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Spring PGA Stroke Play

Monday-Tuesday May 21-22, 2018

Hop Meadow Country Club

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2018 SPRING STROKE PLAY IS UNDERWAY AT HOP MEADOW COUNTRY CLUB

SOUTH GLASTONBURY, Conn. (May 20, 2018) - Billy Downes (GREATHORSE), last year’s Spring Stroke Play Champion and 2017 Connecticut Section Senior Player of the Year, will try to defend his title when the 2018 Spring PGA Stroke Play begins tomorrow at Hop Meadow Country Club in Simsbury, Connecticut. The 36-hole championship will be held Monday and Tuesday, May 21 and 22, and carries an exemption into June’s PGA TOUR Travelers Championship for the lowest scoring PGA Class A member.

Getting back into the Travelers Championship would be special for Downes, who earned his way into the field last year and gave his son and daughter the opportunity to watch dad play along some of the best in the world at a PGA Tour event.

A strong field 51 players awaits the challenge of the course at Hop Meadow and includes three past champions; Fran Marrello (2011), Ian Marshall (2012), and Kyle Bilodeau (2013, 2015).  Other notables in the field include last year’s runner-up, Marc Bayram, reigning Section Champion William Street, as well as 2017 Assistant Player of the Year Jordan Gosler. 

Tee times for Round 1 begin at 9:00 AM on both Monday with players being repaired based on first round scores (leaders off last) for Round 2.  The field will be competing for a $10,000 prize purse with the winner taking home $1,750.  This event also awards points towards the Omega Player of the Year race based on how players finish in the event.

Hop Meadow is a par-72, Geoffrey Cornish design and will host its second Spring PGA Stroke event with the first being in 2010.

 

 

JORDAN SPIETH COMMITS TO 2018 TRAVELERS CHAMPIONSHIP

HARTFORD, Conn., May 8, 2018 – The Travelers Championship today announced that defending champion Jordan Spieth has committed to play in the 2018 tournament. Spieth won the 2017 Travelers Championship in dramatic fashion, beating Daniel Berger in a playoff after holing a bunker shot. The celebration that ensued between Spieth and his caddie, Michael Greller – tossing the club and bunker rake, then chest-bumping – was one of the PGA TOUR’s most iconic moments of 2017.

 

 

CSGA Amateurs Win 47th Julius Boros Challenge Cup

By Bob Carney

NEW HAVEN, CT (May 4, 2018)  After six consecutive years of frustration, CSGA amateurs Thursday convincingly defeated Connecticut Section PGA professionals, 36.5 - 26.5 in the 47th playing of the Julius Boros Challenge Cup at New Haven Country Club.

It was the CSGA’s first victory since 2011 and only the 11th time in the history of the Matches that the CSGA team has prevailed. What’s more, it took a rather green side to accomplish it.

“It’s a surprise, it really is,” said Roger Everin, in his final year of CSGA captaincy. “On paper our side was pretty inexperienced. We had six players who had never played in the event before. But they came through beautifully.”

It would be overdoing it, though, to call the CSGA side anything like a Children’s Crusade—each of those “rookies” had won major CSGA championships—but difficult to predict how a team made up of almost half newcomers would fare against Captain Ralph Salito’s PGA side with almost 100 years of Cup experience.

After nine holes the CSGA led 5-2 in the team matches, 9.5 - 4.5 in singles, but many of the matches were close, and the first to finish suggested that this year’s event might go the way of 34 others. PGA pros Billy Downes of GreatHorse and Fran Marrello of Canaan Country Club took 8.5 of 9 points from Tom Brett and Patrick McGuiness. (The Challenge Cup plays singles and team competition simultaneously. Two-man teams play while each member of the team plays a member of the other team. Both team and singles matches are worth 3 points: front nine, back nine, total, so that in one group of four nine points are at stake.)

In the end, it was the team competition that made the largest difference, with the CSGA winning 13.5 points to the PGA’s 7.5, much of that margin coming in the final four matches, where the amateurs won all but 2.5 points of 12. The final two teams, Mike Kennedy of New Haven and Nick Waddington of Manchester Country Club, and Brian Ahern of Wampanoag Country Club and Kyle Nolin of Tallwood Country Club, blanked their opponents, taking six team points between them. 

“That’s why I put them there, “ said Captain Everin. He pointed out that Waddington’s father had played in the Challenge Cup more than 30 years before.  Waddington birdied his first hole, the 10th, and his last, the 9th to take all but a half of a point in his singles match against Kevin Mahaffy of Pequabuck. Ahern won all three of his singles points against veteran David Dell.

“I played much better than I’d anticipated,” said Ahern, the 2010 and 2012 Connecticut Mid-Amateur Champion. “I’d gotten in just a couple 9-hole rounds before today. So I’m happy.” Though he and Nolin had never played as a team before,  “we hammed and egged it pretty well. Our games are pretty similar.”

PGA of America Vice President Suzy Whaley of Suzy Whaley Golf won 2.5 of 3 points in singles, as did she and partner Ian Marshall of Watertown Golf Club as a team.

It was the 43rd time that New Haven Country Club has hosted the Julius Boros Challenge Cup, which was created in honor of Boros, arguably Connecticut’s greatest golfer, who won the U.S. Open twice and the PGA Championship.  The Matches were first played at Tumble Brook in 1972.

 

 

 

 

Connecticut Section PGA Spring Meeting Kicks Off the 2018 Season

Take Ownership and Diversity and Inclusion were the Themes of the Day

By Bruce Berlet

LONGMEADOW, Mass. – Taking ownership and leading as diverse and inclusive an organization as possible can be vital to the success of any business.

That was the overriding theme during the Connecticut Section PGA Spring Meeting at Twin Hills Country Club on Tuesday.

PGA of America Senior Director of Diversity and Inclusion Sandy Cross was the keynote speaker and focused on one of the eight pillars of the organization’s strategic plan to help club professionals understand the benefits and to be thought provoking.

“Golf is a game for all, so those playing the game and working in the business need to invite others in because that’s how the sport is going to grow,” said Cross, who works at PGA of America headquarters in Palm Beach Gardens, Fla. “The invitation is unbelievably powerful so we must reach out as much as possible. There are companies that are diverse, but that does not mean they’re inclusive.  Having both is the optimum situation.”

 

 

PGA of America to Hold 2020 PGA Annual Meeting in Hartford

Connecticut PGA Section to Serve as Host PGA Section, Connecticut Convention Center as Host Venue

PALM BEACH GARDENS, Fla. (April 10, 2018) – The historic state capital city of Hartford, Connecticut, will play host to the 104th PGA Annual Meeting at the Connecticut Convention Center, Oct. 25-30, 2020.

The 2020 PGA Annual Meeting will focus on the PGA Member and growing the game of golf. Delegates will gather at the Convention Center to plan the path for the Association’s future and conduct a scheduled election for the offices of PGA President, Vice President, Secretary and Honorary President. Approximately, 750-800 PGA of America officers, board members, delegates, staff and special guests are expected to attend.

Current PGA Vice President and Connecticut PGA Section Member Suzy Whaley, of Cromwell, is in line to preside over the 2020 PGA Annual Meeting. She is the first woman and first Connecticut PGA Section Member to ever serve as an Officer of the PGA of America.

“It is exciting to see a city growing in its revitalization like Hartford host the PGA Annual Meeting in 2020,” said Whaley. “We look forward to our PGA Membership enjoying everything Hartford has to offer.”

 

 

 

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