Week of May 1st Tee Times

83rd Open: 5 Groups to Watch

Links: Starting Times & Pairings  

The 83rd Connecticut Open Championship will be contested this week at Ellington Ridge Country Club for the fourth time in tournament history, with a total of 150 of the state's best amateur and professional golfers vying for the title. The championship is contested over 54-holes of stroke play, with a cut to the low 40 players plus ties after the second round. The Connecticut Open was last held at Ellington Ridge CC in 1998 and was won by Kyle Gallo, who shot a score of 214 to capture the trophy.

Here are five groups to watch on Monday and Tuesday as the 83rd Connecticut Open gets under way (all times EST):

Richard Dowling (a), Will Wilson (a), Evan Beirne (8:30 a.m. Monday, 1:30 p.m. Tuesday)

Only one player in CSGA history has won the Connecticut Open and Amateur titles in the same year (1940 – H.H. Mandly, Jr.) and recently crowned Amateur champion Richard Dowling (Eclub of Connecticut) will hope to become the second when he begins play on Monday. He will be joined by the reigning Connecticut Junior Amateur Champion Will Wilson (Wee Burn CC), who will be playing in his first Connecticut Open, and Evan Beirne (New Haven CC), the 2010 Russell C. Palmer Cup Champion, has good memories of Ellington Ridge CC having finished runner-up at the Connecticut Amateur in 2008 when it was held at Ellington Ridge CC.

Adam Rainaud, Zach Zaback, Jason Thresher (9:00 a.m. Monday, 2:00 p.m. Tuesday)

Adam Rainaud (Chester, Conn.) is seeking to become the first player to defend their title at the Connecticut Open since Nick Cook accomplished the feat in 2005-06. Zach Zaback (TPC River Highlands), the two-time CSGA Player of the Year, qualified for his first PGA Tour event at Ellington Ridge CC, shooting 67 to advance to the Travelers Championship. Jason Thresher (West Suffield, Conn.) recently won his second consecutive Massachusetts Open Championship, shooting 69-71-69—209 to win by two strokes, and also recently won the Greater Bangor Open last week.

Dave Szewczul (a), Steve Wagner (a), William Downes (9:20 a.m. Monday, 2:20 p.m. Tuesday)

Seven-time CSGA Senior Player of the Year and Connecticut Golf Hall of Fame inductee Dave Szewczul (Tunxis Plantation CC) has won nearly every amateur tournament in Connecticut, and he hopes to add the Connecticut Open title to that list. Steve Wagner (CC of Farmington), who captured the club championship last year at CC of Farmington, is seeking to capture his first CSGA major championship. William Downes (GreatHorse) won the Connecticut Section PGA’s Spring Stroke Play Championship earlier this spring to earn a berth in the Travelers Championship.

Cody Paladino, John Jackopsic, Cory Muller (2:00 p.m. Monday, 9:00 a.m. Tuesday)

2006 and 2013 CSGA Player of the Year Cody Paladino (Wethersfield CC), who currently plays on the PGA Tour Latinoamerica, completed the CSGA “grand slam” in 2015 with his win at the Connecticut Open, having also won the Connecticut Amateur, Russell C. Palmer Cup and Public Links Championships. John Jackopsic (Gillette Ridge GC) finished fifth in the Connecticut Open back in 2014 and as an amateur, qualified for 2 U.S.  Amateur’s and a U.S. Public Links Championship. Cory Muller (CC of Darien) qualified for the 2015 PGA Professional Championship. His home club, Country Club of Darien, will be hosting the 2021 Connecticut Open Championship.

Kyle Gallo, Clark Robinson, Corey Birch (2:20 p.m. Monday, 8:20 a.m. Tuesday)

Kyle Gallo (Tallwood CC) is currently tied for the most Connecticut Open titles with four, and returns to the site where he won his first Open Championship back in 1998. Clark Robinson (Ellington Ridge CC), having just wrapped up his senior season at Marshall University, will be making his professional debut and hopes to use the home course edge to his advantage, having been a longtime member of Ellington Ridge CC. Corey Birch (Silver Spring CC) is seeking to capture his first CSGA championship after a trio of runner-up finishes last year at the Russell C. Palmer Cup, Connecticut Amateur and Connecticut Open.