(Mike Kennedy aims to repeat as Connecticut Mid-Amateur Champion)
Through the 1970s, there was no such thing as a Mid-Amateur championship. But when college players came to dominate the U.S. Amateur, the USGA decided a “post-college” amateur event was needed, and in 1981 the U.S. Mid-Amateur was born. Six years later the CSGA created its version, a two-day, 54-hole stroke-play championship for players 25 and older that will see its 31st playing at Richter Park in Danbury on August 27-28. This year’s field ranges in age from 26 to 70. Players must have handicap index of 8.5 or lower.
Presented by CSGA corporate partner KOTA, A Mohegan LDI Enterprise, the Connecticut Mid-Amateur Championship field of 81 players will begin play at 7:30am on Monday.
The long and the short of it
The youngest player in this year’s field is Dan Murphy of H. Smith Richardson Golf Course in Fairfield, at 26. Jack Bracken of Hartford Golf Club, the 2017 CSGA Super Senior Champion, is the oldest at 70. The average age is 43 years, seven months.
Former Mid-Am Champions
Beginning with Mike Kennedy, 2017 Connecticut Mid-Amateur Champion, there are five former Mid-Am Champions in a very strong field. Others:
—Brent Dietz, the 2007 champion, and the winner of this year’s Danbury Amateur, which is played at Richter Park
—Brian Ahern, 2010 and 2012 Mid-Am Champion, who won this year’s Russell C. Palmer Cup
—Chet Hrostek, 2015 Champion, who also won the Public Links Championship that year and who plays out of Richter Park
—Five-time champion Bill Hermanson, who won this event from 1990 through 1993 and again in 2001
Other Major Winners
Other major winners in the field who should be considered contenders:
—Ben Conroy, the 2018 Connecticut Amateur Champion, who lost last year’s Mid-Amateur Championship to Mike Kennedy in a playoff
—Tom Brett, 2017 Senior Match Play Champion
—Kyle Nolin, 2016 Public Links Champion
—Bruce Kraczkowsky, 2016 Senior Match Play Champion
—Glen Boggini, 2014 Public Links Champion, who recently qualified for September’s U.S. Mid-Amateur
Player of the Year Race
Among other things at stake in the 2018 Connecticut Mid-Amateur Championship is the CSGA Player of the Year Race. Heading into the event, of those in the field, Ben Conroy leads with 681.5 points. Brian Ahern is third with 485 points. Patrick Griffin is T10 with 237.5 points. Glen Boggini is 13th, James Sheltman is 15th, Kyle Nolin 21st. A victory here is worth 250 points. Second is 160 points. Third is 95 points.
Besides Ahern, who won the 2018 Palmer Cup and reached the Connecticut Amateur semi-finals, and Conroy, others who have been on form this summer:
—Rob Neaton of Black Hall Club, a semi-finalist in the Amateur, his best finish to date
—Kyle Nolin of Tallwood Country Club, former Mid-Am Champion who was a runner-up in this month’s Public Links
—James Sheltman of Alling Memorial, who made match play in the Amateur and tied third in the Public Links
—Former Mid-Am Champion Brent Dietz, who has won five CSGA One Day Tournaments this summer following recent hip surgery.
U.S. Mid-Am Qualifiers
Three players in this year’s field have qualified for the U.S. Mid-Amateur to be played September 22-27 at Carolina Golf Club and Charlotte Country Club in Charlotte, N.C.:
—Defending Connecticut Mid-Am Champion Mike Kennedy
—Blue Fox Run’s Patrick Griffin of Unionville
—Manchester Country Club’s Glen Boggini
With many elevation changes and several blind tee shots, Richter Park is a course where local knowledge can help a great deal. In addition to Chet Hrostek, three other Richter regulars will play:
—Multiple-time Richter Club Champion Howie Busse
Richter’s Rich Legacy
Richter Park has long been considered one of the country’s top public courses, making nearly every magazine list of “Best Courses You Can Play.” Its 12th hole, a par 5, was included this year by Met Golfer readers in the magazine’s Public Dream18. Richter has hosted a score of major amateur events, including the Connecticut Public Links Championship in 2009, six Met Public Links Championships from 1992 through 2013, three Connecticut Open Qualifiers and a host of American Junior Golf Association events. It is also the annual home to the highly regarded Danbury Amateur Championship, won this year by Brent Dietz. A par 72, it will play to about 6700 yards.
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