WETHERSFIELD, Connecticut (April 5, 2021) – With shouts of ‘Happy New Year’ as players arrived, the 2021 Connecticut State Golf Association season began with the first One Day Tournament presented by Chris Cote’s Golf Shop of the year. At 8:00 a.m. Dan Ekstrom was introduced on the first tee of Wethersfield Country Club and struck the first shot of the season.
“Surprisingly I was pretty calm with it,” said Ekstrom. “I hit a 4-iron out to the right and let the wind take it back into the fairway. I was happy with the shot.”
The opening day of the season dawned as bright and sunny with temperatures reaching the low 60s but a steady wind made scoring difficult throughout the day for the field of 136.
“I thought the conditions were fantastic,” said One Day Tournament Series sponsor Chris Cote. “The greens were very fast and of course it was windy but I was a member here for three years and it is probably as good as I have seen the course especially this early in the season.”
Playing alongside Ekstrom in the worst of the conditions John Sawka set the pace early with a 2-over 73 and then watched as others struggled to finish with the low score in the Tettelbach Gross Division (Under 55) for a second consecutive year. Sawka started his day with a birdie on the 1st but faltered the remainder of the front nine to turn in 4-over 39.
“After the birdie, I struggled the next four or five holes with my speed control on the putting greens and suffered a few three-putts,” said John Sawka. “After a double-bogey on the 7th, I adjusted my grip pressure on my putter and started rolling the ball much better which led to consistency throughout the round. My ball-striking never left me, it was good throughout the round.”
Sawka righted the ship on the par-4 10th. He found the fairway with a 3-hybrid before knocking his approach shot with an 8-iron from 146 yards to 15-feet to set up his second birdie of the day. His final birdie came on the par-3 13th hole. Sawka choose a 7-iron off the tee and stuffed it to 12-feet. He then parred the remaining 5-holes to finish the back nine in 2-under 34.
Following Sawka were Vin Capece (75) in second while Glen Boggini, Kyle Nolin, and Chris Maxwell shot 76s to share third.
In the Siderowf Gross Division (55 and over) Tony Susi put together the round of the day, a 1-over-par 72 that was highlighted by birdies on the 4th, 7th, 12th, and 14th holes. Michael Hawley finished second alone at 77; Dave Jones and Tom Cutone shared third at 78 while Frank Geiger, Rick Lawrence, and Tom Brett shared fifth with 79s.
Leading the way in the Tettelbach Net Division (Under 55) were John Sawka and Vin Capece with 71s followed by Mario Argentino and Lucas Robustelli at 73 while Glen Boggini, Kyle Nolin, Chris Maxwell, and Seth Jainchill tied with 75s.
In the Siderowf Net Division (55 and over), it was Stephen Johnson earning the title with a 2-under 69. “I was just hitting really good shots,” Stephen Johnson said. “I was making good contact today. [I have been playing down in Florida] but today was the best I have played all year.”
Tony Susi was second at even-par, Alden Foss and Kevin Pasternack tied for third at 2-over while Carl Musante was fifth at 3-over.
Monday’s One Day Tournament presented by Chris Cote’s Golf shop was the first of 15 to be contested this season. Click here for the full schedule.