Tom McCarthy hasn’t played a lot of competitive golf in 2012, but the 2011 CSGA Player of the Year showed he hasn’t lost a step as he captured the 27th Connecticut Public Links Championship on Tuesday at the H. Smith Richardson Golf Course in Fairfield. The 2011 Yale graduate, who plays out of Twin Hills, has spent much of the past year working in New York, but this week he recaptured his championship form in winning the CSGA’s final major of the season.
McCarthy followed an opening round 69 with an even-par par 72 to claim a four-shot victory over Crestbrook Park’s Rudy Hermstadt. Hermstadt, the 2010 winner, shot 74-72 146 to finish alone in second place. Chris Cote of Portland Golf Club, and Kevin Josephson of Stanley Golf Course, finished tied for third at 148 as both players shot 73-75.
McCarthy got off to a fast start in the final round. Birdies at the par-3 third and par-5 sixth gave him a five-shot lead, a gap that was reduced to four when he bogeyed the ninth, but which never shrank on the back nine. His birdie at the third came when he drained a thirty-footer from the front of the green. On the sixth, he reached the 517-yard hole with a driver and a rescue, and two putted for his second birdie. McCarthy also birdied the par-3 twelfth after striking a 5-iron two feet from the hole.
“I putted really well these past two days,” said McCarthy, “and I drove the ball pretty well, too. I haven’t played a lot of golf this year, and when I came here this week I was really just hoping to make the cut. Then I got it going yesterday and thought maybe I could do something.”
McCarthy is no stranger to the winner’s circle, having won the 2009 Russell C. Palmer Cup, and two college tournaments while competing for Yale. He was also runner-up and low amateur in the 2011 CSGA State Open.
Two events remain on the CSGA calendar for 2012. The One-Day Championship will be contested at Shennecossett Golf Course on October 9, and the Tri-State Matches, hosted this year by Massachusetts will be played October 11 and 12 at Old Sandwich Golf Club in Plymouth, Massachusetts.