HARTFORD - Adam Rainaud excepted the winner of the Connecticut PGA Championship to come the final group he was a part of Wednesday afternoon at Keney Park Golf Course.
He was right. The first-year head pro at New Canaan Country Club shot an even 70 to finish at 8-under to win the tournament, but what he didn’t expect was a final charge from Timeberlin golf professionals Marc Bayram and Geno Giancola that made the finish a little closer than anticipated.
Bayram shot a 3-under 67 to finish two strokes back of Rainaud and Giancola shot a 5-under 65 for a final score of 4-under to place second and in a tie for third place respectively.
“I just kept plugging along trying to play my game and finish up strong,” said Bayram, who is in his eighth year at Timberlin. “I like the course and played really good for two days for me, so that’s good.”
Bayram birdied three of four holes midway through the round and pulled within a stroke when he birdied the 12th hole. The hot stretch also got Bayram thinking he might be able to overtake Rainaud, but too many miscues ended those hopes.
Bayram’s biggest disappointment was a three-putt from 40 feet for par at the 14th hole, where Rainaud later made the eagle.
“That was a good time for a birdie, but it just didn’t happen,” Bayram said.
Bayram earned $3,000 for his second best showing in Connecticut Section PGA major event. A year ago, Bayram lost a late lead and then lost a playoff to Billy Downes in the Spring Stroke Play Championship, missing a chance to play in his first Travelers Championship.
Though he came up three shots short, Bayram was quite satisfied with his runner-up finish after a memorable start to his day.
Bayram woke up at 6 a.m. and was at the pro shop at Timberlin Golf Course in Berlin a half-hour later with his 5-year-old son, Marc, who was starting kindergarten. When the school bus picked up young Marc at Timberlin, dad did some work before heading to Keney Park.
“It was a pretty amazing day for me personally,” Bayram said.
Giancola, Bayram’s assistant, drove three par-4s and narrowly missed two eagles on his way to 65, the day’s low round. He and Charles Tallman each won $1,800 for the third place tie.
“[It was] very cool and rare to have two pro's from the same course place in the top five,” Bayram said. “Not sure it has ever happened.”