Ninety-six of Connecticut’s best amateur golfers will begin play on Monday at the Country Club of Farmington in hopes of capturing the 15th Russell C. Palmer Cup. Named for Russell C. Palmer, former CSGA Executive Director (1986-1995) and inductee into the Connecticut Golf Hall of Fame (1997), the Palmer Cup is the Connecticut Stroke Play Championship.
Last Year’s Championship: The 2017 Russell C. Palmer Cup saw Monte Mullen, TPC River Highlands, shoot a second round 78 to lose his overnight lead only to stage one of the most remarkable comebacks in championship history playing his final nine holes in 30 strokes to hole off Eric Dietrich, The Farms CC, by a single stroke. The win marked Mullen's second CSGA championship victory having previously captured the Connecticut Junior Amateur in 2010.
A Change of Venue: The perenial host of the Russell C. Palmer Cup, the Country Club of Waterbury, will be hosting the 116th Connecticut Amateur later this season allowing for the Country Club of Farmington to host the prestigious championship. CC of Farmington is one of the oldest golf clubs in the United States and is a founding member of the CSGA. The current eighteen hole course was designed in 1924 by renowned architect Devereux Emmet. Farmington has hosted four CSGA majors championships including the Connecticut Amateur in 1996 & 2002 as well as the Connecticut Open (1963) and Connecticut Senior Amtaeur (1961).
Well Represented: The host club is well represented with 8 club members competing looking to become the second player to capture the Palmer Cup on their home course (Blake Morris - 2014). They are:
|Greg Beloin||Jon Denote|
|Ralph Giansanti||Patrick Griffin|
|Geoff Manton||Chris Maxwell|
|Will Rubinow||Steve Wagner|
The Trophy: The winner of the Championship will have their name engraved on the permanent Russell C. Palmer Cup Quaich. The Scottish Quaich, from which this trophy is derived, is a special kind of shallow two-handled drinking cup that traces back to the 17th century.
There are a total of 96 players in the field competing for the 15th Russell C. Palmer Cup, of which 47 players earned their way in by qualifying and 49 players were exempt via the Exemption Criteria.
In the history of the Russell C. Palmer Cup, no player has successfully defended their title the following year. That statistic won’t be broken this year, as 2017 Champion Monte Mullen turned professional this winter. Mullen is currently a teaching professional in Florida.
Of the 96 players in the field, only 4 have also captured the Connecticut Amateur Championship, which is contested over Match Play. They are:
- Evan Grenus, TPC River Highlands – 2015 Champion (Black Hall Club)
- Tim Kane, New Haven Country Club – 2005 Champion (New Haven CC)
- Brian Ahern, Wampanoag Country Club – 1999 Champion (CC of Waterbury)
- Bill Hermanson, Black Hall Club - 1991 Champion (Patterson Club)
Only three players have won both the Russell C. Palmer Cup and the Connecticut Amateur Championship – Zach Zaback (2016), Cody Paladino (2013) and Mark Farrell (2004 / 2001). All three players have since turned professional.
Benjamin Day of New Haven Country Club and Philip Perry of Black Hall Club are the lone past Palmer Cup Champions in the field, and both will look to become the first player to win multiple Palmer Cup titles. Perry won his title in 2008 and Day won his title in 2015, both at the Country Club of Waterbury.
Father & Son Duo: Richard Stevens(eClub of Conn.) and his son, Shep(New Haven CC) are both competing in this year's Palmer Cup championship. Richard is a former Dick Siderowf Senior Player of the Year and Shep has represented the CSGA on multiple occasions in the Julius Boros Challenge Cup and Tri-State Matches.
Family Ties: Ed Day (Wallingford CC) and Benjamin Day (New Haven CC) are the lone pair of brothers in the field, and Ed will look to follow in his younger brother’s footsteps. Ben won the Palmer Cup in 2015 by charging up the leaderboard from eight strokes back on the final day to win in a playoff over John Flaherty.
9 of the 14 members of this years victorious Julius Boros Challenge Cup Team are scheduled to compete. They are:
|Brian Ahern, Wampanoag Country Club||Chris Maxwell, Country Club of Farmington|
|Brent Dietz, Cedar Knob Golf Course||Kyle Nolin, Tallwood Country Club|
|Mike Kennedy, New Haven Country Club||Rob Neaton, Black Hall Club|
|Ron Soccoli, Jr., New Haven Country Club||Tom Brett, Manchester Country Club|
|Ben Conroy, New Haven Country Club|
Additionally, 3 of the 7 members of the 2017 New England Junior Team are competing in this year’s Palmer Cup. They are:
Finn Boynton, Great River Golf Club
Jackson Fretty, Greenwich Country Club
Austin Rupp, Suffield Country Club
Schedule of Events
Monday, May 21st – Round 1 of stroke play. Cut to the low 39 scores (including ties).
Tuesday, May 22nd – Rounds 2 and 3 of stroke play. The players with the lowest cumulative total will be declared Champion .In the event of a tie for the championship, there will be a hole by hole playoff immediately following the conclusion of all rounds beginning on hole 18.
Eligibility: Amateur competitors for this year’s championship must have an active USGA handicap at a CSGA member club not exceeding 6.4.
In addition to full championship coverage on our website at csgalinks.org and CTPalmerCup.com, players and spectators can join the conversation using the hashtag #CTPalmerCup.