Hamden, Connecticut (May 13, 2021) – Call it a fourpeat. For the first time in the 50 year history of the Julius Boros Challenge Cup the Connecticut State Golf Association team of amateurs has won four-times in a row. On a sun splashed but windy day at New Haven Country Club the CSGA once again dominated the PGA Connecticut Section winning comfortably 47.5-24.5.
“We are really excited about the whole thing,” said five-year captain Roger Everin. “I am really excited for the players. I never really talked to them about [winning four in a row] or pushed that but they all knew about it and it is just a great feeling to know that the CSGA as a group has won four in a row. I can’t say enough about the players and I am ecstatic that they came through.”
The CSGA rode a quick start from their lead groups to the record setting victory. Beginning on the 1st hole Ben Conroy and Ben Day, both New Haven CC members, got the CSGA off to a good start winning 5.5 of a possible 9 points against PGA playing captain Ian Marshall (IAMGOLF) and Brian Keiser (Longmeadow CC). Day, the 2019 Mid-Amateur champion, was the stalwart of the pairing winning all three of his singles match points.
Leading off on the 10th tee for the CSGA was the senior duo of Dick Stevens (eClub of Connecticut) and Bob Murphy Jr. (Brownson CC). Led by the play of Stevens, the 2020 Senior Amateur winner, the tandem accrued 5.5 points to help boost the CSGA out to an early 11-7 advantage.
As the early scores trickled in it looked like the final result would be razor thin, that is until Cody Paladino (Wampanoag CC) and Nick Cook (Tashua Knolls GC) posted an 8-1 victory that began to create the separation. Paladino and Cook swept the four-ball matches over Christopher Tallman (Cold Spring CC) and William Street (Whitney Farms GC) while also earning five out of a possible six points in the singles.
“We actually ham and egged it really well. Cody is a super solid player, he was leading it off with good tee shots and I was just trying to follow,” said two-time Connecticut Open champion Nick Cook. “I am honored to be a part of it. I am thankful that Roger keeps bringing me back. It is a lot of fun, this is usually my only tournament of the year so I am very focused on it.”
A few groups later the CSGA emphatically sealed the deal when the anchor match featuring Rick Dowling (Golf Performance Center) and Dan Murphy (H. Smith Richardson GC) came in having earned all 9 of their points. Dowling and Murphy combined for an 8-under 62 in four-ball while also sweeping their singles matches against Jordan Gosler (Manchester CC) and Marc Bayram (Timberlin GC).
The PGA Connecticut Section has long held a strangle hold on the annual event winning six straight years before the CSGA ended the streak in 2018. Despite the struggles in recent years, the PGA Connecticut Section still leads the all-time series 34-16. Playing captain Ian Marshall sees the event regardless of who wins as a celebration of golf in Connecticut.
“We say it every year it is about golf in Connecticut. You have your best golf professionals and your best amateurs. You have the professionals that are on the side of operations and teaching and helping the industry and then you have the amateurs that are feeding that. I look at it as if we are all working together.”
However, on this day it was the Connecticut State Golf Association that worked together just a little bit better. “We have a nucleus of guys that are really consistent players and have a lot of experience,” Everin said. “They like each other and they like playing with each other and when you put that all together it is a winning combination.”
Notes: On the CSGA side Dave Szewczul (TPC River Highlands) was honored for playing in his 46th Julius Boros Challenge Cup. Fran Marrello (PGA Life Member) was honored by the PGA Connecticut Section for playing in his 44th Challenge Cup.
CSGA Roster: Benjamin Day (New Haven CC), Ben Conroy (New Haven CC), Nick Waddington (Manchester CC), Mike Kennedy (New Haven CC), Patrick Griffin (Chippanee GC), James Sheltman (Alling Memorial GC), Cody Paladino (Wampanoag CC), Nick Cook (Tashua Knolls GC), Patrick Casey (Torrington CC), Brian Ahern (Wampanoag CC), Rick Dowling (Golf Performance Center), Dan Murphy (H. Smith Richardson GC), Dick Stevens* (eClub of Connecticut), Bob Murphy Jr.* (Brownson CC), Dave Jones* (Mohegan Sun GC), Dave Szewczul* (TPC River Highlands)
Connecticut Section PGA Roster: Ian Marshall (IAMGOLF), Brian Keiser (Longmeadow CC), William Wallis (New Haven CC), Jason Gobleck (Lyman Orchards GC), Kevin Mahaffy (Pequabuck GC), Billy Downes (GreatHorse), Chris Tallman (Orchards GC), William Street (Whitney Farms GC), Donny Kirkpatrick (Wampanoag CC), Michael Jezierski (Raceway GC), Jordan Gosler (Manchester CC), Marc Bayram (Timberlin GC), Jan Wivestad* (Crestbrook GC), Mike Martin* (Tashua Knolls GC), Bob Mucha* (Edgewood CC), Fran Marrello* (PGA Life Member)
*Denotes Senior Player
Format: Players competed in teams of two, with individual matches played simultaneously. Each match, team, and individual was worth 3 points, one for the first nine, one for the second nine, and one overall. Nine points were at stake in each group of four. The teams compete for the Julius Boros Trophy, donated by Boros, the former PGA and U.S. Open champion who hailed from Connecticut. The members of the professional team qualify by finishing among the top eight in Section PGA Player of the Year point standings and the top four seniors in the Section Senior PGA Player of the Year point standings. Also joining the team is the reigning Connecticut PGA Champion, the PGA Professional from the host club, and two captain’s selections. Members of the amateur side, in both regular and senior categories, likewise earn points in a Player of the Year competition and are chosen accordingly. All points were earned in 2020.
About New Haven CC: 2021 marked the 46th time that New Haven Country Club has hosted the Challenge Cup. Founded in 1898, New Haven Country Club was first designed by Robert D. Pryde, with the present layout completed by Willie Park, Jr. in 1922. In addition to hosting the Challenge Cup, the club has a rich history of hosting the state’s top amateur and professional events. It has hosted eight Connecticut Open championships, including the 2018 Open, won by John VanDerLaan, now competing on the Korn Ferry Tour. New Haven has hosted 16 Connecticut Amateur Championships and one Connecticut PGA Championship, as well as many CSGA and USGA qualifiers. New Haven will again host the Connecticut Open in 2022 on the 100th anniversary of the Willie Park redesign.
About the Associations
The PGA Connecticut Section is one of 41 sections chartered that together comprise the Professional Golfers’ Association of America (PGA of America). There are a total of 350 golf professionals affiliated with the section (292 PGA Members and 58 Registered Apprentices). These professionals are employed at over 175 PGA Recognized Golf Facilities throughout the region.
Founded in 1899, the Connecticut State Golf Association is the country’s oldest state golf association and provides stewardship for amateur golf in Connecticut. The CSGA functions as an extension of the USGA and is dedicated to providing golfers a full range of services for the good of the game and golf in Connecticut. The CSGA is comprised of over 45,000 members and 183 member clubs, providing and administering handicaps for all of its members throughout the state.