On June 16th – 20th, one of the oldest amateur events in the country heads to Lake of Isles in North Stonington, Connecticut for the 112th Connecticut Amateur Championship. Founded in 2005 by the Mashantucket Pequot Tribal Nation, Lake of Isles is located across the street from the Foxwoods Resort Casino. Renowned Golf Course Architect Rees Jones designed 36 unique holes that wind their way through 900 acres of wooded Connecticut countryside, and around a 90-acre lake, appropriately named “Lake of Isles”. The two courses (North and South) offer rolling terrain, island greens and tees, and extraordinary views, all blending harmoniously with the incredible natural landscape.
Last Year’s Championship: In the 2013 Connecticut Amateur, Cody Paladino, 24, of Wethersfield Country Club, took a 3-Up lead into the afternoon of the 36-hole final and never looked back, posting a 3 and 1 victory on Saturday over 21-year-old Peter Ballo of Woodway Country Club to capture the 111th Connecticut Amateur Championship at New Haven Country Club. Paladino became only the second player in CSGA history to capture both the Russell C. Palmer Cup and the Connecticut Amateur, and the first to win both in the same year.
By the Numbers: By Friday afternoon, one of the 111 players in the field will be holding the Connecticut Amateur trophy, having endured one of golf’s sternest tests to capture the title. The winner will have played a total of eight rounds of golf and approximately 144 holes in five days.
About the Courses: The North Course, which is open to the public, is a par-72 layout that features rolling fairways and extraordinary views, which blend nicely with the incredible natural landscape. The South Course (private) winds closely around the lake and requires precision off the tee. A pair of difficult island green par-3's greet the players on the back nine, and the tee shot on the par-5 8th hole features the Foxwoods Casino as a backdrop. Both courses have won several accolades since opening in 2005, including Golf Digest’s America’s Best New Courses and Best Courses in the State, Golf Magazine’s Top 100 Courses You Can Play, and Golfweek has ranked the North Course No. 1 in the state for the past six years.
A total of 111 players will begin their quest for the 112th Connecticut Amateur Championship. 88 players earned their way to Lake of Isles by qualifying at one of three sites across the state, and 23 players were exempt based on previous accomplishments.
Kevin Josephson, the Runner-Up in the 2013 Dick Tettelbach Player of the Year Standings, will be seeking his first Connecticut Amateur title. Josephson was the R.M. Grant Medalist at last year’s Connecticut Amateur, and also claimed the honor in 2009 at Woodway Country Club.
A total of 3 past Connecticut Amateur Champions are in the 2014 field. They are: R.J. Zielinkski- 2009 Champion, Bill Hermanson – 1991 Champion, and Dave Szewczul – 1978 Champion.
Qualifying Medalists: Rick Hayes of Lake of Isles and Keith Salamon of Tunxis Plantation Country Club both claimed medalist honors at Woodway Country Club and will be seeking their first Connecticut Amateur title. Will Betts of Ridgefield Golf Club (Ridgewood) and KJ Camera of Ellington Ridge Country Club (Connecticut National) both medaled at their respective sites but withdrew from the championship.
Last year’s Champion and 2013 Dick Tettelbach Player of the Year, Cody Paladino of Wethersfield Country Club, will not return to defend his title. Paladino turned professional in January with status on PGA Tour Latinoamerica and PGA Tour Canada, and added qualifying for U.S. Open Sectionals to his list of accomplishments this Spring.
Dave Szewczul, 1978 Amateur Champion, and his son, David Leigh, 19, are both in the field. Dave is the five-time reigning Dick Siderowf Senior Player of the Year and recently won the 2014 Senior Match Play Championship, and David Leigh is a rising sophomore at Providence College.
John Flaherty and Monte Mullen, both of TPC River Highlands, are seeking to capture their second CSGA Major Championship and first Connecticut Amateur title. Both players previously captured the Connecticut Junior Amateur in 2011 and 2010, respectively, and both were in a playoff for this year's Russell C. Palmer Cup Championship, losing to eventual champion Blake Morris.
Bill Hermanson of Black Hall Club enters the Connecticut Amateur with perhaps the most impressive CSGA championship record. Hermanson's resume includes five Connecticut Mid-Amateur Championships (1990, 91, 92, 93 and 2001), one Connecticut Amateur Championship (1991), one Player of the Year title (1991) and a victory at the Tournament of Champions (2006). Hermanson was inducted to the Connecticut Golf Hall of Fame in 2012 for Distinguished Golf Achievement.
Clark Robinson of Ellington Ridge Country Cub enters the tournament with a history of low qualifying scores, having just captured medalist honors at the U.S. Open Local Qualifier at the Country Club of Farmington with a round of 66. Robinson concluded an outstanding freshman year at Marshall University in Huntington, West Virginia this spring, where he was named to the Conference USA All-Freshman Team.
Glen Boggini of Twin Hills CC, has been a Club Champion at three different courses (Ellington Ridge, Twin Hills, and Okemo Valley). His closest bid to winning the Amateur came in 2008 at Ellington Ridge, when he lost in the Quarterfinals.
Schedule of Events: All players will play 18 holes on Monday, June 16th (North Course) and Tuesday, June 17th (South Course). The low 32 players will advance to match play, culminating with a 36-hole final on Friday, June 20th.
Monday, June 16th – Round 1 of Stroke Play Qualifying (North Course)
Tuesday, June 17th – Round 2 of Stroke Play Qualifying (South Course)
Wednesday, June 18th (AM) – Round of 32 (North Course)
Wednesday, June 18th (PM) – Round of 16 (South Course)
Thursday, June 19th (AM) – Quarterfinals (South Course)
Thursday, June 19th (PM) – Semi-Finals (South Course)
Friday, June 20th – Finals (36-Holes) (South Course)
About the Championship: The Connecticut Amateur Championship is the oldest event conducted by the CSGA and is one of the nation's oldest state amateur golf championships. The first winner of the Connecticut Amateur was Thomas L. Cheney. Since Cheney's inaugural victory, past champions have included Robert M. Grant, whom the medalist honor is named, and current PGA tour player, J.J. Henry.