(August 5, 2021) – For the second time The Farms Country Club will serve as the host for the Connecticut Mid-Amateur. The 34th edition of the event will be played on the par-72 6,800 yard track from August 9-10th with two-time winner Ben Conroy set to defend his title.
“I’m just excited to be playing golf, I haven’t competed since the Connecticut Amateur,” Conroy said of his excitement for the tournament. “We just moved in mid-July, so I’ve been pretty occupied with that. It will be great to get out to practice and play a bit before the tournament, and I’ll be thrilled just to be out there. That being said, I’ll be fighting as hard as I can to try and defend my title, because it’s certainly much more fun being in the hunt during the last round.”
Last year at Madison Country Club Conroy rallied in the final round to catch Cody Paladino eventually winning the title on the second playoff hole. The victory for Conroy was his second Mid-Amateur title in the last three years.
“My mindset doesn’t change whether I’m defending a title or not, obviously the Mid-Amateur at Madison was almost a year ago so it’s different than carrying momentum from a recent tournament,” said Conroy of his approach to attempting to defend his title. “I just treat it as I would any other event, try to prepare the best I can, and get the most out of my game on those particular few days.”
With temperatures expected to be in the mid-80s and little rain in the forecast in the days leading up to the tournament, the field can expect to face fast and firm conditions at The Farms CC.
“The par 3s are extremely challenging,” The Farms CC Head Professional Jim Hanlon said of the 1962 Geoffrey Cornish design. “Anyone who plays them in twelve shots [during a round] will have a leg up on the field. The greens will be the next biggest challenge. They are very large with a great deal of slope. Properly positioned approach shots are crucial or the player will putt defensively all day.”
Players will have their best chance to make birdie on Nos. 10-12. The stretch includes a drivable par-4 in No. 11 while No. 12 is a short par-5. Even if players play that stretch well they can’t afford to let up as the most difficult stretch of the course immediately follows.
Nos. 13-16 include two very difficult par-3s in the 13th and 16th holes, the par-4 14th requires a good tee shot and a well-placed approach shot into a shallow green while the 15th is a long par-4 with a narrow green that is difficult to hit. Players will have one more chance for birdie on the closing par-5 18th.
Play at the 34th Connecticut Mid-Amateur will begin on Monday morning at 7:30 a.m. Following first round play the top-36 and ties will advance to the 36-hole final day.
Past Champions (6): Ben Conroy (2018, 2020), Ben Day (2019), Mike Kennedy (2017), Dave Szewczul (1996, 2016), Brian Ahern (2010, 2012), Bill Hermanson (1990-1993, 2001)
Field Size: 94
Players to Watch:
Brian Ahern (Wampanoag CC): The two-time Mid-Amateur champion finished fourth at the Russell C. Palmer Cup earlier this year.
Ben Conroy (New Haven CC): Conroy has won the Mid-Amateur two of the last three years. He hasn’t played competitive golf since June but he always finds a way to be in the hunt.
Ben Day (New Haven CC): The 2019 Mid-Amateur champion and 2015 Russell C. Palmer Cup winner earned a T9 finish at the Mid-Amateur last year. This year he made the cut at the Connecticut Open and reached match play at the Connecticut Amateur.
Rick Dowling (EClub of Connecticut): Dowling has done just about everything but win this year. A two-time Connecticut Amateur winner and the 2020 Russell C. Palmer Cup champion finished third in his title defense in May and made a quarterfinal run at the Connecticut Amateur.
Pat Griffin (Indian Hill CC): Griffin is seemingly always in the mix. Each of the last two years he has reached the Round of 32 at the Connecticut Amateur, in 2020 he notched a top-10 showing at the Mid-Amateur while in 2019 he was T7.
Bill Hermanson (Black Hall Club): The five-time winner of the Connecticut Mid-Amateur is always a threat.
Mike Kennedy (New Haven CC): The 2017 Mid-Amateur winner made a run to the Round of 16 at the Connecticut Amateur in June.
Dan Murphy (H. Smith Richardson GC): This year Murphy qualified for U.S. Open Final Qualifying and earned a T5 finish at the Two Man Championship. In 2020 he was part of the early story at the Russell C. Palmer Cup and Mid-Amateur. He finished T2 at the Four-Ball Championship.
Cody Paladino (Wampanoag CC): Last year’s runner-up Paladino is coming off a win in July at the New England Amateur.
Jamie Sheltman (Alling Memorial GC): In 2019 Sheltman earned a T4 finish in the Mid-Amateur while last year he finished T5 at the Public Links, and tied for first at the Two Man Championship. Sheltman has reached match play the last four years at the Connecticut Amateur.
Dave Szewczul (TPC River Highlands): A two-time Connecticut Mid-Amateur winner, Szewczul finished T9 last year at the age of 66.
About the Connecticut State Golf Association
The Connecticut Mid-Amateur is one of 19 championships conducted by the Connecticut State Golf Association. The CSGA 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.