THE COUNTRY CLUB OF FARMINGTON HOSTS 92nd CONNECTICUT PGA CHAMPIONSHIP
The Championship gets underway tomorrow on the recently restored Devereux Emmet designed golf course.
FARMINGTON, Conn. – For the fifth time, the famed Devereux Emmet-designed Country Club of Farmington will host the 92nd Connecticut PGA Championship.
There are 69 PGA of America members, associates, and pre-qualifiers from Connecticut, Massachusetts, and New York vying for the title and the Hartford Times Trophy. Perhaps these club professionals, golf instructors, and club managers are following and being inspired by the Michael Block story unfolding at the PGA Championship in Rochester this weekend. Like Block, the competitors tomorrow and Tuesday at the Country Club are first and foremost earning their livelihoods by teaching, directing, and growing golf at their respective facilities.
The stage may be smaller but the thrill of competing and playing remains the same.
The Country Club, the Connecticut Section of the PGA, and the Connecticut PGA Championship are intertwined in a part of the state’s golf history. The Championship was staged for the first time in 1929 by a loosely banded CPO (Connecticut Professional Organization) and the now defunct Hartford Times Newspaper. It remains the oldest golf professional tournament in the state. It was in 1933, four years later, that the Connecticut Section of the PGA of America was established and took over the operation of the championship. That year, the first for the section, the Country Club hosted the 5th Connecticut PGA Championship won by Gene Kunes the popular Tumble Brook Country Club pro who shot rounds of 71 and 77 enroute to a 4-shot margin of victory over Graham Reid.
And, to get the Connecticut Section off to a good start in its infancy, the Country Club hosted it again the following year. This time George Hunter from the Meriden Municipal Golf Course (now Hunter Golf Course) emerged the winner, shooting rounds of 74 and 73, and besting Willie Whalen by four shots.
The Country Club hosted back-to-back Connecticut PGA Championships again in 1957 and 1958. Both were contested as 36-hole Match Play events at that time. The Country Club’s very own Bob Bodington won the 26th championship, defeating Joe Galeski of New Haven Country Club 10&9. Then in 1958, Al Labutis of Wallingford Country Club narrowly defeated Bill Schappa of Wethersfield Country Club 3&1.
So, the players this year have the 1933 and 1934 36-hole scoring standards of 148 and 147 to shoot for. There are six former champions entered, including defending champion Geoff Gelderman of H. Smith Richardson Golf Course. Last year Gelderman defeated Adam D’Amario in a record 8-hole sudden death playoff at Black Hall Club after both shot 36-hole score totals of 146.
Chris Tallman (2019) of GREATHORSE (Mass.) is the 3-year reigning Connecticut Section Player of the Year who will figure prominently, as will Brian Keiser of Longmeadow Country Club (Mass.) who won back-to-back championships in 2020 and 2021.
Adam Rainaud of New Canaan Country Club is a three-time champion who captured the title in 2014, 2016, and 2018.
This year marks the 25th anniversary of Mike Martin’s (Tashua Knolls) victory in 1998 at Wampanoag Country Club and it was 41 years ago when Connecticut Section PGA Professional Hall of Fame member Jack McConachie captured his title at the Golf Club of Avon in 1982.
The Country Club has recently undergone a course restoration led by Matt Dussenberry and Scott Ramsey to reclaim the architectural features in the Emmet design.
The winner will receive $4,000 from the $21,500 tournament prize purse which is sponsored by Club Car, Mohegan Sun, and the PGA TOUR.
The low scoring Connecticut Section PGA Member will receive an exemption into the 2023 Travelers Championship to be played June 22-25, at TPC River Highlands.
The first round of the championship gets underway at 8:00 AM on Monday. Players will be re-paired for Tuesday’s final round with the leaders going off last.