25th Connecticut Women's Open - First Round play is underway - all tee times delayed by 70 minutes

Late Birdies Lift Susie Cavanagh to 25th Connecticut Women’s Open Title

Kyle Fraser came up one shot short of a playoff.

Madison, Connecticut (May 29, 2024) – Playing in the final group of the 25th Connecticut Women’s Open presented by Crescent Point Private Wealth Susie Cavanagh needed a birdie on the par 5 closing hole to secure her first career professional victory.

The Warwick, Rhode Island native stepped to the tee on the final hole tied for the lead at 1 under with Kyle Fraser and blasted a drive that ended up just a few yards off the fairway. With 153 yards left to the pin, Cavanagh selected a pitching wedge for her second shot and skied her approach landing it 15 feet from the hole.

Needing to two-putt for her first career professional victory Cavanagh cozied her eagle putt close and then tapped in for birdie to finish 2 under and claim a one-shot victory at Madison Country Club.

“This was a big thing for me,” an ecstatic Susie Cavanagh said. “It is my first professional win so it feels good to get one under my belt and this was a great place to do it. It was a fun couple of days out here.”

Photo Gallery I Final Results

The final round began with Bella Harris (Greenville, SC) following an opening round 3 under 68 holding a two-shot lead over Linda Wang (Plainview, NY) and a three-shot advantage over Cavanagh.

Harris, playing in the final group alongside Wang and Cavanagh, started her day with two steady pars on the opening two holes and looked to have control over her game. However, everything changed for Harris when she bogeyed No. 3 beginning a 6 over in a three-hole stretch that saw her fade from contention and ultimately finish in a tie for 10th.

As Harris faded Wang made a charge and for a moment held the lead on her own. 1 under to begin the final round Wang bogeyed the par 4 fourth before rebounding with a birdie on the ensuing hole.

On the par 5 sixth Wang continued to accelerate. Her tee shot found the center of the fairway and with a green light yardage, she purred her second shot landing it 25 feet from the pin. Facing a difficult putt for eagle Wang rammed it home to move to 3 under and the lead alone. Following her eagle, Wang parred the next two holes only to struggle the remainder of the day and finish the tournament 4 over in a tie for sixth.

As play headed for the back nine, it became clear that on this day the race to the finish would be between Cavanagh and Fraser.

Cavanagh, a member of the ANNIKA Women’s All Pro Tour, got off to a slow start with bogeys on Nos. 3 and 4 to drop to 2 over. Unfazed Cavanagh began attacking pins with reckless abandon and as a result carded short birdies on Nos. 6, 8, and 9 to surge up the leaderboard and reach 1 under.

“I made some silly bogeys on Nos. 3 and 4 but I was in good positions,” explained Cavanagh a member of the UConn women’s hockey team for a year before transferring to Oregon State to play golf. “I said, if this continues, this is going to be a long day. So, I just tried to commit to every shot, go with my gut, and I started firing at pins. I didn’t make every putt, but I felt really good over all of them.”

At the same time Cavanagh was catching fire so was Fraser (Shaddy Oaks CC). A former standout lacrosse player for Stanford turned professional golfer, Fraser started the final round 1 over but looked to shoot herself out of the picture with a double bogey on the first hole moving her deficit from four strokes to six in the blink of an eye.

However, Fraser had other ideas and she rebounded quickly birdieing the short par 3 second to go along with additional front nine birdies on Nos. 4 and 6 as she made the turn in 1 under 34 for the day and more importantly even par for the championship.

Following her birdie on the sixth Fraser would par the next 11 holes and head to the 18th hole seeking a birdie to take the clubhouse lead. Tied with Cavanagh as she teed off on the final hole, Fraser pushed her drive right into the fescue. With a difficult second shot, Fraser came up short finding a greenside bunker. Knowing that she likely had to get up and down to have a chance Fraser, who eagled No. 18 the day before, clipped a gorgeous third shot out of the bunker resulting in a tap in birdie and 1 under finish to the tournament.

As Fraser was completing her round, Cavanagh, now at even par for the tournament, was playing the par 4 17th hole. Cavanagh elected to play aggressively and came up just short of the green with her tee shot. Faced with a difficult chip shot to a slippery green that was running away from her, Cavanagh ran her second shot long leaving herself 25 feet for birdie.

Cavanagh stalked the putt from all angles before settling in for her birdie try. Once the putt was struck the ball only had eyes for the bottom of the cup.

“It was my longest putt of the week,” Cavanagh said. “Before I hit that putt I was pretty frustrated with myself because I had an easy 40-yard pitch shot that ended up past the pin. On that hole, you can’t go long and I did. So, I wanted to do something there, and it was nice to make one. I didn’t know that I needed it, to be honest, but in hindsight, it was really nice to make that putt.”

The birdie on No. 17 tied Cavanagh for the lead and set the stage for her final hole heroics.

“I came into this week thinking I had a good shot at winning,” stated Cavanagh. “That is the goal before any tournament but to get it done feels amazing. I’ve had a couple of chances in the past. Last year I was in the mix in the Connecticut Women’s Open, and I just didn’t play great. But today to have a chance to get it done is big. It feels good to get one done.”

The top five was rounded out by Chelsea Dantonio (East Aurora, NY) in third at 1 over followed by defending champion Samantha Morrell (Fenway GC) at 2 over in fourth place, and former Sacred Heart standout Margot Rouquette (Great River GC) in her professional debut at 3 over in fifth place.

For Dantonio, this was her second consecutive top-five finish in the Connecticut Women’s Open.

Winners of additional divisions included:

  • Low Amateur – Karla Vazquez
  • Senior Division – Pamela Kuong
  • Senior Low Amateur – Pamela Kuong
  • Senior Low Pro – Susan Bond

About the Connecticut State Golf Association

The Connecticut Women’s Open presented by Crescent Point Private Wealth 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. 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.