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Connecticut Section PGA Captures 44th Challenge Cup Matches

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ROCKY HILL, Conn. – The Connecticut Section PGA, led by Captain Dennis Coscina, captured the 44th Julius Boros Challenge Cup on Thursday after a strong back nine comeback, winning the Cup for the fourth straight year by a margin of 34 to 29.

The Challenge Cup was founded in memory of Julius Boros, a bona-fide Connecticut resident and World Golf Hall of Fame inductee. This year marked the 44th anniversary of the matches, which first began in 1972 at Tumble Brook Country Club. The matches are an annual gathering of the state’s top amateur and professional golfers, which showcases Connecticut PGA Section Professionals against amateurs from the Connecticut State Golf Association in a match play format.

The Connecticut State Golf Association jumped out to an early 12-9 lead over the PGA Team after the front nine. After making the turn, the PGA Team closed the deficit and eventually pulled in front, spurred on by a ten-point differential in the final two matches.  

“Between the weather, the golf course, the camaraderie, and of course the outcome, it was a truly special day for our team,” said Connecticut PGA Section Captain Dennis Coscina. “I was a little nervous out there and I tried to stay away from the players knowing that they weren’t playing great on the front nine. I knew going into the day that these are the best PGA professional players in the section, and they proved it today.”

“We got off to a great start with the lead after nine holes, but I had a feeling that several of the professionals didn’t play their best, and they really stepped up their game on the back nine,” said Jack Bracken, CSGA Team Captain. “I thought our team played great, and it wasn’t that we gave it away but rather it was the stellar play of the pros that carried the day for them.”

The Connecticut Section PGA has an impressive record, having won thirty-two times to the CSGA’s twelve since the inception of the matches. Their win on Thursday marked the fourth straight year that the PGA has captured the Cup, the most since the PGA team won six straight from 1994-1999. The longest winning streak recorded in the history of the matches dates back to 1984, when the PGA recorded nine consecutive wins until the CSGA reclaimed the Cup in 1993.

“It was obviously a very tight match right down to the end, but winning today against this group of amateurs really means a lot,” said Coscina. “Every single player on the amateur side has tremendous ability, and we really had to play well to capture our fourth straight title. It was a lot of fun competing against the CSGA and Captain Bracken, and I’m already looking forward to next year.”

This year’s match marked the fortieth time that New Haven Country Club hosted the Challenge Cup, having played host to the Matches all but four years. Despite facing a winter of harsh snowy weather, the Willie Park, Jr. layout was in superb condition. In addition to hosting the Challenge Cup, New Haven Country Club was the host of the 2014 Connecticut PGA’s Match Play Championship, and has hosted sixteen Connecticut Amateur Championships.

The 45th Julius Boros Challenge Cup Matches are tentatively scheduled for Thursday, May 5th, 2016 at New Haven Country Club.