Canceled - portland gC tettelbach division & women's One Day Tournament presented by Chris Cote's Golf Shop

A Changing of the Guard

(December 3, 2021) – Call it a changing of the guard. For the first time in five years, a new player has won the Liz Janangelo Caron Women’s Player of the Year award. That player is Quinnipiac junior Mia Grzywinski. 

“It means a ton to be Player of the Year,” said Grzywinski. “It hasn’t exactly been a super easy last couple of years of my golf journey. Especially once I got to Quinnipiac my freshman year. My game changed a lot and not completely for the good. I had to do a lot of swing work, I had to do a lot of short game, and putting work so it took a lot to get here. It is just very rewarding to see that all the hours I have put in paid off. It was fun to have a great summer.” 

The native of Farmington won the Hartford Women’s Open in June and then nearly won the New England Women’s Amateur a few weeks later finishing in second place. 

“Winning the Harford Women’s Open was really exciting. It has always been one of my favorite tournaments. I love Keney Park Golf Course. I consider the Hartford Women’s Open my first big win so to have my first one be there is just super cool.”

Grzywinski began the final round in second place just one shot off the pace. During the final round, Gryzwinski raced to a three-shot victory thanks to a 4-under 66 highlighted by a bogey-free 5-under 30 on the back nine.

“My ball-striking was just unbelievable. I was just throwing darts at every pin I saw and I just had so much confidence,” Gryzwinski said. “I  made a few really good putts but for the most part I didn’t have to make putts because the ball was so close to the hole to begin with. I have gone through a lot of swing adjustments so for that to be the highlight of my game that day was very cool and very rewarding.”

Just over a month after her win at the Hartford Women’s Open Gryzwinski found herself in the mix once again, this time at the Connecticut Women’s Amateur held at Race Brook Country Club. Gryzwinski, the first round leader in 2020, played two steady rounds earning a fourth-place showing to cap off an impressive summer. 

“I think the mindset for the most part heading into the summer was that I have done all the preparation I need and now it is time to see the payoff,” Grzywinski said. “I felt like at any point things were going to click and my game was going to be exactly where I wanted it to be. And that is what happened. Perfect timing.”

Grzywinski, who is a member at the Country Club of Farmington, was always around the game growing up but she didn’t like playing until around the age of 12-years-old. However, once she joined the PGA Junior League run by Suzy Whaley she became hooked.

“You start to have a little bit of success here and there with the Junior League,” said Gryzwinski who also took private lessons from Suzy and Bill Whaley. “And then before you know it I wanted more and more and to get better and better. I set my sights pretty early, probably when I was 13 or 14 that I wanted this to be my new sport and pretty soon I was striving to play college golf.”

In 2015 Grzywinski began to play competitive golf, first in tournaments Suzy Whaley hosted at Tunxis Country Club and then in Connecticut Junior PGA events. Success came quickly for Grzywinski as she earned 2016 and 2017 Connecticut PGA Junior Player of the Year honors. During that same span Grzywinski, who is also a second-degree black belt, starred for the Farmington High School golf team winning the CCC Conference Tournament at Tunxis CC with a 5-under 65. 

“After I won the CCC championship I was like woah I guess I can be pretty good at this.” 

Grzywinski continued her upward climb and eventually, she committed to Quinnipiac University to continue her golf career and pursue a degree focused on the human immune system and infectious diseases. Her time at Quinnipiac has had its ups and downs but the highlights have been memorable. She was a member of the 2021 team that won the MAAC Championship and advanced to the Baton Rouge NCAA Regional. Grzywinski will also earn her undergraduate degree in three years and then transfer with two years of eligibility remaining in order to continue chasing her academic goals. 

“I have always had a natural gift in the classroom. I just love learning about things that are really interesting to me and that has made my school career really fun. I learn better when I am interested in stuff. I am just driven to excel in the classroom. I don’t want to just pass exams, I want to get 100s on exams. Learning is fun for me.” 

So is working on her golf game. Grzywinski has spent countless hours playing and practicing with two-time defending Connecticut Amateur champion Chris Fosdick and University of Maryland junior Angela Garvin.

“Being around Angela and Chris this past summer helped me love golf even more. Just being around other young really, really good players was so fun for me. It brought out my competitive side in wanting to get better and wanting to keep up with them a little bit more. So just overall the game became so much more fun and the more I started to love it the better I started to play.”

One thing is clear when you talk to Mia Grzywinski because of her drive to excel in whatever she does her upward trajectory is just beginning. Whether it is on the golf course or through her academic pursuits the best is yet to come.

About the Connecticut State Golf Association

The Connecticut State Golf Association functions as an extension of the USGA and provides stewardship for amateur golf in Connecticut. Founded in 1899, it is the country’s oldest state golf association and conducts over 60 Championships, Qualifiers, and One Day Tournaments throughout the year.