Dave Szewczul of Tunxis Plantation Country Club used an even par (72) in the final round to secure a two shot victory in the 29th Connecticut Mid-Amateur Championship presented by the Lincoln Motor Company, his second victory in as many weeks. Szewczul, who captured the Connecticut Senior Amateur last week, used seven birdies throughout the day to capture his second Connecticut Mid-Amateur Championship, and his first since 1996.
Conducted by the Connecticut State Golf Association, the Connecticut Mid-Amateur Championship is a 54-hole stroke play competition that was played at Wampanoag Country Club Monday and Tuesday, October 3rd and 4th. The championship is open to bona fide members of a CSGA club who are twenty-five years of age and over by the start of the tournament.
Szewczul began the final round just one stroke back of overnight co- leader Brent Dietz, of Cedar Knob Golf Course, after firing a 69 (-3) in round two on the 6,610 yard, par-72 layout. Szewczul wasted no time in the final round, carding two birdies in his first three holes to take the lead. His final round included a total of three birdies, offset by a bogey at the 11th, and a double bogey at the 18th.
Starting on hole #2 in the final round, Szewczul’s late double bogey on his 17th hole put him back into a tie with Dietz; “I didn’t know how I stood all day, a double bogey is never good, but I knew that I was playing well, and that someone else would have to play well, I was hoping that the double bogey would not derail me,” Szewczul stated after the round. Despite the late blunder, Szewczul was able to par his final hole to capture the title; “I drove it well, and my irons were as solid as they could be. I putted well and that is a good combination. I still had some business left the last hole, and I just wanted to take care of it.”
Szewczul relied on his excellent ball striking throughout the tournament to manage the difficult Donald Ross design, “all day was a tremendous ball striking day; tee to green it was as good as I’ve been in a long time. I missed three fairways all day, and that is what you have to do on a Donald Ross course, you have to be able to control your distance into the greens.”
Despite securing his seventh Dick Siderowf Player of the Year honor in the past eight years, Szewczul has nursed a back injury throughout the season; “I have done a lot of therapy to take care of my back, it’s been a long summer, and I’m ready for some much needed time off. Despite how well I’ve played, it’s been a tough season physically.” While Szewczul will put his clubs away after the upcoming Tri-State Matches, the 2010 Connecticut Golf Hall of Fame inductee is already looking forward to next season; “I was disappointed to lose in the playoff at this event last year, so I’m very happy to finish the season this way. I hope to be able to start next season the same way I ended this one.”
The Connecticut Mid-Amateur marked the final CSGA major championship of 2016, but many of Connecticut’s top amateur’s, including both Szewczul and Dietz, will look to make a bid at history when Team Connecticut takes on Massachusetts and Rhode Island in the annual Tri-State Matches. The matches will be played on Tuesday and Wednesday, October 18th and 19th at Rhode Island Country Club. Foursome matches are played on day one, followed by singles matches on day two, with scoring and results will be available on the CSGA website at csgalinks.org