NEW HAVEN, Conn. (May 4, 2017) – For the sixth consecutive year the Connecticut Section PGA has defeated the Connecticut State Golf Association and won the Julius Boros Challenge Cup.
On a mostly sunny but breezy day at New Haven Country Club the Connecticut Section PGA rallied during the second half of the afternoon to win the Cup 37.5-27.5 and they now lead the all-time series 34-12.
“Every win is special,” said seven-time Connecticut Section PGA captain Dennis Coscina. “Having six in a row is really special because I have basically a new team. Not totally, but we have four news fellas on the team and they pulled their own weight, they had a good time and we always have a good time in this tournament.”
Each team is comprised of fourteen players who earned their way onto the team thanks to accomplishments during the previous season. With sixty-three points available, each player competed in the Individual Match Play competition worth three points and also in a Four Ball Match worth three points. In order to retain the Cup, the Connecticut Section PGA needed 31½ points while to regain the Cup the CSGA needed 32 points.
On Thursday the Connecticut Section PGA received a huge lift from the duo of Tony Kelly (Wyckoff CC) and James Giampolo (Hawks Landing CC), who combined for nine points. Kelly and Giampolo won all three portions of both their Four Ball and Individual Matches.
“It’s hard to judge how you are doing score wise [as a team] so you just kind of play your own matches and hope that everyone else does alright,” said Kelly. “We were kind of nip and tuck on the back nine and my partner [James Giampolo] chipped in on the 13th and that got us going and that kept us ahead.”
The tandem began their day on No. 1 and won the first nine of the Four Ball match 2 up, the back nine 3&2 and the overall match 4&3. Kelly captured his Individual Matches 3&2, 3&1 and 4&3 while Giampolo claimed his matches 1 up, 3&1 and 3&2.
“I tell you, for me this is always the biggest event of the year,” Kelly said. “This is the team we are trying so hard to make all year long, to get our points to see if we can get on the team and I love it. I missed one year in I don’t know how many years and I rue the day when I am going to miss this when I can’t play anymore.”
The CSGA, in search of their first win in the series since they won three straight times from 2009-2011, got off to a promising start and the two sides were tied 10.5-10.5 after the groups finished their first nine holes.
“It just seems the pros always have the extra gas and they are just a formidable group to play against,” said first year CSGA captain Roger Everin. “I feel like we are playing against the New England Patriots every time we go up against them. Its not easy to win, it really isn’t but they make it look easy.”
The best CSGA team on the Thursday was the senior pairing of Bill Hermanson (Black Hall Club) and Dave Szewczul (Tunxis Plantation CC). The duo swept their Four Ball matches 2 up, 4&2 and 5&4 before winning 4.5 of a possible six points in the Individual Matches.
In the Individual Matches Hermanson started his day with an all-square front nine before winning the back nine 4&2 and as a result the match 4&2. His partner won the front nine 2&1, lost the back nine 2 down but won the overall match 3&2.
“This tournament isn’t just about winning; it is about camaraderie and being with all the guys. It is something very special here at New Haven, the members and the club treat us very well, we look forward to coming down here every single year,” said Coscina. “Both organizations do a lot for the game of golf. We are trying to build the game and both organizations put their best foot forward in doing that and it is enjoyable to see that both organizations can work together so well.”
About the Tournament
This year marked the 46th anniversary of the matches, which first began in 1972 at Tumble Brook Country Club. The Challenge Cup was founded in memory of Julius Boros, a bona-fide Connecticut resident and World Golf Hall of Fame inductee. Boros is perhaps the most successful player in the history of Connecticut golf, having won eighteen times on the PGA Tour including two United States Open Championships and a PGA Championship. The Connecticut Section PGA won the inaugural matches by a score of 33 ½ to 20 ½. Each team consists of fourteen players, who earned their way onto their respective teams through their accomplishments in the previous season.
About the Associations
The Connecticut Section PGA is one of 41 sections chartered that together comprise the Professional Golfers' Association of America (PGA of America). There are a total of 364 golf professionals affiliated with the section (287 PGA Members, 67 Registered Apprentices and 10 Pre-Apprentices).
Founded in 1899, the Connecticut State Golf Association is the country’s oldest state golf association and provides stewardship for amateur golf in Connecticut. The CSGA functions as an extension of the USGA and is dedicated to providing golfers a full range of services for the good of the game and golf in Connecticut. The CSGA is comprised of over 42,000 members and 183 member clubs, providing and administering handicaps for all of its members throughout the state.