The Connecticut State Golf Association has announced changes to the qualifying system for the 2013 State Open that will allow for an increase in the size of the field competing at the Championship. The CSGA has also announced an increase in the Championship purse.
There will be six qualifying sites with a specific number of spots available at each site. Playoffs will be conducted for the final spot and for alternate spots as needed at each site. Previously, four sites were used for qualifying with a predetermined number “plus ties” advancing to the Championship.
The CSGA Competitions Committee initiated the changes in order to increase the total number of players who can advance through qualifying, and to predict with certainty, the number of players who will reach the Championship proper. The previous system produced a field of 129 players at Wee Burn in 2012, while this year’s field at Torrington (July 29-31) will be at least 144.
With six qualifying sites instead of four, smaller field sizes at each site should also improve issues such as pace of play. It is anticipated that play will begin from the 1st and 10th tees which would, weather permitting, allow for any necessary playoffs to begin by mid-afternoon. Adding two sites also provides a greater geographical spread of locations from which players can choose to qualify. This year’s qualifying sites are Lake of Isles and Woodway CC (July 1), Timberlin GC and The Patterson Club (July 8), Hop Meadow CC (July 11) and Richter Park GC (July 15).
The CSGA has also announced that the professional purse for the 2013 State Open will be $50,000, an increase of more than $5,000 over the 2012 purse. The winner’s share has also been raised to $12,500, an increase of $2,500 from the 2012 Championship, and the highest winner’s total in the history of the Connecticut Open Championship.