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Torrington Native Muller Holds His Own in “Big Name” Threesome at State Open. Story by John Torsiello.

POSTED July 29, 2013
BY Timothy W. Gaffney
Twitter: @TimothyGaffney


By, JOHN TORSIELLO

With his proud mom and dad, Carl and Cara Muller, watching, Torrington native Cory Muller made a nice chip and a subsequent short putt from the greenside of the 18th hole in Monday’s first round of the Connecticut State Open to finish with a four-over-par 76.

Muller, now the head professional at the Country Club of Darien in Darien, Ct., was the lesser known of the day’s glamour threesome of former PGA Tour player Ken Green and eight-time tennis-Grand-Slam-winner-turned-golfer Ivan Lendl. Except, that is, to his parents, other relatives and friends who came to watch him loop his former stomping grounds, Torrington Country Club on a beautiful, warm mid-summer day.

Muller was one of the stars of the Torrington High school golf team from 1992 to 1996, which sent four of its top five players on the careers in the golf industry. Muller attended New Mexico State University where he completed the school’s PGA golf management program. He served as an assistant at the Country Club of Purchase in Purchase, N.Y. prior to landing the job as head pro at the prestigious Country Club of Darien three years ago. He currently resides in Norwalk with his wife, Vanessa.

“There was a lot going on today,” said Muller, as he finished chatting with his parents. “I had a lot of people here to watch me and then there was playing with Ivan and Kenny and all the people following him. My biggest thing was to maintain my focus on my game and keep calm, which I think I did pretty well. There are a lot of memories up here for me, having played for the high school team and practicing and playing at the country club.”

Muller played steady golf and had a bit of trouble only on a few holes, which included making a double bogey on the ninth hole.

“My goal tomorrow is to get it to even par and make the cut. There are a lot of birdies out there to be had.”

Muller enjoyed his round with Lendl, now more famous as the coach of recent Wimbledon winner Andy Murray, and Green, who continues to play golf, and play it quite well, despite losing a leg in a tragic automobile accident several years ago that claimed the lives of his brother and girlfriend.

“I’ve played a lot of golf up here with Ivan and we have had some interesting matches through the years,” said Muller, “and he has played at Darien, especially when he is coaching Andy in the New York City area. Kenny is amazing. He is such an inspiration that he continues to go on despite all that he has been through. He is a great example of being positive.”

Muller is enjoying his position at the Country Club of Darien.

“It’s a great club to be at. I get to play some, especially in Met Section events and have done fairly well in some tournaments.”

Lendl, a part-time Goshen resident and member of Torrington Country Club, shot a seven-over par 79, not unexpected given that he is spending much of his time coaching Murray these days.

“I just haven’t played much tournament golf,” said the former world number one tennis player. “I think I have played in only three tournaments all year. I’m playing golf but there is no substitute for playing tournament golf. Actually, I played pretty well today but I made a quadruple bogey which really hurt my score.”

Green, a five-time PGA Tour winner who was once a member of the U.S Ryder Cup team, keeps inspiring with his dogged pursuit of the little white ball despite playing with an artificial leg. He is allowed to use a golf cart in competitions. He shot a one-under-par 71.

“I made some mental mistakes out there, especially on 10 and 11. But I’m not playing enough and those things are going to happen. It’s still a learning process and I have to adjust to not trying to do things that I used to do. Like on 18 when I came up short of the green. I can’t hit the ball the distances that I used to when I had two legs. My brain thinks like a two-legged stud muffin but in reality I am a one-legged oopsy.”

Green, who now calls Bethel, Ct. his home, plays out of Richter Park Golf Course in Danbury.

Lendl was duly impressed with his playing partner.

“It’s great to have Kenny out here. He still has the ability to compete at this level.”

The threesome will go at it again Tuesday afternoon when they tee off at 12:20 p.m. on TCC’s eighth hole.

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