Oxford, Connecticut (August 12, 2021) – Fifty-five fathers and their fifty-five sons, respectively, teed it up on Thursday at The Alliance Club at Oxford Greens for the 85th playing of the CSGA’s Father Son Championship.
The mood on the first tee was light-hearted. Jokes and jabs and self-deprecating humor served as a welcome refresher to the 90-degree humidity and the customary seriousness of tournament golf. But not to say there wasn’t strategy considered with every stroke in the selected drive, alternate shot format.
“If Dad can just get it out there somewhere in the fairway, then I can take a rip at it,” was a frequent refrain before the real decisions were made – which ball to play after both tee shots were struck. That’s when the pressure would ratchet up. With only one ball in play after the chosen drive, the last thing you want to do is dump your pop or your boy into a greenside bunker.
Not an easy format.
Veterans of this cheerfully intense competition populated the top of the board with East Hartford Golf Club’s Frank and Mike Carey posting a number early. Their 3-under 69 looked good right away given that past champions Dick and Shepard Tuttle Stevens came in with 75, as did the Rockledge Burrills, Jason and Ryan.
The Careys, unsure of how many times they’ve played the Father Son, estimating “somewhere between ten and fourteen,” recalled with certainty their best finish – “4th at Rolling Hills in 2019.” With Mike at 37 and Frank pushing 62 the Careys aren’t getting any younger, but they seem to be getting better with age.
According to father Frank, “We did nothing extraordinary. We just kept it in play and only made one bogey.”
Son Mike, a big man with a great set of hands chipped to 3-feet on the par-5, 8th hole, and to 18-inches on the par-5 17th to set up two of their four birdies. “Dad never misses those,” said the confident son.
Lining up behind the Careys were a who’s who of father-son tandems that included Jim and John Abbott at 72, Rob and Kevin Josephson at 73, and at 74, John and Connor O’Brien, Richard and Joe Ensign, and Ben and Joe Jay Conroy.
With a few hours to kill waiting to see if their 69 would hold up, the Careys retired to their cars to listen to the first game of a Mets doubleheader. By some miracle, the Mets won the opener, but to no one’s surprise Frank and Mike Carey’s comfortable margin was never threatened, and they claimed the title in the CSGA’s 85th Father Son Championship.
About the Connecticut State Golf Association
The Father Son 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.