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Rick Dowling, Jack Woods Set 122nd Connecticut Amateur Pace

Rick Dowling (left) and Jack Woods (right).

Goshen, Connecticut (June 10, 2024) – On a blustery day at Torrington Country Club defending champion Rick Dowling and Jack Woods set the opening day pace with 4 under 68s at the 122nd Connecticut Amateur presented by Middlesex Health.

Three-time champion Rick Dowling (Golf Performance Center) once again played himself to the top of the leaderboard with a nearly flawless round that featured five birdies and one bogey.

Dowling highlighted his birdie on the par-5 second hole as a key moment in the round. After missing the green down a steep hill to the right of the putting surface with his second shot Dowling pitched his third shot to 20 feet and promptly drained the putt. His second birdie of the day followed on the ensuing par-3 third and with that Dowling was off to the races.

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“Getting off to a good start feels good,” said Rick Dowling who with a victory would become the third player to win four Connecticut Amateur titles. “But there’s a lot of golf ahead. I am happy with my round but at the same time I have to let it go and then come back tomorrow and do it again.”

Jack Woods, the medalist in 2022, played a strong round from start to finish recording six birdies and two bogeys. However, it was his three birdies in a row to close out his round that saw the recent University of Maryland graduate surge up the leaderboard.

1 under through 15 holes Woods (Ridgewood CC) got up and down for a birdie on the par-5 16th and then rolled in a 15-footer for another birdie on No. 17. On the closing hole with a wedge in hand for his second shot Woods dropped his approach shot to tap-in range to complete his impressive first round.

After the round Woods, a quarterfinalist at the Connecticut Amateur last year, talked about how he is happy to get off to a good start but he knows there is a lot of golf still to come, “It’s nice to play well and it’s nice to do what you’re trying to do but it’s a very long week so there’s no point in really getting too excited after round one. Once match play starts whether you are the No. 1 seed or the No. 32 seed everybody is starting off at the same spot. So it’s nice, but certainly nothing to go crazy about.”

Rounding out the day one top five are Anthony Hrenko (Indian Hill CC), Zach Zaback (Sterling Farms Mens GC), and Anthony Guerrera (Watertown GC) at 3 under in a tie for third.  Six others shared sixth at 2 under.

The 122nd Connecticut Amateur will continue on Tuesday with the final round of stroke play qualifying. Following the completion of play on Tuesday the top 32 will advance to match play beginning on Wednesday with the Round of 32 and the Round of 16. The quarterfinals and semifinals will be played on Thursday ahead of the 36-hole championship match on Friday.

Notable Shots: Torrington CC member Michael Beatty and Chris Flowers (H. Smith Richardson GC) both recorded hole-in-ones on the par-3 sixth.

About the Connecticut State Golf Association

The Connecticut Amateur presented by Middlesex Health 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.