Goshen, Connecticut (June 23, 2021) – The quarterfinals are set at the 15th Senior Match Play hosted by Torrington Country Club and the list of remaining names might not be what was expected at the beginning of the week.
The biggest surprise of the day came from 24-seed Vin Capece (Watertown GC) playing in his second Senior Match Play. In the Round of 32 on Wednesday morning Capece handled Kevin Foster (Farmington Woods GC) 3&1 but it was his Round of 16 victory that made headlines.
Trailing Randy Rizy (Timberlin GC) 5 down with eight to play Capece won the par-3 11th to get one hole closer but still trailed by four holes with only four holes remaining. Needing to make something happen Capece jump-started his comeback with a 25-foot birdie on the par-4 15th. “I don’t think I have ever hit that green in two, it was a little downwind and that helped,” Capece said of his momentum-changing birdie.
The win on the 15th was the first of four straight wins for Capece as he rallied back to force extra holes. In the playoff both players found the rough off the tee. With their second shots Capece hit the green while Rizy came up short. When Rizy couldn’t get up and down Capece was able to clean up for a par and punch his ticket into the quarterfinals.
“I’ve been in that situation before and I have been able to win and so you just draw upon that experience and you have to believe it isn’t over until it is over,” said Capece who won the last five holes.
In the quarterfinals Capece will face Peter Davison (Rockledge CC). Advancing to match play for the first time in his Senior Match Play career Davison bested 32-seed Jim Abbott (Indian Hill CC) 3&2 in the Round of 16. Abbott was able to upset medalist John Svetz (Torrington CC) in the Round of 32 but he wasn’t able to maintain the same level of play in the afternoon.
Davison’s win was punctuated by a chip-in birdie on No. 9 to go 2 up and a 70-foot birdie putt on the par-4 13th to win the hole and maintain a 3 up advantage.
“My mindset going into tomorrow is to play some more golf and have some fun. I’m going to try my best on every shot and see what happens,” Davison said.
The second quarterfinal match will feature Paul Stancs (Litchfield CC) a winner in 19 holes over 2018 champion Pat McGuiness (Keney GC) squaring off against Craig Platt (Mill River CC) who pulled out a 1 up victory over last year’s runner-up Mark Vassalotti (Sterling Farms Mens Golf Club).
Stancs dropped the final two holes of his Round of 16 match only to rebound and win with a par on the first extra hole to advance. Platt trailed in his match 3 down after the 11th hole before rallying down the stretch with wins on the 12th, 15th, 16th, and 18th holes to take the tilt.
Rich Feldman (Golf Performance Center) battled 31-seed Terry Ruzzo (Tallwood CC) to a 1 up triumph to move onto the quarterfinals. “I kept battling,” Feldman said. “I was 3 down very quickly and I scratched my way back. I just kept on grinding. I got myself to 2 down at the turn and I felt a little bit more comfortable.”
Feldman trimmed the deficit to 1 down with a win on No. 11 where the difference stayed until wins on Nos. 17 and 18 swung the match in favor of the 18-seed.
2019 quarterfinalist Rick Malafronte (Indian Hill CC) made his way into the final eight once again with a 3&2 win in the Round of 16 against Donal Reilly (H. Smith Richardson). Tied at the turn Malafronte won three of the first four holes on the side to take control of the match.
The final quarterfinal match will be between the lowest remaining seed, No. 3 Bob Murphy Jr. (Brownson CC), and 22-seed Dave Jones (Mohegan Sun Golf Club). Murphy Jr. won his match 1 up over Paul Fitzsimmons (Brooklawn CC). Their match was the fifth match of the Round of 16 to go to the 18th hole. Murphy Jr. took a 1 up lead with a par on the par-3 17th and then closed out the match with a par on No. 18.
Jones carved out a 3&1 win against James Kulacz (Timberlin GC) to move onto the quarterfinals. Jones took a quick 2 up lead only to watch as Kulacz tied the match with hole wins on Nos. 6 and 7. Those would be the only holes that Kulacz won in the match as Jones stepped on the gas eventually closing out the match with a par on the 17th.
Play will continue on Thursday with the quarterfinals beginning at 7:30 a.m. and the semifinals to follow.
About the Connecticut State Golf Association
The Senior Match Play 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.