South Kent, Connecticut (September 9, 2021) – On an overcast and wet day with on and off rain Cody Paladino and Bill Hermanson captured the Tettelbach and Siderowf Tournament of Champions titles.
Since returning to the amateur game last season Paladino has been knocking on the door in CSGA events amassing runner-up finishes in nearly every event he has competed in. That trend finally changed on Thursday at Bull’s Bridge Golf Club when Paladino posted a 2-under 70 to win the Tettelbach Division (Under 55) by one shot over Seth Jainchill (Keney GC) and Kevin Josephson (Stanley GC).
“It means a lot to win a CSGA event again,” Paladino, the 2013 Tournament of Champions winner said. “I was thinking a lot about it on my ride out here today, how much I have enjoyed playing CSGA events the last couple of years regardless of some of the heartbreak and constant second place finishes.”
Paladino’s near misses have been well documented. Each of the last two years he has finished in second place at the Connecticut Amateur and the Connecticut Mid-Amateur. He has also finished second at the Russell C. Palmer Cup, the Two Man Championship, and last year at the Tournament of Champions. However, in July Paladino played his way back into the win column for the first time since his 2015 Connecticut Open victory when he won the New England Amateur.
Since then Paladino (Wampanoag CC) has continued to play impressive golf including qualifying for his first USGA event since 2010, the 40th U.S. Mid-Amateur at Sankaty Head Golf Club set to played at the end of the month on Nantucket.
“I have just had so much fun the last couple of years [playing in CSGA events],” Paladino said. “I just feel really lucky that I have been able to play as many events as I have and to finally win one is a great feeling.”
Starting on the front side Paladino recorded three birdies and one bogey to turn in 2-under 34. With the conditions worsening as the rain became more consistent Paladino battled his way through the second nine. He did bogey the par-3 12th but a clutch par putt from 20-feet on No. 17 and an up-and-down for birdie on the closing par-5 18th were enough for Paladino to pull out the victory.
Jainchill and Josephson both finished at 1-under with Chris Maxwell (Tunxis CC) in fourth at 1-over. Fifth place was shared by Pat Griffin (Chippanee GC), Patrick Prior (Wallingford CC), Michael Whitmore (Blackledge CC), and Brett Shulick (Oronoque CC) at 2-over.
Highlighted by an eagle on No. 18, his ninth hole of the day, Josephson had the best chance at tracking down Paladino getting as low as 5-under with five holes remaining. However, four bogeys and a par down the stretch proved to be to much for Josephson to overcome.
In the Siderowf Division (55+) Bill Hermanson was the lone player to finish under-par firing a 2-under 70 to win the title by two shots over Patrick McGuiness (Keney GC). For Hermanson it was his third Tournament of Champions victory following his 2006 Tettelbach Division and 2018 Siderowf Division titles.
“I am really happy with the round,” said Hermanson. “I have been playing really solid all year. I had a good pairing today, I had three good guys to play with so we had a good time. It is always fun to play well and if you happen to win, especially a CSGA event it is pretty special.”
Hermanson (Black Hall Club) got his round off to a good start with birdies on Nos. 2 and 4 to quickly reach 2-under. On the 282-yard downhill par-4 2nd hole Hermanson hit driver to 8-feet and two-putted for birdie. Two holes later he missed the green on the par-3 4th hole but chipped in for his second birdie of the day.
“I played pretty solid. I hit a lot of fairways and a lot of greens,” Hermanson said. “The greens were ultrafast so it took me the first few holes to get the speed down, actually most of the day I was strong but I made some good comebackers after some strong putts so it didn’t really hurt me to badly.”
A string of pars followed before Hermanson slipped up with bogeys on Nos. 10 and 12 to return the Connecticut Golf Hall of Famer to even-par. Unfazed, Hermanson rebounded with two birdies in the final four holes. Sitting an even-par Hermanson stuffed his 5-iron approach to 2-feet on the par-4 15th setting up a birdie and then got up-and-down from just off of the par-5 18th green to produce what proved to be the winning birdie.
Hermanson finished two shots clear of runner-up Patrick McGuiness (Keney GC) who finished even-par while Bill Marsh (Indian Hill CC), Bart Weissman (Sterling Farms), and Richard Shildneck (Alling Memorial GC) shared third at 1-over.
About the Connecticut State Golf Association
The Tournament of Champions 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.