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Defending Champion Rick Dowling Seeks Connecticut Amateur History at Torrington CC

Torrington Country Club will host the Connecticut Amateur for the third time. (Torrington Country Club Photo)

(June 3, 2024) – For the third time the Connecticut Amateur presented by Middlesex Health will be contested at Torrington Country Club. A talented field of 131 players and six past champions will compete across five days however all eyes at the 122nd Connecticut Amateur will be on defending champion Rick Dowling who will be in search of his fourth tournament title.

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If Dowling were to win the Connecticut Amateur he would become just the third player to win the title four times. He would join Fred Kask as a four-time winner and move within one victory of matching the all-time mark of five set by Richard Siderowf.

“The Connecticut Amateur is my favorite tournament of the year,” defending champion Rick Dowling said. “You can’t beat competing for the top spot in your home state against so many good players. I think that’s what drives everyone to give the Connecticut Amateur their best shot each year.”

As if winning the Connecticut Amateur isn’t incentive enough this year for the first time the winner will receive an exemption into the field of the 2024 U.S. Amateur. Later this summer the U.S. Amateur will be contested from August 12-18 at Hazeltine National Golf Club in Minnesota. In addition, the semifinalists will earn an exemption into 2025 U.S. Amateur Final Qualifying.

This year the best amateurs in the state will be making their way to Torrington CC for the third time in the history of the championship. A regular host of CSGA events, Torrington CC previously welcomed the Connecticut Amateur in 1994 and 2006.

“The membership gets behind the competitions,” said Director of Golf Glenn Carlson. “They really enjoy supporting and watching the tournaments and we’ve had some great events over the years with exciting finishes.”

Torrington CC, which will play as a 6,650-yard par 72, should set up as an exciting match play course with a number of risk-reward options for players.

“It isn’t the longest course but we have a few drivable par-4s, so there are some places where players might take a risk and go at something,” explained Carlson. “We also have some reachable par-5s and I think for the players that bomb the ball they can get home in two on some of the par-5s. Between all of that, I think there will be some exciting moments and some positions on the course where some of the players can make a move in match play and get a little aggressive.”

The 122nd Connecticut Amateur presented by Middlesex Health will begin at 7:30 a.m. on Monday, June 10. Monday and Tuesday will both feature 18 holes of stroke play qualifying. Following the completion of play on Tuesday the top 32 players will advance to match play. The Round of 32 and Round of 16 will be contested on Wednesday followed by the quarterfinals and semifinals on Thursday. The 36-hole championship match will be contested on Friday.

 Notes on the Field:

Number of Players: 131

Past Champions (6): Rick Dowling (2017, 2019, 2023), Ben Carpenter (2022), Ben Conroy (2018), Zach Zaback (2014, 2016), Cody Paladino (2013), Bill Hermanson (1991)

Players to Watch:

Shane Bacon (Broooklawn CC): Making his Connecticut Amateur debut, Bacon’s 2023 season was highlighted by a third-place showing at the Connecticut Mid-Amateur. Last year Bacon also qualified for the U.S. Amateur.

Ben Carpenter (CC of Darien): The 2022 champion is coming off a strong season for the Yale Bulldogs that saw him win the individual title at the Ivy League Championships for the second time in three years. Last year Carpenter reached the Round of 16 in the Connecticut Amateur.

Ben Day (New Haven CC): Always a threat Day has reached the Round of 16 each of the last two years at the Connecticut Amateur.

Tommy Dallahan (Hartford GC): An All-Big East selection after a strong final year for the UConn Huskies, Dallahan reached the semifinals of the Connecticut Amateur last year.

Rick Dowling (Golf Performance Center): In addition to winning his third Connecticut Amateur in 2023, Dowling also won his third consecutive Connecticut Mid-Amateur.

Jackson Fretty (Greenwich CC): A member of the Princeton golf team, Fretty has performed well in recent years reaching at least the Round of 16 in each of the last three years.

Connor Goode (Glastonbury Hills CC): A standout for the UConn golf team, Goode had a strong start to his CSGA season finishing in second place at the Russell C. Palmer after playing his way into a four-way playoff. At the 2023 Connecticut Amateur, Goode earned the four-seed and reached the Round of 16.

Anthony Guerrera (Watertown GC): In 2023 Guerrera won the Russell C. Palmer Cup, the Two Man Championship, and the Tournament of Champions.

Cody Paladino (Hartford GC): The 2013 champion has been the runner-up in the Connecticut Amateur three times since 2020. Earlier this year Paladino won his third career Russell C. Palmer Cup.

Jackson Roman (Shuttle Meadow CC): A semifinalist in 2022, Roman made match play once again last year.

Bradley Sawka (Ellington Ridge CC): As a freshman at UConn Sawka earned Big East Freshman of the Year honors.

Jack Woods (Ridgewood CC): At the 2022 Connecticut Amateur Woods earned medalist honors and last year he made a run to the quarterfinals.

Zach Zaback (Sterling Farms Mens GC): The two-time champion will be playing in his first Connecticut Amateur since being reinstated as an amateur. Zaback began the month of June by competing in U.S. Open Final Qualifying.

About the Connecticut State Golf Association

The Connecticut Amateur presented by Middlesex Health 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.