(September 21, 2021) – Last year, 13 years after he won his first Connecticut Senior Amateur title in 2007 Dick Stevens at 70-years-old won his second career title. Now one year later at The Patterson Club the 71-year-old Stevens will look to become the first player to successfully defend his title since Dave Szewczul accomplished the feat in 2011 and 2012.
“What sport can a 71-year-old say you are still improving at? I love the competition and I love the preparation for it as well,” Dick Stevens said.
In recent years Stevens has been working hard to improve his game and change his swing so that he has the ability to compete on a consistent basis.
“I shallowed out my swing and it was both scary and really rewarding. It was scary because I had no consistency but when I got it right it changed my ball flight,” Stevens the winner of August’s Senior Four-Ball Championship said. “I am a better golfer now than when I was 40-years-old. A lot of that has to do with equipment but I have also been able to improve. Assuming nothing happens I think I have three-five years remaining where I can keep improving and I have plenty of incentives to keep improving.”
One such incentive is defending his Senior Amateur title but that task won’t be easy with a talented field that includes eight past champions set to compete from September 27-28th at The Patterson Club.
“Hosting the event is a great honor to The Patterson Club. The club views this as a significant championship for the CSGA and they take great pride in hosting competitive players for events such as this,” Patterson Club Head Professional Chris Kenney said.
The Patterson Club has long been the site of CSGA Championships hosting the second of its two Connecticut Open’s in 2015 while also serving as the co-host along with Torrington Country Club for the 1989 Connecticut Senior Amateur.
When players arrive at the Fairfield club on Monday they will compete on a different version of the Robert Trent Jones Sr. 1947 design from past CSGA events. Beginning in August in an effort to evenly disperse play on the two sides of the course the nines were flipped and that routing will remain in place for the 76th Connecticut Senior Amateur.
Although the holes themselves won’t change the flow of the round will be altered. Historically, it was important for players to get off to a good start and then hold on down the stretch. However, with the nines flipped if players can tread water on the front nine there will be a greater opportunity for some late round fireworks with birdie opportunities on four of the last five holes.
Beginning on No. 15 the closing stretch will include a short par-4, drivable for some, and a pair of par-5s including one to conclude the round.
Along with playing steady golf early in the round and then finding birdies late in the round, “patience, and a great short game will be very important [to a successful tournament],” Golf Course Superintendent Jason Meersman said of the 6,400 yard par-71 layout. “Even if your striking the golf ball well our small, undulated greens will create difficult pars. It is important to stay patient so you are able to take advantage of the very few birdie holes we have on the golf course.”
Play at the 76th Connecticut Senior Amateur will begin on Monday morning at 8 a.m. Following the first round the low thirty-nine and ties will advance to Tuesday’s final round. The final round shotgun will begin at 9 a.m. Click here for the first round tee times.
Past Champions in Field (8):Dick Stevens (2007 & 2020), Bill Hermanson (2015 & 2019), Ray Underwood (2018), Dave Szewczul (2011, 2012 & 2016), Mark Vasington (2014), Jack Bracken (2013), William Lee (2008), William Dober (1997 & 2000)
Field Size: 79
Players to Watch:
Jack Bracken (Hartford GC): A long-time member of Hartford Golf Club, Bracken is the only Hartford golfer in history to have won the club championship in four separate decades. A seven-time qualifier for USGA Championships, Bracken is a two-time runner-up in the Connecticut Amateur and in 2013 he won the Connecticut Senior Amateur.
Tom Brett (Rockledge CC): In two of the last three years Brett has tallied a top-10 finish in the Connecticut Senior Amateur with his best showing coming in 2019 when tied for fifth.
Glen Boggini (Manchester CC): Boggini turned 55 at the beginning of the month and is ready to make his mark on the senior circuit. In recent years Boggini has still been able to compete in the Tettelbach Division earning the Al Acker One Day title in 2019 and last year he finished fourth at the Tournament of Champions.
Peter Davison (Rockledge CC): Davison, playing in his second Connecticut Senior Amateur, made a run to the Senior Match Play semifinals in June and finished T4 at the Senior Four-Ball in August.
Bill Hermanson (Black Hall Club): A two-time Connecticut Senior Amateur winner Hermanson is always in the mix. Since 2012 Hermanson has only finished outside of the top-10 one-time and in addition to his victories he has two runner-up finishes.
Michael Hooper (Brooklawn CC): The last two seasons have seen Hooper make a run at the Connecticut Senior Match Play. This year he reached the Round 32 and last year he made it to the quarterfinals. In 2020 Hooper was tied for fifth at the Connecticut Senior Amateur.
Dave Jones (Mohegan Sun GC): A member of the victorious 2021 Julius Boros Challenge Cup team Jones has notched five wins in One Day events this season and reached the Senior Match Play quarterfinals for a second straight year. Last year he finished third at the Senior Amateur and also earned Match Play medalist honors.
Craig Platt (Mill River CC): Platt exploded onto the scene earlier this year with his victory at the Connecticut Senior Match Play. In 2020 he was 13th at the Senior Amateur.
Randy Rizy (Timberlin GC): Rizy has been knocking on the door in recent years at the Connecticut Senior Amateur earning four straight top-10 finishes with his best finish coming in 2018 when he tied for fourth.
Dick Stevens (Western Hills GC): At 70-years-old and 13 years after his first title Stevens earned his second Connecticut Senior Amateur victory last year with a par on the first playoff hole. The win was an exclamation point on an impressive four-year run at the Senior Amateur which also included a T3 and second place finish. Stevens was part of the winning Connecticut Senior Four-Ball team last month.
Dave Szewczul (TPC River Highlands): The three-time Connecticut Senior Amateur winner is always a threat. Szewczul, the two-time defending Connecticut Super Senior winner, last won the Senior Amateur in 2016 but since then he has racked up three top-10 finishes including a runner-up.
About the Connecticut State Golf Association
The Connecticut Senior Amateur is one of 19 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. Founded in 1899, it is the country’s oldest state golf association and conducts over 60 Championships, Qualifiers, and One Day Tournaments throughout the year.