Cortland golfer named top amateur at Connecticut Women’s Open

Danielle Bambola talks with her father/caddy, Pete, during the opening round of the 2018 Connecticut Open (Connecticut Open)

OLD GREENWICH, CONN. — Cortland women’s golfer Danielle Bambola (Miller Place) was the top amateur finisher and tied for fourth place overall in a field of 78 competitors at the 20th Connecticut Women’s Open May 29-30 at the Innis Arden Golf Club.

Bambola, who will enter her junior year with the Red Dragons this fall, finished with a four-over par 148 during the two-day tournament. She was in second place after Day 1 with a five-under round of 67, which included five birdies over the first six holes. She carded a 31 on the front nine and parred all nine holes on the back nine.

Bambola opened Day 2 Wednesday with five pars and a birdie over the first six holes to improve to six-under, but bogeyed three straight holes to finish the front nine. She recorded a 43 on the back nine for an 81. Sarah Burnham, a former Michigan State star in her first tournament as a pro, won the title with a seven-under par 137 (69-68). followed by recent Richmond graduate Elsa Diaz in second (66-77-143) and 12-year pro and four-time previous tournament champ Elizabeth Caron in third (73-73-146). Bambola tied for fourth along with former University of Delaware standout Nathalie Filler (74-74-148).

The tournament featured 43 professionals, including 10 touring pros, along with 35 amateurs, with 22 of those current collegiate golfers. Bambola was the top amateur by one stroke over Catherine McEvoy (71-78-149), who was golfing on her home course.

“In a field with scholarship college players , PGA professionals and tour professionals, for Danielle to be one shot back after Day 1 tells you all you need to know on how talented she is,” said Cortland head coach Joe Tesori, Jr. “She has had a tremendous, record-breaking start to her two years here at Cortland. What she did these past couple days is a testament to her hard work she’s put in.

“She’s going to be a great one and she’s on her way, being low amateur at the Connecticut Open is a great accomplishment and that’s what I told her, hold your head high. (Wednesday) wasn’t her day but that’s what makes this game so great, she’s only going to get better from it, and I can’t wait to see it. She’s special.”

During her sophomore season in 2017-18, Bambola scored in the 70s during 10 of her 15 rounds. She was the medalist at the William Smith Invitational, the Cortland Martin/Wallace Invitational and the Ithaca Invitational. Cortland opens its 2018-19 season at the Hamilton College Invitational Sept. 1-2.