Brian Ahern of Wampanoag Country Club shot consecutive rounds of 69 for a two round total of four under-par 138 to claim the Robert M. Grant Medalist honor and the overall number one seed at the 114th Connecticut Amateur presented by Kota Solutions. The state’s most prestigious amateur championship is being conducted June 13th - 17th at Wethersfield Country Club in Wethersfield, Connecticut.
After opening with a two under-par round of 69, Ahern held a one stroke advantage over Kevin Josephson of the Country Club of Farmington, Corey Birch of Silver Spring Country Club and Justin Clark of Rolling Hills Country Club. The 1999 Connecticut Amateur Champion and 2010 & 2012 Connecticut Mid-Amateur Champion played solid throughout his second round, battling gusty winds to make four birdies matched with just two bogies to claim his first medalist honor at the Connecticut Amateur Championship.
"The course was really fair and the greens were phenomenal,” said Ahern. “I drove it well and putted well, and just tried to make a bunch of pars. I didn’t really have a lot of stress out there, which was good, so my thought for match play will be much of the same. I’m just going try to play as well as I did the past couple of days.”
Ahern will begin his match on Wednesday hoping to be the thirteenth player in the one hundred-twelve year history of the championship to claim medalist honors and then go on to win the title. The last player to do so was in 2003, where Justin Goodhue, of Glastonbury Hills CC, dominated Wampanoag CC on his way to victory. He will begin his quest against the number 32 seed Kyle Roberts of Wethersfield Country Club, who earned one of the final two seeds in a nine player playoff.
On the other side of the bracket, Brent Dietz of Cedar Knob Golf Course shot rounds of 71-69—140 to claim the number two overall seed, and will face Chet Hrostek of the Golf Club of Oxford, the defending Connecticut Mid-Amateur and Public Links Champion. Dietz made just four bogies in his 36-hole stroke play qualifying, and finished just two strokes behind the lead. Dietz, the 2007 Mid-Amateur Champion and 2013 Public Links Champion, will be seeking to capture his first Amateur title when he begins his match Wednesday morning.
“Heading into tomorrow, I’m going to try to keep doing what I’m doing and take it one shot at a time,” said Dietz. “I hit a lot of good iron shots out there and had a lot of good up-and-down’s to keep the round going.”
Among those to advance to match play includes a pair of past Connecticut Amateur Champions in Zach Zaback of TPC River Highlands and Bill Hermanson of Black Hall Club. Zaback, who won his Amateur title in 2014 en-route to earning CSGA Player of the Year honors, shot rounds of 71-72—143 (+1) to grab the #6 seed, and will face Rasmey Kong of the Eclub of New Haven. Hermanson, the 1991 Amateur Champion and defending CSGA Senior Player of the Year, shot rounds of 75-71—146 to earn the #17 seed and will face Steve Wagner of the Country Club of Farmington in his opening match.
There are three players from the host club who successfully advanced to match play – Jonathan Klein (#21 seed), Jack Ayers (#26 seed) and Kyle Roberts (#32 seed). All three players will look to become the first player since Fred Kask to win the Connecticut Amateur at their home club. Kask, a longtime member of Wethersfield CC, accomplished the feat in 1987, which was the last time the club hosted the Connecticut Amateur.
The Round of 32 and Round of 16 will be played on Wednesday beginning at 7:30 a.m., and the championship will conclude on Friday with a 36-hole final. For more information and live scoring, visit CTAmateur.com.
Making “The Cut”
This year’s starting field of 120 players began the stroke play qualifying portion of the championship with hopes of earning one of the coveted thirty-two spots in match play. At the conclusion of Tuesday’s play, the cut fell at 150 (+8), with a nine person playoff needed to determine the final spot. Chet Hrostek and Kyle Roberts earned the final two seeds in match play.
Amateur Team Championship
The Connecticut Amateur Team Championship is conducted concurrently with the Connecticut Amateur Championship and dates back to the founding of the CSGA in 1899. Any golf club represented by three or more contestants in the Amateur Championship is automatically entered into the team championship with the lowest three lowest 18-hole scores per club counted toward the team total.
The Country Club of Farmington made a second day charge up the team leaderboard to capture its second team championship trophy in tournament history. The club, which was represented by five players in the field (Kevin Josephson, Steve Wagner, Greg Beloin, Joshua Edelson, and Geoffrey Manton), shot rounds of 219-215--434 to win by just three shots over Wethersfield Country Club. Josephson, Wagner and Beloin all successfully advanced to match play, and will look to bring the Amateur Championship trophy back to the Country Club of Farmington for just the second time, equaling W.K. Reid’s feat from 1929.
Round of 32 Match Play Pairings
Brian Ahern, Wampanoag CC (138)
Kyle Roberts, Wethersfield CC (150)
Steve Wagner, CC of Farmington (146)
Bill Hermanson, Black Hall Club (146)
Chandler Morris, CC of Waterbury (144)
Monte Mullen, TPC River Highlands (148)
Cj Swift, Great River GC (144)
John Sawka, Ellington Ridge CC (148)
Corey Birch, Silver Spring CC (141)
Nathaniel Dong, Tallwood CC (149)
Geoff Vartelas, Lyman Orchards GC (145)
Patrick Hallisey, TPC River Highlands (147)
Kevin Josephson, CC of Farmington (142)
Nick Torrance, Lake of Isles GC (149)
Cameron Mackay, Middlesex Eclub (145)
Jonathan Klein, Wethersfield CC (147)
Brent Dietz, Cedar Knob GC (140)
Chet Hrostek, GC at Oxford Greens (150)
Greg Beloin, CC of Farmington (146)
Preston Shortell, Oxford Greens GC (147)
Tom Dunleavy, Wee Burn CC (144)
Jack Ayers, Wethersfield CC (148)
Eric Dietrich, The Farms CC (144)
John Roberts, Rockledge CC (148)
Justin Clark, Rolling Hills CC (141)
Patrick Griffin, GC of Avon (149)
Brian Hedstrom, Indian Hill CC (145)
Steve Gettings, Orange Hills CC (147)
Zach Zaback, TPC River Highlands (143)
Rasmey Kong, Eclub of New Haven (148)
Clark Robinson, Ellington Ridge CC (145)
Thomas Dandrea, Great River GC (147)
In addition to full championship coverage on our website at csgalinks.org and CTAmateur.com, players and spectators can join the conversation using the hashtag #CTAmateur.
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- Championship Photos on our Flickr page – Flickr.com/csgalinks
Schedule of Events
Wednesday, June 15th - Round of 32 Matches (AM) & Round of 16 Matches (PM)
Thursday, June 18th – Quarterfinal Matches (AM) & Semifinal Matches (PM)
Friday, June 19th – Final Match (36-Holes)
About the Connecticut Amateur Championship
The Connecticut Amateur Championship is one of the nation’s oldest state amateur golf championships and is one of 18 championship tournaments conducted by the Connecticut State Golf Association. The challenging format tests the state's best amateur golfers over two rounds of stroke play to determine the low thirty-two match play qualifiers. Two rounds of match play each day culminate in a thirty-six hole final to crown the top amateur player in Connecticut.
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