Walter and Papa Take Jack Kelly PGA Junior Tournament of Champions Titles at Shennecosset

Walter wins in playoff

By Bruce Berlet

GROTON, Conn. (Sept. 3, 2017) – Neither winds gusting to 30 miles per hour nor annoying mist that occasionally became outpours could keep Gianna Papa from history Sunday at Shennecossett Golf Course.

After hitting her first drive out of bounds on the way to a double-bogey 6, the 10-year old Papa collected herself and shot a 7-over-par 78 to become the youngest girls winner of the Connecticut Section PGA’s season-ending Jack Kelly Tournament of Champions.

“Amazing,” said Papa, who plays out of Connecticut National Golf Club in Putnam and was making her tournament debut. “I wasn’t expecting 78 with all the wind and rain, but I didn’t let the first drive bother me. I love pressure, and I went pin-hunting, and it worked pretty good.”

Papa finished two strokes ahead of Mia Grzywinski of Farmington, who was Girls Player of the Year for the second consecutive year, and three in front of Sydney Hidalgo of Cheshire. Grzywinski’s 80 was first in her age division (13-18) and three ahead of Mia Hidalgo of Cheshire and four better than Connie Dai of Longmeadow, Mass., and defending champion Alia Godek of Feeding Hills, Mass. Grzywinski earned 200 points for winning her age division to finish first in the Player of the Year race with 923, with Angela Fox of Ellington second with 630.

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Kyle Bilodeau Scores a Second Connecticut PGA Championship Title

Out Battles Billy Downes who finishes second

By Bruce Berlet

HARTFORD, Conn. (August 30, 2017) – After one of the best seasons of his golf career, Kyle Bilodeau had suffered through two years of personal and physical trials and tribulations.

But Bilodeau, the first-year assistant pro at Woodway Country Club in Darien, always had a reminder that better times might not be far away.

Wherever Bilodeau traveled, he could look at his iPhone, which had a passage on the face that read, “Every tough setback is a setup for an even greater comeback.”

Bilodeau’s comeback from more than two years without a notable victory was complete Wednesday when he shot a 1-under-par 69 for a 36-hole total of 133 and a two-stroke victory over Billy Downes in the Connecticut PGA Championship at Keney Park Golf Course.

 

Class of 2017 Connecticut PGA Hall of Fame Inductees Announced

By Bruce Berlet

For nearly half a century, Ken Doyle has started each day lighting a candle, putting a yoga mat on the floor in his home, reading a few passages from the Bible, and doing some exercises before heading to work at the golf course, which has been Hop Meadow Country Club in Simsbury for the past 40 years. “I wake up feeling like I’m 90 and leave the office feeling like I’m 30,” Doyle said with a smile. “It’s my boost for the day, a daily reinforcement everyone can use. It’s amazing that once you’ve started doing something like that, how calm you remain in difficult times. It makes you realize how things that seemed that important, really aren’t that important.”

Such sentiments are part of the reason that Doyle will be among the four newest members of the Connecticut Section PGA Hall of Fame. Doyle, John Paesani, and the late Ed Rubis and George Hunter will be inducted on Nov. 19 at the organization’s annual “Hall of Fame and Champions Tribute” at the Lake of Isles clubhouse in North Stonington.