West Hartford, Connecticut (May 17, 2022) – At some point he’ll enter a golf tournament and not win. But right now, nobody is beating Cody Paladino.
He went two for two in back-to-back CSGA One Days at Stonington and Topstone respectively where he was a combined 7-under par. He earned medalist honors in U.S. Open Local Qualifying at Oxford Greens, then partnered with Nick Cook to go a perfect 9-0 in the Julius Boros Challenge Cup Matches at New Haven.
That was all a tune-up for the 54-hole 19th Russell C. Palmer Cup presented by Chris Cote’s Golf Shop at Wampanoag Country Club on May 16-17. Considered Connecticut’s stroke play championship, the Palmer Cup brings together the state’s best amateur golfers through a qualifier that attracts over 130 entrants, and another 40 or so players who have earned exemptions based upon their past performance.
Against this exceptionally strong field Cody Paladino shot 10-under par and won by eight strokes.
A pedestrian opening round 72 on Monday put Paladino, who plays out of Hartford Golf Club, in a tie for ninth, unfamiliar ground of late for the 2021 New England Amateur Champion whose past victories include the Connecticut Open, Connecticut Amateur, Connecticut Public Links, and the Palmer Cup in 2013. An “O.K round” in Paladino’s estimation, and well inside the 39-and-ties cut line that came at 3-over par 75.
With Tuesday set for 36 holes, first round co-leader, Arthur Ouimet followed up his opening 69 with a 71, but found himself at lunchtime trailing Paladino by one after the eventual champion carved out a bogey-free 67 in the morning eighteen.
“I just kept hitting solid shots and hit a ton of greens in regulation,” said Paladino, who noted that the wind didn’t really start blowing, howling really, until after their first nine holes.
“It was the best round of golf I’ve ever witnessed,” said Steve Wagner of CC Farmington who was paired with Paladino, “and if not for a couple of lip-outs it could have been even better. Thirteen pars and five birdies in that wind. Incredible.”
Paladino described the thirty-footer he buried on the first hole of the day as “the spark that I needed, and I just kept telling myself to make more birdies.”
And so he did. Eleven birdies in his first 29 holes, and not a single bogey until his 31st hole of the day, by which time he had opened up a comfortable six-shot lead that he wasn’t about to relinquish.
Chris Ayers, the Wethersfield native and recent Old Dominion graduate who plays out of Goodwin Park, claimed runner-up honors at 2-under par 214 after shooting 74-68-72. Wallingford Country Club’s Jamie Sheltman finished alone in third going 75-71-69 for 215. No one else broke par for the 54-hole championship as Ouimet, Tommy Dallahan, and 2020 Palmer Cup champ, Rick Dowling shared 4th place at even-par 216.
While others may be noticing his early season dominance, Paladino seems content to enjoy the moment with a nod to an exciting future. “I think what’s awesome about the beginning of the year is there’s just so much on the horizon, so many more tournaments ahead, a lot to look forward to. I’m thrilled and looking forward to what comes next.”
About the Connecticut State Golf Association
The Russell C. Palmer Cup presented by Chris Cote’s Golf Shop is one of 20 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.