Week of May 1st Tee Times

Quarterfinals Set at 115th Connecticut Amateur

Links: Match Play Results  | Bracket  

After day three of the 115th Connecticut Amateur presented by Kota Solutions, only eight players remain with a chance to have their name etched on the state’s most prestigious amateur title. The championship is being conducted June 19th – 23rd at Tashua Knolls Golf Course in Trumbull, Conn.

For the eventual champion, Wednesday began the first of three 36-hole days, with players playing their Round of 32 match in the morning, followed by their Round of 16 match in the afternoon. Day one of match play produced some considerable upsets based on seeding, with both co-medalists (Ben Day of New Haven CC and Nick Cook of Tashua Knolls GC) falling in the Round of 16. Both the #3 seed (Michael VanDerLaan of Eclub of Connecticut) and the #5 seed (Richard Dowling of Eclub of Connecticut) were able to advance to the quarterfinals.

Seven of the eight of the remaining players are seeking to capture their first Connecticut Amateur title and just three more match play victories stand between them and the trophy.

Meet the Quarterfinalists

Blake Kelley

Home Club: Manchester Country Club (Manchester)

Qualifying Score / Seed Number: 70-75—145 (+1) / #16 seed

One Quick Fact: Kelley, a rising junior at the University of Connecticut, is searching to capture his first CSGA major championship. He was able to knock off medalist and #1 seed Nick Cook in his afternoon Round of 16 match, and defeated 1999 Amateur Champion Brian Ahern in his Round of 32 match.

Christopher DeLucia

Home Club: Norwich Golf Course (Norwich)

Qualifying Score / Seed Number: 71-72—143 (-1) / #9 seed

One Quick Fact: DeLucia is seeking to make history for both himself and his home club. In the 115-year history of the Connecticut Amateur, no player from Norwich Golf Course (opened in 1926) has ever captured the title. He currently owns the course record at Norwich GC, a blistering 63 that he shot in 2012.

Justin Clark

Home Club: Rolling Hills Country Club (Wilton)

Qualifying Score / Seed Number: 73-73—146 (+2) / #20 seed

One Quick Fact: A rising sophomore at Texas Christian University, Clark advanced to the quarterfinals by defeating Jason Jaworoski of Shorehaven GC in the Round of 32, and outlasted Matt DiRamio of Ellington Ridge CC in the Round of 16. He was a member of the CSGA’s New England Junior team in 2015 and finished 7th in the 2016 Russell C. Palmer Cup.

Richard Dowling

Home Club: Eclub of Connecticut

Qualifying Score / Seed Number: 68-72—140 (-4) / #5 seed

One Quick Fact: Dowling is hoping to take home his first CSGA major title, as he played the most holes of any competitor in the first day of match play. He needed 19 holes to outlast Paul Butkevich in his Round of 32 match, and 20 holes to defeat Arthur Ouimet in his Round of 16 match, and recorded just five bogies in 39 holes.

Chris Simione

Home Club: Race Brook Country Club (Orange)

Qualifying Score / Seed Number: 73-72–145 (+1) / #18 seed

One Quick Fact: Simione is a rising junior at Bentley University, where he competes on their Division II collegiate golf team, and is making his first appearance in the quarterfinals of the Connecticut Amateur. In addition to competing in amateur tournaments throughout the summer, Simione also works at New Haven Country Club and assists with tournaments and outside events at the club.

Mike Kennedy

Home Club: Mill River Country Club (Stratford)

Qualifying Score / Seed Number: 71-71—142 (-2) / #3 seed

One Quick Fact: Kennedy is no stranger to the championship layout at Tashua Knolls – he was a longtime member of the club until this year when he joined Mill River CC. He put on a dominating performance in his afternoon match, making five birdies en-route to a 7 and 6 performance over Nick Taylor (2010 Amateur runner-up).

Michael VanDerLaan

Home Club: Eclub of Connecticut

Qualifying Score / Seed Number: 72-67—139 (-5) / #3 seed

One Quick Fact: VanDerLaan is making his first appearance in the quarterfinals of the Connecticut Amateur, and entered this week with plenty of momentum. Along with his brother John, he helped lead Florida Southern College to their 13th national title in the Division II Men’s NCAA Golf Championship in Kissimmee, Florida.

Evan Grenus

Home Club: TPC River Highlands (Cromwell)

Qualifying Score / Seed Number: 71-71—142 (-2) / #3 seed

One Quick Fact: Grenus won the 2015 Connecticut Amateur at Black Hall Club, defeating Greg Reilly in the final match by a score of 5 and 4. With his victory, he became the first former Junior Amateur Champion to go on to win the Amateur since Kevin Gai of Indian Hill CC (1983 Junior Amateur and 1996 Amateur Champion). He also became just the second player to win the Junior Amateur and Amateur titles in consecutive years, having won the Junior Amateur in 2014.


Quarterfinal Pairings

7:30 a.m. – Blake Kelley, Manchester CC vs. Christopher DeLucia, Norwich Golf Course

7:40 a.m. – Justin Clark, Rolling Hills CC vs. Richard Dowling, Eclub of Connecticut

7:50 a.m. – Chris Simione, Race Brook CC vs. Mike Kennedy, Mill River CC

8:00 a.m. – Michael VanDerLaan, Eclub of Connecticut vs. Evan Grenus, TPC River Highlands

About the Connecticut Amateur Championship

The Connecticut Amateur Championship is one of the nation’s oldest state amateur golf championships and is one of 19 championship tournaments conducted by the Connecticut State Golf Association. The challenging format tests the state's best amateur golfers over two rounds of stroke play to determine the low thirty-two match play qualifiers. Two rounds of match play each day culminate in a thirty-six hole final to crown the top amateur player in Connecticut.

About KOTA Solutions

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