(March 18, 2023) – The 89th Connecticut Open will take place at Shuttle Meadow Country Club from July 24-26. Ahead of this year’s championship, we took a look at the previous three Connecticut Opens hosted by the club.
“The club is very excited to host the Connecticut Open and we look forward to providing a great experience for all who visit during the event,” head professional Ian Marshall said. “Shuttle Meadow provides a unique layout masterfully designed by Willie Park, Jr. and this year we are kicking off our 125th anniversary of the founding of the club in 1899.”
In 1933 at the 3rd Connecticut Open, John Golden won his second of four consecutive tournament titles. A professional out of Wee Burn Country Club, Golden finished with a four round total of 291 to win the championship by six shots. Among those who Golden defeated was 1931 U.S. Open champion Billy Burke.
Golden’s 72-hole total of 291 was seven shots over par, “vindicating the shrewd home club golfers who wagered everyone who had a dollar to bet that 285 would not be bettered,” the Hartford Courant reported.
Golden who died suddenly in January of 1936 of pneumonia at the age of 39 won nine times on the PGA Tour and played on the first two Ryder Cup teams in 1927 and 1929. In the Ryder Cup Golden compiled a 3-0-0 record.
Three of Golden’s Connecticut Open victories (1932, 1933, and 1935) were considered PGA Tour wins.
A 2000 Connecticut Golf Hall of Fame inductee, Golden reached the semifinals of the PGA Championship three times and in 1930 finished fifth at the U.S. Open.
Three years later the Connecticut Open returned to Shuttle Meadow CC and this time the four day tally of 285 was broken with a then tournament scoring record of 283. That score was posted by Wee Burn Country Club professional Leo Mallory.
A series of events broke right for Mallory in the final round. First, he eagled the par-5 closing hole, and then 1931 U.S. Open champion Billy Burke, playing behind Mallory, collapsed down the stretch and finished two shots off the pace.
1936 marked the first of two consecutive Connecticut Open victories for Mallory.
After hosting the Connecticut Open twice in the first six years of the event the championship didn’t return to Shuttle Meadow CC until 1954 when Dr. Ted Lenczyk won the title.
Lenczyk opened his tournament with a new course record 6-under 65 in the first round to lead by four before eventually going on to win by seven shots. Lenczyk, a dentist and member at Indian Hill Country Club, became the fourth amateur to win the Connecticut Open.
The victory by Lenczyk capped a successful stretch of golf for Indian Hill CC golfers in state competition. Earlier in the week of the 1954 Connecticut Open a young Dick Siderowf won the Jaycee Junior state title backing up his victory two weeks earlier in the Connecticut Junior Amateur. Siderowf would go on to win three Connecticut Open titles including his first just four years later in 1958.
Editors Note: Information for this article was provided by the Hartford Courant.
About the Connecticut State Golf Association
The Connecticut State Golf Association 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.