Bill Hermanson of Black Hall Club shot a round of two under-par 70 to grab the overnight lead heading into the final round of the 70th Connecticut Senior Amateur Championship. The two-day, 36-hole stroke play championship is being contested September 21st-22nd at Torrington Country Club in Goshen, Conn. and is open to Connecticut senior golfers who are fifty-five years of age and over.
Cool and breezy conditions greeted the state’s top senior amateur golfers as they made their way around the par-72, 6,415 yard championship layout. Hermanson made just one bogey on his opening round, and matched it with birdies on three of the four par-5’s (#5, 12, and 16) to fire a round of two under-par.
“I played well, really solid,” said Hermanson. “I hit a lot of fairways, hit almost every green and I didn't really miss a whole ton of putts. I missed three putts inside of six feet that I could have made, but I made a few other ones so overall, it was a pretty solid round. “
Heading into tomorrow, Hermanson will be in search of capturing his third CSGA championship of the season, having earlier won both the Two-Man Team Championship and the Senior Match Play championship. The 2012 Connecticut Golf Hall of Fame inductee has amassed a total of eleven individual CSGA championships, which ranks second all-time only to Dave Szewczul’s thirteen individual CSGA titles and two New England Senior Amateur titles.
No doubt he will be challenged in the final round by a host of the state’s best senior golfers, as a total of ten players stand within five shots of the lead. Among the chasers will be Hermanson’s longtime friend Dave Szewczul of Tunxis Plantation Country Club, who shot a round of even-par 72 to stand just two stokes off the lead. Earlier this summer, Hermanson defeated Szewczul in the final match of the Senior Match Play Championship, but the pair share a friendship that goes back over thirty years. As CSGA competitors, they are both locked in a tightly contested race for CSGA Dick Siderowf Senior Player of the Year, where Szewczul in is search of capturing his seventh consecutive title. Szewczul holds a narrow lead of 100 points over Hermanson - the winner of the Senior Amateur Championship receives 400 total points.
Joining Hermanson and Szewczul in the final group will be Scott Newman of Wampanoag Country Club, who will begin the final round in search of capturing his first CSGA major championship. Newman played remarkably steady despite the conditions, making just two bogies and one birdie on his front nine, and nine straight pars on his back nine to stand at one over-par for the championship. A pair of past Senior Amateur Champions are within striking distance as well, as Jack Bracken (2013 Champion) shot a round of 73 (+1), Mark Vasington (2014 Champion) shot a round of 74 (+2), and Shawn McLoughlin (2001 Champion) shot a round of 75 (+3).
The Connecticut Senior Amateur is being played at Torrington Country Club for the fifth time in tournament history. Located in Goshen, Connecticut, Torrington Country Club was founded in 1926, with the present championship course designed by Orin Smith and completed in 1932. Torrington Country Club previously co-hosted the Senior Amateur in 1964, 1988, 1989 and 1993, and has also previously hosted the Connecticut Open in 1946, 1962 and 2013 and the Connecticut Amateur in 1994 and 2006.
This year’s starting field of seventy seven players was trimmed to the low thirty nine competitors, plus ties, following the conclusion of the first round. A total of forty one players made the cut at 82 (+10) and will play the second and final round tomorrow, Tuesday, September 22nd.
The final round will be a 9:00 a.m. shotgun, with the leaders beginning on Hole #1. Live hole-by-hole scoring will be available for the leading groups online at CTSeniorAm.com.