The Connecticut Amateur will be played for the first time at Fox Hopyard Golf Club in East Haddam on June 17-21.
The oldest event conducted by the CSGA, the Amateur is a grueling test for even the most fit and talented golfer. After two rounds of stroke play the low 32 qualifiers advance to match play, with two matches per day culminating in a 36-hole final.
Last year’s 116th Connecticut Amateur was the first of Player of the Year Ben Conroy’s four CSGA championship victories, along with the Mid-Amateur, the Four-Ball and the Father Son, with dad Jay. He will defend against an unusually strong field expected to include his winning Four-Ball partner, Ben Day, and former Connecticut Amateur champions, Richard Dowling (2017) and Brian Ahern (1999), who won the 2018 Palmer Cup, four shots clear of Conroy. Also exempt are legendary senior Bill Hermanson and “young gun” Connor Belcastro, who won last year’s Junior Amateur at Watertown Country Club.
Fox Hopyard was designed by Roger Rulewich after its sister course, Crumpin-Fox Golf Course, in Bernardston, Mass. A par 71, it encompasses more than 530 acres and can play to almost 7000 yards. Rulewich said he wanted to construct a course that gave golfers the feel of playing through “the mountains of Vermont, and the lowlands of Kiawah,” all in one round. The semi-private course, that also hosted the 2003 Connecticut Women's Open, perennially makes lists of top New England courses open to the public.