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Connecticut State Golf Association
Steward of Connecticut Golf Since 1899
Connecticut State Golf Association


Paladino, Szewczul Win 8th Tournament of Champions

Tournament Links: Tettelbach Results | Siderowf Results | Photo Gallery

Cody Paladino of Wethersfield Country Club and Dave Szewczul of Tunxis Plantation Country Club both fired rounds of two under-par 70 at Bulls Bridge Golf Club to claim the 8th Tournament of Champions in their respective divisions.

Conducted by the Connecticut State Golf Association, the Tournament of Champions is presented by Mastercard is an 18-hole stroke play competition contested each year at Bulls Bridge Golf Club in South Kent, Connecticut. The tournament brings together past CSGA champions, as well as Club Champions and Senior Club Champions from CSGA member clubs for an event at one of New England’s premiere private facilities. The Tettelbach Division is open to all players, while the Siderowf Division is open to players ages fifty five and over.

Cody Paladino hits his approach into the final hole

Cody Paladino’s round of two under-par 70 featured four birdies and just two bogies, which proved enough to edge both Kevin Josephson of Personal Golf Network and Adam Vacarri of Torrington Country Club by a single stroke. After starting out with a pair of bogies on Holes #2 and #5, Paladino turned his day around in remarkable fashion by playing the last 13 holes in four under-par. Among those birdies was a crucial thirty foot putt on the difficult par-4 17th, a birdie which kept his one stroke lead after a matching birdie by Josephson.

On the par-5 18th, both players drove it in the fairway and after missing the green, Josephson needed a ten foot birdie putt on the last to force a playoff, a putt which narrowly slid by the hole. A closing par by Paladino was all that was needed for a hard-earned victory.

“I was pretty tired after all of the traveling and started out kind of slow. The birdie on the 6th hole was a huge boost, and after that, I was able to re-focus and finish strong on the back nine.”

Considering he flew nearly 3,000 miles yesterday and arrived in Connecticut just hours before his tee time, his round of 70 is that much more impressive. Paladino was traveling in from Sacramento, California, where he recently captured the 89th California State Fair Amateur Championship. He shot rounds of 66-70-66 for a fourteen under-par total to win in a playoff over Joel Stalter and Brandon Hagy.

“The experience as a whole was one of the best I’ve ever had in my amateur golf career,” said Paladino.  “I had some really good friends hosting me [in California] and I played some of the best golf I’ve played in my life. To walk away with the win, and to win here again today makes this a week I’ll remember for the rest of my life.”

Not to be outdone, Dave Szewczul played an equally impressive round of golf to capture the Siderowf Division, although he arrived at his final score of two under-par in a slightly different fashion than Paladino. Szewczul, known around the state for his steady play, made only two bogey’s on his round, matched with four birdies on Holes #1, 6, 10 and 11.

Dave Szewczul tees off on the 15th Hole

I played great today and struck the ball really well,” said Szewczul. “Really, my only mistake was a pair of three putt bogey’s on the back nine.”

The win is yet another addition to Szewczul’s impressive resume, and adds to his mountainous lead in the race for CSGA Senior Player of the Year. He is the four-time defending Senior Player of the Year and now leads by an incredible 340 points. In addition to his win at the 7th Senior Match Play Championship earlier this season, Szewczul also qualified for both the U.S. Amateur and U.S. Senior Amateur Championships, and had the rare distinction of being the only player in the field at the U.S. Amateur who also competed in the championship in 1982 at Brookline Country Club.

Finishing in a tie for second in the Siderowf Division was Craig Dubois of Wintonbury Hills Golf Course, Tom Scarrozzo of Blue Fox Run and Bill Hermanson of Black Hall Club, all of whom shot rounds of even-par 72.

The CSGA is back in action Thursday, September 5th, when it hosts the 73rd Four-Ball Championship at the Course at Yale. Among the favorites to capture the title are the teams of Cody Paladino and Kevin Josephson, and Dave Szewczul and Bill Hermanson, both of which feature the champions and runner-up’s from today’s event.

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About the CSGA

Founded in 1899, the CSGA is the country's oldest state golf association and, as an Allied Golf Association of the USGA, provides stewardship for amateur golf in Connecticut. In addition to administering handicaps for over 40,000 members at 181 member clubs, the CSGA conducts more than 85 days of competition throughout the year for golfers of all ages, genders, and skill levels. As a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization, the CSGA supports a variety of golf organizations within Connecticut, including the Connecticut Association of Golf Course Superintendents, Connecticut Interscholastic Athletic Conference, Connecticut Section PGA, Connecticut Women’s Golf Association, CSGA Scholarship Fund in honor of Widdy Neale, LPGA-Amateur Golf Association, Southern New England Women’s Golf Association, and The First Tee of Connecticut.