Jason Caron didn't have to look far for advice on how to play Gillette Ridge Golf Club. All Caron had to do was talk to his fiancee.
On Sunday, Caron's fiancee, LPGA player Liz Janangelo of West Hartford, took her future husband on a tour of the Bloomfield course.
It proved to be beneficial.
Caron, who grew up in South Yarmouth, Mass., and has played on the PGA and Nationwide tours, shot a 5-under-par 67 Monday at Gillette Ridge to earn a spot in the Travelers Championship at TPC River Highlands in Cromwell. Chris Rogers (Nashville), Brett Stegmaier (Ridgefield) and Derek Gillespie (Oshawa, Ontario) joined Caron as qualifiers.
"It is like second nature now -- we always try and encourage each other," Caron said. "She knows how I play and I know how she plays. It's kind of easy for us to push each other ."
Janangelo will play in the LPGA Championship at Pittsford, N.Y., beginning Thursday.
Caron, Rogers and Stegmaier finished in a three-way tie for first while Gillespie won a three-way playoff against Frank Lickliter II and Tarik Can (Manhasset, N.Y.) to earn the final spot. Gillespie shot a 4-under 68 and birdied the second hole of the playoff to move on.
Southington resident Brian Keiser of Wethersfield CC shot a 1-under 71 to tie for 11th place out of 58 players. Keiser was one of three state players, including Stegmaier and Raymond Ford (Wilton), to finish in the top 20.
Caron was 1 under and bogey free through the first 11 holes before he made three straight birdies on the back nine. After bogeying the par-4 16th hole, Caron's caddie urged him to chase after two more birdies. Caron proceeded to make a 30-footer for birdie on the par-5 17th and birdied the par-4 18th. After finishing his round, Caron had to wait 90 minutes before finding out he had qualified.
"I injured my finger in 2008 and it was tough to come back -- I just kept missing something," Caron said. "But I kept telling everyone 'I'm so close, I'm so close.' [Monday] was the first time things started to click and it felt good."
Caron, who will host a charity event on Cape Cod with LPGA player Carri Wood next Monday, says he's excited to return to TPC River Highlands, where he played in 2000 and 2003 and made the cut. Janangelo and Caron will marry next winter in Jupiter, Fla.
Caron Qualifies For Travelers With An Assist From Janangelo
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