Wallingford, Connecticut (September 1, 2021) – With rain from Hurricane Ida falling throughout the day the tandem of Tim Bickford and David Flint were able to utilize their home course advantage to finish 10-under and pull out a one-stroke victory at the 81st Four-Ball Championship.
Bickford and Flint began their round at Wallingford Country Club on the back nine and promptly set the tone for their day with three consecutive birdies to surge to 3-under. As the rain fell Bickford and Flint zigged and zagged their way around the gettable back nine with surgeon like precision as they converted additional birdies on Nos. 14, 15, and 16 to reach 6-under at the turn.
“I would say given the weather conditions [playing on our home course] was definitely an advantage,” said David Flint who works as a CPA. “We know where the misses are. I think that with the rain those misses are exaggerated.”
As the field turned for home the rain continued to pour down forcing a pause in play so that water could be removed from a number of greens. The delay didn’t faze Bickford and Flint.
With the weather deteriorating and the course becoming more saturated Bickford and Flint, playing as a team for the first time, continued to climb up the leaderboard. Flint birdied the par-4 second, then Bickford birdied the par-5 fifth, then it was Flint again rolling in his fourth birdie of the day on the par-4 seventh to move the duo to 9-under and into a tie with the eventual runner-up’s Brett Shulick (Oronoque CC) and Matt Fuller (Great Neck CC) playing in the group behind.
Following a par on the eighth Bickford came through in a big way on the par-4 final hole. Bickford hooked his tee shot left on the dogleg right ninth but had just enough of a window to punch a wedge to 20-feet above the hole. Knowing that the putt was likely the tournament winner Bickford picked his line and drained the birdie putt setting off a wild celebration.
“To do it at home is great,” Bickford who works in construction and birdied seven times said. “The group behind us was 9-under and we knew it so we knew we needed a birdie to win and we definitely let the emotions go when it dropped in.”
Despite finishing one shot short at 9-under Shulick and Fuller, T3 finishers at April’s Two Man Championship, proved once again they are a team to watch in the future. Recent Connecticut Public Links champion Nick Waddington (Manchester CC) and Mike Kennedy (New Haven CC) finished third at 8-under while the always dangerous team of Dan Murphy (H. Smith Richardson GC) and Jamie Sheltman (Alling Memorial GC) shared fourth with Mark Eells (Blackledge CC) and Michael Whitmore (Blackledge CC) at 5-under.
Note: David Flint made sure to note his appreciation for the work that the Wallingford Country Club grounds crew has put into keeping the course in fantastic shape despite all the rain in recent weeks. “I would like to give a shoutout to our groundskeeper Scott Jennings,” Flint said. “This course has taken a ton of rain the last few weeks and it is in great shape.”
About the Connecticut State Golf Association
The Four-Ball Championship 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.