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Cook, Day Share Medalist Honors at 115th Amateur

Links: Match Play Bracket  | Stroke Play Results  

Nick Cook of Tashua Knolls GC and Ben Day of New Haven CC both posted two-round totals of six under-par 138 to share medalist honors at the 115th Connecticut Amateur presented by Kota Solutions.  The state’s most prestigious amateur championship is being conducted June 19th – 23rd at Tashua Knolls Golf Course in Trumbull, Connecticut, marking the first time that a public facility has hosted this historic tournament.

After shooting an opening round 66 on day one, Nick Cook picked up right where he left off, making five birdies in the first 14 holes to jump to ten under-par for the championship. Despite a closing stretch of four bogies in a row on #15-18, he was able to finish with an even-par round of 72 and six under-par for the championship, good enough for co-medalist honors and the overall #1 seed.

“It was good for my confidence to see some putts go in and get some solid rounds under my belt, but everyone starts at scratch tomorrow,” said Cook, the 2005-06 Connecticut Open Champion who is looking to capture his first Amateur title. “I didn’t take driver on some of the reachable par 4 holes. Depending on how I feel, I may play those more aggressively in match play.”

Sharing medalist honors with Cook was Ben Day, the 2015 Russell C. Palmer Cup Champion, who shot consecutive rounds of 69 for a six under-par total. On a course where both birdies and bogies were abundant, Day made just four bogies matched with ten birdies and a plethora of pars. His steady play will no doubt be key to his success when he begins the match play portion of the championship on Wednesday morning.

”It is nice to put two good rounds together and being co-medalist is a great feeling,” said Day. “My mentality for match play is to wipe the slate clean and play as hard as I can. There are a lot of great players, so I will try and stay patient and just focus on hitting a lot of greens.”

Michael VanDerLaan of the Eclub of Connecticut claimed the #3 seed after firing the low round of the day, a remarkable 67 that included six birdies and just one bogey. VanDerLaan, who just returned home from his sophomore season, helped lead the Florida Southern golf team to the Division II National Championship just a few weeks ago.

“Yesterday I hit it well enough to play well, but couldn’t get anything going. Today I made a few more putts and few less mistakes,” said VanDerLaan. “I will go out and do a lot of the same things in match play, but I will still go out and play the golf course and see what happens.”

A pair of past champions also advanced to match play – Evan Grenus (2015 champion – #11 seed) and Dave Szewczul (1978 champion – #14 seed). Both players shot a two-round total of even-par 144 to earn their spot in match play.

The Round of 32 and Round of 16 will be played on Wednesday beginning at 7:30 a.m., and the championship will conclude on Friday with a 36-hole final. For more information and live scoring, visit CTAmateur.com.

The “Cut”

This year’s starting field of 128 players began the stroke play qualifying portion of the championship with hopes of earning one of the coveted 32 spots in match play. At the conclusion of Tuesday’s play, the cut fell at 148 (+4). For the first time in recent history, no playoff was needed to determine the final spots in match play, as an even 32 players scored 148 or better.

Amateur Team Championship

The Connecticut Amateur Team Championship is conducted concurrently with the Connecticut Amateur Championship and dates back to the founding of the CSGA in 1899. Any golf club represented by three or more contestants in the Amateur Championship is automatically entered into the team championship with the lowest three lowest 18-hole scores per club counted toward the team total.

The Country Club of Waterbury was able to capture its second Amateur Team Championship in tournament history, edging Tashua Knolls Golf Course by just two shots. The club, which was represented by Nick Taylor, Chandler Morris, Brian Cyr, Jack Kennedy and Ray Martino, shot rounds of 222-215–437 to win. Both Taylor and Morris successfully advanced to match play and will look to bring the Amateur Championship trophy back to the Country Club of Waterbury for the first time since F.K. English won the title in 1927.

Schedule of Events

Wednesday, June 21st – Round of 32 Matches (AM) & Round of 16 Matches (PM)

Thursday, June 22nd – Quarterfinal Matches (AM) & Semifinal Matches (PM)

Friday, June 23rd – Final Match (36-Holes)

About the Connecticut Amateur Championship

The Connecticut Amateur Championship is one of the nation’s oldest state amateur golf championships and is one of 19 championship tournaments conducted by the Connecticut State Golf Association. The challenging format tests the state's best amateur golfers over two rounds of stroke play to determine the low thirty-two match play qualifiers. Two rounds of match play each day culminate in a thirty-six hole final to crown the top amateur player in Connecticut.

About KOTA Solutions

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