(Photo by Lauren Rivard- Connecticut Section PGA Events and Communications Coordinator)

The following article was written by Gavin Keefe for The Day – New London, CT

Sorensen travels coast-to-coast and wins Connecticut Senior Open

Groton — Alan Sorensen is enjoying his summer trip to southeastern Connecticut, an area that he and his wife first visited last year.

The couple from Bakersfield, California is staying in a nice Airbnb rental in Mystic near the water. And they’re eating lobster whenever they can.

Their trip included Sorensen competing in the 40th Connecticut Senior Open this week at Shennecossett Golf Course.

On Tuesday, Sorensen lifted the championship trophy, finishing the 36-hole, two-day tournament with a 3-under par 139 (66-73). He led by as many as five strokes in Tuesday’s final round.

Sorensen carried a one-shot lead into the second round after shooting 5-under on Monday and beat runner-up Bobby Gage (Lake Worth, Fla.) by two strokes. They were the only two golfers to finish under par.

Dave Jones of Norwich won low amateur honors for the fourth time and tied for 10th overall at 3-over 145 (71-74).

A strong wind combined with firm, fast greens challenged the competitors and elevated scores. Sorenson’s only birdie Tuesday came on the par 3, 12th hole.

“It was really tough,” Sorensen said. “The approach shots were the key today, trying to get it close to the hole or keeping it on the green in a lot of cases. … It was just a grind. I knew that even par was going to be a good score today. If I could keep it around there, I knew I’d be fine. I could see that everyone else was struggling out there, too.

“For me, it was just not making any big mistakes.”

In his first Connecticut Senior Open last year, Sorensen placed fourth. That performance made him decide to return.

But the area is really what won him over.

“My wife and I had never been out to this part of the country, and we fell in love with it,” said Sorensen, who runs a golf course management company. “So now we’re making it an annual trip to get out there and play in this event because it’s a great event.

“I get to play a little golf and she gets to do a little shopping, so it worked out perfectly.”

Sorensen plans to defend his title in 2023. His wife also is looking forward to returning to the area.

Before heading home later this week, they plan to visit Vermont.

“We like to explore,” Sorensen said. “We eat lobster every meal right now. I had Lobster Benedict this morning. We don’t get Lobster Benedict out in California. That’s what we do, we come over here and eat. We’re foodies.”

While it was Sorensen’s first Connecticut Senior Open win, Jones is becoming a regular in the amateur winner’s circle. He also won that division in 2020, 2015 and 2012.

“I was really happy,” Jones said. “We had a good practice round Sunday, and I’ve been playing well this year on the (Connecticut State Golf Association) events. I felt good coming in here.”

Jones is having a terrific season. He won his first CSGA Senior Match Play Championship in early June and captured a couple one-day tournaments.

He continued this fine play at the Senior Open, which was held at Shennecossett for the 25th time.

Sinking a four-foot par putt with six inches of left-to-right break on the 16th hole helped seal the amateur win. He also made a 70-foot birdie putt on No. 7.

“I hit the ball really solid,” Jones said. “Monday, I played fantastic. I had one triple bogey and then I was 3-under the rest of the day — no bogeys and three birdies just to get back to even. Today, I hit the ball really nice, too, but on the back nine I three-putted three of the last five holes coming in. I just got winded, and it got in my head a little bit, to be honest with you.”

Other local finishers included veteran Bill Hermanson of East Lyme. He posted a two-round total of 6-over 148 (72-76), tying for 29th overall.

“The usual Shennecossett performance,” Hermanson said. “A lot of good tee shots and a lot of good iron shots and I made a lot of bogeys. I just can’t figure this place out. I love it to death. One of these years, I’ll figure it out.”

Also, Great Neck Country Club pro Kevin Shea, who’s from Waterford, tied for 15th at 4-over 146 (73-73) while Mark Toscano of Westerly (75-73) and Philip Krick of Groton (70-78) tied for 29th. Tony Susi of Gales Ferry tied for 53rd at 151 (76-75).


Full leaderboard results: https://ctpga.bluegolf.com/bluegolf/ctpga22/event/ctpga2210/contest/1/leaderboard.htm