Week of May 1st Tee Times

Women’s Open Preview

(Innis Arden Golf Club in Old Greenwich hosts the 20th Connecticut Women's Open May 29-30)

On May 29 & 30th, seventy-eight of the top female competitors from New England, U.S.A. and Canada will begin their quest to capture the 20th Connecticut Women's Open Championship. The tournament, which will be played at Innis Arden Golf Club in Old Greenwich, Connecticut, is open to any amateur or professional female golfer regardless of residency. To be eligible, amateurs must have a handicap not exceeding 15.0.

What’s at Stake: The championship is contested over 36-holes of stroke play, with seventy-eight players vying for the title. Professionals will be playing for a total purse of $10,000 with the 20th Connecticut Women’s Open champion taking home a winner’s check of $4,000.

Our 2017 Champion: At the 19th Connecticut Women’s Open Championship hosted by Torrington Country Club in 2017, Kayla Lawrence of Deland, Florida captured her first Connecticut Women’s Open victory with birdies on holes sixteen and seventeen to claim the title. Lawrence fired rounds of 71-71—142 to win by one stroke over Alexa Rancourt of New York who had rounds of 74-69—143.

Low Amateur Honors: In 2017, Mia Landegren of Bridgewater, Conn. shot a final round two under-par 70 to jump into a tie for twelfth place, earning low amateur honors. Landegren is the 2012 Connecticut Women’s Amateur Champion and last year finished up her senior season at the University of Alabama, where she played on the Division I collegiate golf team. Mia returns to the Connecticut Women’s Open this year as one of the forty-three professionals in the field.

About the Course: The 20th Connecticut Women's Open Championship will be hosted at Innis Arden Golf Club for the first time in the event's history. Innis Arden’s challenging golf course has been the site of several Championships and Qualifiers over the years. The women will negotiate a layout boasting 4 par fives, 4 demanding par three holes and several shorter, yet difficult, par fours. Most recently, Innis Arden hosted the 2014 and 2016 Metropolitan Golf Association Senior Open Qualifying and the 2010 Westchester PGA Match Play Championship. In addition, the club is the annual site of “The Mitch” Pro-Am, sponsored by Lincoln Motor Company, Mohegan Sun and Empire City Casino, with 120 players from the Metropolitan area. 

Field At A Glance: 

Players:           78                                Amateurs:       35                    Professionals:              43

Touring Professionals:                                                10                    Symetra, European

National Long Drive Champion:                                 1                      Alexis Belton

Collegiate Golfers:                                                      22

Converse College, Elon, Fairfield, Florida Atlantic, Franklin & Marshall, Franklin Pierce, Ithaca, Michigan State, Sacred Heart, Saint John’s, Stetson, SUNH, SUNY – Cortland, Thomas University, Towson, University of Michigan, University of Richmond, University of Wisconsin

Collegiate Coaches                                                      2                      Vassar & Yale

LPGA or PGA Teaching Professionals                      27

States:           13         (CA, CT,  FL, LA, MA, MI, MN, NH, NJ, NY, OR, PA, TX)

Countries        3          (Canada. Kazakhstan, U.S.A.)

Canadian Professionals: Caroline Ciot & Sabrina Supone; Amateur: Rose Morissette

Kazakhstan: First Woman to compete on a professional ladies tour, Jamila Jaxaliyeva

Past Champions There are five Past Champions in the field that collectively hold eight Championship titles:

–          Jessica Carafiello, Stamford, Conn. – 2016 Champion

–          Elizabeth Caron, Greenlawn, NY. – 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006 Champion

–          Jordan Lintz, Milford, Conn. – 2011 Champion

–          CJ Reeves, Bedford, N.Y. – 2009 Champion

–          Lynn Valentine, East Lyme, Conn. – 2008 Champion

Jessica Carafiello looks to become only the second player in history to win the Connecticut Women’s Open at their home course. Carafiello, a former member and current Assistant PGA Professional at Innis Arden Golf Club, has a strong record in the Connecticut Women’s Open with prior finishes of 7th in 2015, and 15th in 2014. In 2016 she was victorious, and almost defended her title successfully last year firing 146, two over par, just four shots back of the winning score. Her tie at eighth place put her atop the Connecticut players in the field. Also in 2016, Carafiello captured the 2016 MET Women’s Stroke Play Championship and recorded a 3rd place finish at the MET Women’s Open. She successfully qualified for the LPGA’s KPMG Women’s PGA Championship in 2016 & 2017 for her fifth overall appearance and was named the MET PGA Women Player of the Year for 2016.

Elizabeth Caron returns to the Connecticut Women’s Open looking to capture her fifth title. Caron is the only player to successfully capture the Women’s Open title on their home course, winning the third of her four titles at Wampanoag Country Club in 2005. Caron graduated from Duke University where she was named both the NCAA and ACC Player of the Year and won a total of seven collegiate tournaments and two NCAA team titles. In addition to her four Women’s Open championships, she also captured five straight Connecticut Women’s Amateur Championships (1997- 2001). In 2017, the CSGA honored Caron by bestowing the newly created Women’s Player of the Year award in her name.

When professional Jordan Lintz of Milford, Connecticut begins her first round on Tuesday, she will be looking to become just the fourth player in tournament history to win more than one Women’s Open championship. Lintz won her title in 2011 at the Golf Club of Oxford Greens, defeating four-time champion Liz Caron on the second playoff hole. Last year, Jordan had another strong finish in a tie for twelfth at 147, just five shots off the lead. She is currently a Teaching Professional at Oronoque Country Club in Stratford, Connecticut.

Lynn Valentine of East Lyme, Conn and West Palm Beach Florida, will also be vying to capture a second Women’s Open title, having previously won in 2008 at Tumble Brook Country Club. Valentine took home low professional honors in 2012 and has finished inside the top ten in five of the last six years. In 2017, she finished six shots off the pace in a tie for fifteenth. Valentine has also competed in numerous events on the national level, including the 2008 United States Women’s Open Championship.

CJ Reeves, the 2009 Connecticut Women’s Open Champion, will be seeking to capture her second Women’s Open title. A PGA and LPGA Professional at Century Country Club, her list of accomplishments includes winning the Metropolitan PGA Women’s Match Play title in 2014 en-route to earning Women’s Player of the Year honors, and qualifying for the LPGA Championship in 2001. She was also named the Metropolitan PGA Teacher of the Year in 2001.

Notable Competititors:

Catherine McEvoy of Riverside, Connecticut enters the Women’s Open with several records in her grasp. McEvoy aspires to become just the fourth player in history to win the Women’s Open as an amateur. In addition, as a member at Innis Arden Golf Club, she also hopes to become the second champion to win in front of the home crowd. She won two Connecticut Women’s Amateur titles at Indian Hill Country Club in 2015 and Heritage Village Country Club in 2016. McEvoy just finished her sophomore season at Michigan State University where she shot 75 on the final day of the Big Ten Championship helping the Spartans win their 13th Big Ten title.

At age 13, Alexsandra Lapple of Ridgewood Country Club in Ridgefield CT is the youngest player in this year’s field. In 2017, Lapple won her first CTPGA event in the 13-15 age category in a playoff at Fairview Farms shooting 81-83—164. Lapple teamed with friend Max Theodorakis for last year’s CSGA Mixed Championship (Chapman format) where they finished an impressive third place with 69, three under par. Lapple also played in her inaugural Hartford Women’s Open, a 36 hole event, last year and fired 87-80—167, tied for 32nd of 61 participants.

After finishing fourth in 2017 with a blistering 66 for a course record in the second round that put her in contention for the Championship, Gabrielle Shipley of Hastings MI is hoping this year she will be victorious. Shipley, a Symetra tour player who aspires to be on the LPGA tour knows how to win on a big stage, having culminated her senior year at Grand Valley State University with a NCAA Division II Women’s National Golf Championship title in 2016.  Shipley will be seeking to gain some momentum at Innis Arden Golf Club before heading to South Bend Indiana to play the Symetra Tour’s Four Winds Invitational tournament.

Top amateurs vying for the title include: Elon Freshman standout Haley Bookholdt, SUNY-Cortland sophomore Danielle Bambola, University of Michigan sophomore, Hannah Ghelfi and New York’s top amateur headed to Furman University in the fall, Kyra Cox.

Par and Yardage – The tournament will be contested at Innis Arden Golf Club, which will play at approximately 5,636 yards and a par of 36-36–72.

Hole-By-Hole –

Holes 1-9 will play at 2,909 yards and a par of 36

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Holes 10-18 will play at 2727 yards and a par of 36

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Schedule of Events:

Tuesday, May 29th – 18 holes of Stroke Play

Wednesday, May 30th – 18 holes of Stroke Play

The player with the lowest 36 hole total will be declared the champion.

Social Media:

In addition to full championship coverage on our website at csgalinks.org and CTWomensOpen.com, players and spectators can join the conversation using the hashtag #CTWomensOpen.

– Like Us on Facebook at Facebook.com/CSGALinks

– Follow us on Twitter and Instagram @CSGALinks

– Championship Photos on our Flickr page – Flickr.com/csgalinks