy beat Jerry Russo in a two-hole playoff in the semifinals.

Brandon Sweet beat Manny Tribanas, 6-5, to win the first flight championship. Sweet got past Billy Testone to reach the final, and Tribanas beat Mike Murphy to set up the championship match.

Ully Hilse defeated Dale Sweet to win the second flight championship. Hilse got by Herbie Grandpre in the semifinals, and Sweet outlasted Charlie Fredericks in 19 holes to reach the final.

“The golf course was in outstanding shape considering the deluge of rain we had,” Nixon said. “Joe Malay and his staff came through again doing a great job. We thank all the players who participated.”