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Family of champions: Paul Pastore captures Townwide title at Men's Town Tournament

Updated 10:51 pm, Sunday, June 30, 2013

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  • Paul Pastore hugs his mother Laura when she found her son won the Greenwich Townwide Golf championships at Griffith E. Harris Golf Club, in Greenwich, Conn., Sunday, June 3013. Photo: Helen Neafsey / Greenwich Time
    Paul Pastore hugs his mother Laura when she found her son won the Greenwich Townwide Golf championships at Griffith E. Harris Golf Club, in Greenwich, Conn., Sunday, June 3013. Photo: Helen Neafsey

 

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There was no panic in Paul Pastore after he made a 10 on the third hole and watched his comfortable eight-stroke lead shrink to two in the final round of the Men's Town Golf Tournament on Sunday. Sure, he was a bit frustrated, but worried? Not at all.

After watching his older brothers David and Stephen win the town crown the previous two years, a little bit of adversity wasn't going to prevent Paul Pastore from continuing his family's legacy in the annual tournament.

It was business as usual for Pastore after his nightmare third hole, as he methodically regained a commanding advantage, leaving no doubt who the family of champions are in town.

Shooting a 1-under-par 141 over 36 holes, Pastore claimed the Townwide title at the 69th annual Men's Town Tournament at Griffith E. Harris Golf Course, by an impressive nine strokes. Stephen Pastore, Paul's older brother, won the Townwide championship last year, carding an even-par 142. In 2011, David Pastore, the families' oldest brother, took home the title with a 2-over par-144.

"I feel like I got a load off my back by winning this tournament," said Paul Pastore, the lone brother who competed in this year's event. "Beating my brother's scores, too, feels good. With a late tee time, I had that on my mind all day going into the final round."

The last two town tournaments featured plenty of drama, with David and Stephen Pastore edging their respective opponents by one shot. But the youngest Pastore brother, a rising senior at Greenwich High School, took a seven-stroke lead into Sunday's final round after shooting a 4-under 67 on Saturday. Pastore parred the first two holes Sunday, but then he made things interesting. He hit two shots out of bounds to the left on the par-5 third hole and wound up taking a 10. Jason Morilla, who trailed by eight strokes at the time, birdied No. 4, closing to within two shots of the front-running Pastore.

"The first two holes I made two nice pars and I thought I was going to be cruising through the round," Pastore said. "But things definitely did get interesting. I felt some frustration,, but you can't let it get to you. You have to come back from adversity in this game and I kept my head up."

Sinking birdie putts on the eighth, ninth and 10th holes, after parring Nos. 4-6, Pastore rebuilt his lead over Morilla.

"I just had to plug through it, I wasn't getting too mad," Pastore said. "It's nice to finally have one of these trophies of my own. Jason's a great player and he gave me a good run for it though.

Stephen Pastore, who plays on the men's golf team at UConn, caddied for Paul on Saturday. Sunday, David Pastore, who plays golf at the University of Virginia, served as his youngest brother's caddie.

"It feels really good when you have your oldest brother and middle brother caddying for you," said Pastore, who will play in a U.S. Junior qualifier on Monday. "Having them on the bag, really helped me through the tournament."

Morilla, a Greenwich High graduate, placed second (74-76-150), followed by Joe Nethercott (75-77-152), Armando Olivieri Jr. (75-77-152) and Nick Dorian (76-76-152). Mike Savitt, who shot a 74 on Saturday, finished at 154.

"I just tried to have a good round, I knew it was going to be tough to catch Paul," said Morilla, who has placed second twice in the tournament the past three years. "After the third hole he played great. I'm really happy that I came in second place twice, I feel like I'm almost there."

Hal Rudy was the low net champion (141) in the Townwide Flight. Eugene Piscareta was the Townwide A Flight champion, carding a 164 (87-77). Sean Dowling was the runner-up in Townwide A (82-85-167), followed by Jeff Newhams (86-84-170). Juan Ferrara (142) earned low net honors in Townwide A.

Sergio Saichin was the Townwide B overall winner (88-94-182), CJ Kocot (149) was the low net champion.

"The first round I hit my handicap, but today's second round was tougher for me," Saichin said. "I'm glad that I was still able to win though. I've been playing here for 15 years, it's such a fantastic tournament."

Peter Tesei, the First Selectman for the Town of Greenwich, paid tribute to Griffith E. Harris PGA head professional at the awards ceremony following the tournament. Since Felder recently received the Professional of the Year award by the Metropolitan PGA, Tesei proclaimed Sunday "Joe Felder Day" in town.

"I'm here because golf is in my heart and in my soul," Felder said. "I love teaching the game, I love playing it and I love talking about it. It's in my blood."

david.fierro@scni.com; 203-625-4423

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