On Monday, June 1st, a record one hundred-twelve of the state’s top senior amateur golfers will begin their quest for the 9th Senior Match Play Championship. The championship is open to bona fide members of a CSGA club who are fifty five years of age and over by the start of the tournament. The Senior Match Play, which is the first of two majors for senior golfers on the CSGA schedule, challenges competitors with a round of stroke play to determine the low sixteen match play qualifiers followed by two rounds of match play each day that culminate in an eighteen-hole final match.
Last Year’s Champion: In 2014, Dave Szewczul of Tunxis Plantation Country Club captured his third straight Senior Match Play Championship (fourth overall), defeating Jon Groveman of Connecticut Golf Club by a score of 1-up. Szewczul would go on to capture his record sixth consecutive Senior Player of the Year title in 2014, highlighted by Runner-Up finishes at the Connecticut Senior Amateur and Public Links Championships, and advancing to the Round of 16 at the U.S. Senior Amateur.
The past two New England Senior Amateur champions, Jim Romaniello of Shorehaven Golf Club and Shawn McLoughlin of Ridgewood Country Club, are both in the field. Romaniello captured the title last year by one stroke with rounds of 71-74—145, and McLoughlin captured his second New England Senior Amateur title in 2013 when he won both the overall and Super Senior title. Since the inception of the New England Senior Amateur in 1998, Connecticut is tied for the most champions of the event (seven) with Massachusetts, and four of the past five winners have come from the Nutmeg state (Dave Szewczul 2010 and 2011).
Bill Hermanson of Black Hall Club enters the event with perhaps the most impressive CSGA championship record. Hermanson's resume includes five Connecticut Mid-Amateur Championships (1990, 91, 92, 93 and 2001), one Connecticut Amateur Championship (1991), one Player of the Year title (1991) and a victory at the Tournament of Champions (2006). Hermanson, seeking to win his first Senior Match Play title, was inducted to the Connecticut Golf Hall of Fame in 2012 for Distinguished Golf Achievement.
A total of four players from the Golf Club at Oxford Greens will be representing the host club in the 9th Senior Match Play Championship, and all 4 will be seeking to capture their first CSGA major championship. They are: Luke Bedini, Jim Cummings, Tom DeRienzo, and Lawrence Anastasia.
This year's field boasts an incredible history of capturing CSGA major championships. A total of four players in the field have previously captured the Connecticut Amateur and eight players have previously captured the Connecticut Senior Amateur. They are:
Dick Weigold, Torrington CC - 1974 Amateur Champion
Dave Szewczul, Tunxis Plantation CC - 1978 Amateur and 2011 & 2012 Senior Amateur Champion
William T. Lee, Course at Yale- 1979 & 1990 Amateur and 2008 Senior Amateur Champion
Roger Everin, Wethersfield CC - 1989 Amateur Champion
Bill Dober, Brooklawn CC – 1997 and 2000 Senior Amateur Champion
Shawn McLoughlin, Ridgewood CC - 2001 Senior Amateur Champion
James Bango, New Haven CC - 2005 Senior Amateur Champion
Richard Stevens, Middlesex Eclub – 2007 Senior Amateur Champion
Jack Bracken, Hartford GC - 2013 Senior Amateur Champion
Mark Vasington, Wampanoag CC – 2014 Senior Amateur Champion
About the Course: In its short history, the Golf Club at Oxford Greens has previously played host to the 2014 Connecticut Public Links, won by Glen Boggini of Twin Hills CC, and the 2011 Connecticut Women's Open Championship, where Jordan Lintz of Great River Golf Club captured the title with a two-round total of 146. The course has also hosted numerous CSGA and USGA Qualifiers, including qualifiers for the U.S. Junior and U.S. Amateur Public Links.
Hardest Hole: Appropriately named "Scoundrel, the par-5 3rd hole measures 630 yards from the back tees and is Connecticut's longest hole. While it will only be set up to 535 yards for the Championship, it plays up a steep incline, making the effective yardage more like 585 yards. Avoiding disaster on the opening stretch will prove vital for any competitor looking to etch their name on the Senior Match Play trophy.