Rain delays and swirling winds plagued the 97th Westchester Open Championship this week, but didn’t keep Century CC’s Frank Bensel from picking up a trophy to match the one he won in 2004. Bensel picked up five shots on Greg Bisconti of the Saint Andrew’s GC in the final round, then clinched the title with a birdie on the first playoff hole. Bisconti won the event in 2011.
The opening round of the 54-hole tournament played at the Country Club of Darien featured a suspension of play due to heavy rain and saturated grounds afterward. After the field was cut to the top 40 players, 36 holes were played Tuesday in strong, swirling winds that pushed the storm front out of the area but played havoc with many players scorecards in the process.
Bensel had an opening round 74 but came back strong in the second round with a 69. That still left him five shots behind Bisconti, who carded 69 and 68 in the first two rounds. A double-bogey/bogey start to the third round by Bisconti put the title back into reach and Bensel capitalized on the opportunity with a final round 69 that tied the two former champions. Bensel wrapped it up on the first playoff hole with a birdie on the par-five eighteenth.
David Schuster of Sleepy Hollow CC took third at even par while Rob Labritz of GlenArbor GC and Cameron Wilson tied for fourth place at one over. Defending champion Cameron Young didn’t play since he was in Pebble Beach prepping for his first appearance in the US Open.
Next year’s 98th Westchester Open will be played at The Apawamis Club in Rye.