Day two of the 10th Senior Match Play Championship presented by Lincoln Motor Company concluded at Hop Meadow Country Club, with only four players left with a chance to capture the title. Bruce Kraczkowsky, Bill Hermanson, Tom Brett and Dave Szewczul each won their respective quarterfinal matches to successfully advance to the semifinals.
Conducted by the Connecticut State Golf Association, the Senior Match Play Championship is open to Connecticut senior golfers who are fifty five years of age and over by the start of the event. The tournament challenges competitors with a round of stroke play to determine the low sixteen match play qualifiers. Following the qualifying round, four rounds of match play are conducted over consecutive days, culminating in an eighteen-hole final match.
Bruce Kraczkowsky of Blue Fox Run punched his first-ever trip to the semifinals of the Senior Match Play Championship, but the road was not an easy one. He needed 20 holes in his Round of 16 match to edge Jim Romaniello of Shorehaven Golf Club, the 2014 New England Senior Amateur Champion. He then went on to face Scott Newman of Wampanoag Country Club, the medalist and overall #1 seed. Kraczkowsky held a 1-up lead for most of the match, with the pair halving holes #8-14. However, a pair of bogies by Newman on the 15th and 16th holes opened the door for Kraczkowsky to cement his place in the semifinals, eventually winning by a score of 3 & 2.
“In the afternoon match, I was really consistent and that was the key,” said Kraczkowsky. “I’ll have to do much of the same for tomorrow - Fairways and greens, and don’t put any stress on my short game that would force me to make long par putts.”
Kraczkowsky will take on the defending champion, Bill Hermanson of Black Hall Club, in the first semifinal match. It took the defending champion all 36 holes to win his matches, defeating both Jack Bracken of Hartford Golf Club and Jon Groveman of Connecticut Golf Club on the 18th green. Hermanson, a Connecticut Golf Hall of Fame inductee, earned his first CSGA Senior Player of the Year title last year and hopes to continue the momentum into tomorrow.
“I wasn’t super sharp today, but I grinded it out pretty well and hit some good shots when I needed them,” said Hermanson. “For tomorrow, I’m just planning on trying to hit fairways and greens, which is my strength, and take it from there.”
Tom Brett of Tallwood Country Club, the #15 seed, provided the first big upset of the morning matches by knocking off #2 seed Rod McCorkill of Cedar Knob Golf Course in the Round of 16. He was able to continue his outstanding play in the afternoon match, earning a 4 & 3 victory over Robert Moriarty of the Country Club of Fairfield. Brett is searching for his first CSGA major championship victory, but has had numerous close calls, including advancing to the quarterfinals of the Connecticut Amateur in 2007 and a fifth place finish at the 2013 Mid-Amateur Championship.
Brett will face a formidable opponent in Dave Szewczul of Tunxis Plantation Country Club, a four-time Senior Match Play Champion and Connecticut Golf Hall of Fame Inductee. Szewczul cruised to victory in both his Round of 16 and quarterfinal matches. Knocking off Michael Moraghan of the Country Club of Waterbury in the morning and Ray Underwood of Torrington Country Club in the afternoon. In both of his matches, Szewczul had secured the victory before reaching the 15th hole, winning by margins of 8 & 7 and 6 & 4, respectively.
Should Szewczul and Hermanson both win their semifinal match, it would set up a rematch of last year’s final, where Hermanson edged Szewczul by a score of 4 & 3 to win his first Senior Match Play title. This year’s match play bracket has so far proved to be a stark contrast to last year, where all four of the top seeds advanced to the semifinals at Oxford Greens, as Kraczkowsky is the highest remaining seed at #8.
The Senior Match Play Championship concludes Wednesday, June 8th, with the semifinal matches beginning at 7:30 a.m., followed by the final match in the afternoon. For more information and Live Scoring, visit CTSrMatchPlay.com or csgalinks.org.
7:30 a.m. - (8) Bruce Kraczkowsky, Blue Fox Run vs. (12) Bill Hermanson, Black Hall Club
7:45 a.m. – (15) Tom Brett, Tallwood Country Club vs. (11) Dave Szewczul, Tunxis Plantation Country Club
Bruce Kraczkowsky, Blue Fox Run def. Scott Newman, Wampanoag CC, 3 and 2
Bill Hermanson, Black Hall Club def. Jon Groveman, The Connecticut GC, 1 up
Tom Brett, Tallwood CC def. Robert Moriarty, CC of Fairfield, 4 and 3
Dave Szewczul, Tunxis Plantation CC def. Ray Underwood, Torrington Country Club, 6 and 4
Round of 16 Results
Scott Newman, Wampanoag CC def. Richard Wilczewski, Shennecossett GC, 5 and 4
Bruce Kraczkowsky, Blue Fox Run def. Jim Romaniello, Shorehaven GC, 20 holes
Jon Groveman, The Connecticut GC def. Ivan Lendl, Torrington CC, 5 and 4
Bill Hermanson, Black Hall Club def. Jack Bracken, Hartford GC, 1 up
Tom Brett, Tallwood CC def. Rod McCorkill, Cedar Knob GC, 2 and 1
Robert Moriarty, CC of Fairfield def. Tom Yellin, The Stanwich Club, 2 and 1
Ray Underwood, Torrington CC def. Kurt Myers, Hop Meadow CC, 6 and 4
Dave Szewczul, Tunxis Plantation CC def. Michael Moraghan, CC of Waterbury, 8 and 7