(David Giulietti (l) and Steve Gettings (r) were all smiles after a morning 66)
April 30, 2018: In weather that felt more like first day of March than the day before May, Richard Dowling of Eclub of Connecticut and Nick Taylor of the Country Club of Waterbury shot 69 (four ball) and 70 (alternate shot) to win the 2018 Two Man Team Championship in Honor of Bill Hermanson at Black Hall Club by two shots. The teams of Steve Gettings and David Giulietti, and John Sawka and Glen Boggini tied for second with 141.
Only those three teams finished under par.
Dowling and Taylor trailed by 3 after round one, thanks to a remarkable – given the cold, windy conditions – 66 in the four ball round by Gettings/Giulietti.
“We knew we were in it, but we definitely had a chasing mindset in the afternoon,” said Dowling, the 2017 Connecticut Amateur Champion. He and Taylor credited hot putting—and “great ski gloves”—for the afternoon 70, which included only 28 putts. “We made a bunch of bombs,” said Taylor, who counted five putts of more than 15 feet in the alternate shot play.
But the key, the two said, was a stretch of saving putts mid-way through round—they began on hole No. 3—on holes 11, 12, 13. “We had about 40 feet for birdie on 11 and I left it 12 feet short,” said Taylor. “Rick made the par putt.” Taylor saved bogey from 6’ feet on next hole and Dowling followed with a 12-foot par save on 13. “That series of holes was big,” said Taylor. “Then we capped it off with a birdie on 14.” They made another birdie on the par-3 17th, “And I think that one gave us comfort,” he said, “because we knew that 18, 1 and 2 were birdie opportunities.” They didn’t make a birdie in those final three holes but they didn’t need to. Their total of five afternoon birdies, against four bogeys, gave them the low afternoon round and a two-shot cushion.
The “home” team of Bill Hermanson and Phil Perry, who have won 34 of the last 40 club championships at the club, shot 69-73 to finish at even par. “The weather made it tough,” said Hermanson, the tournament’s honoree, “two or three shots anyway.”
“I think we do well in alternate shot because we have similar games,” said Dowling. “We don’t overpower a course, but we’re both straight, we keep it in play and have good short games.” That, and they play well in bad weather.