Ray Underwood of Torrington Country Club and Addison Owens of Washington Club teamed up for a seven under-par round of 63 to win the 74th Four-Ball Championship at the Course at Yale. Underwood and Owens combined for seven birdies and no bogies to shoot an impressive round of 63, two shots clear of the team of Steven Velardi (Race Brook CC) and K.J. Camera (Ellington Ridge CC).
Conducted by the Connecticut State Golf Association, the Four-Ball Championship, presented by Lexus of New Haven, is a team competition that brings together the state’s best amateur golfers for an 18-hole, Four-Ball (Better Ball of Partners) stroke play championship. The tournament is held each year at the Course at Yale, renowned as one of the top University courses and is annually ranked among the Top 100 classic courses in the country. Designed in 1926 by C.B. MacDonald and Seth Raynor, the course plays to a par of 70 and measured nearly 6,683 yards for the competitors.
“It was a little bit of a slow start for us,” said Owens, “but Ray really got the round started for us with a sixty-foot birdie putt on the 3rd hole.”
After making birdie on the 3rd hole, it was smooth sailing from then on for the duo, who strung together birdies on the 8th and 11th holes to move to three under-par. After a par on the uphill par-4 12th, the team proceeded to rattle off a string of four consecutive birdies on holes #13-16 to move to seven under-par. A pair of closing pars on the challenging 17th and 18th holes was more than enough to secure the two shot victory,
The Four-Ball championship is a rare chance for amateur golfers from around the state to compete in a team event. Like many amateur golfers, both Underwood’s and Owen’s summer schedule consists of primarily individual amateur, mid-amateur and senior-amateur events. For the pair, the chance to play together in a state championship was one they couldn’t pass up.
“We really teamed up well together and each made four or five birdies,” said Underwood, whose also a member at the Washington Club. “We’ve played together in a lot of team interclub competitions, so there was a big comfort factor playing with Addison as my partner.”
Although a round of 63 is certainly impressive, it is one shy of the tournament record set by Ryan Leahey and Jeff Hedden, who fired an eight under-par 62 in 2009. In the seventy-four year history of the event, 63 has only been shot four other times (John Howell, Jr. & Jack McConachie- 1968, Ryan Leahey & Jeff Hedden- 2008, Matt Smith & Kevin Josepshon- 2011 and Cody Paladino & Kevin Josephson - 2013).
The next pair of events on the CSGA Championship calendar continue the Four-Ball tradition, with Qualifying for the 1st U.S. Amateur Four-Ball on Monday, September 8thth at Mill River Country Club followed by the 36-hole Jerry Courville, Sr. Invitational at Shorehaven Golf Club, also a Four-Ball team event. Owens will be competing in both events with partner Todd Payne of Danbury, Conn., while Underwood will next be competing in the 69th Senior Amateur Championship at Wethersfield Country Club later this month.
About the Connecticut State Golf Association
The Four-Ball Championship is one of 18 championship tournaments conducted by the Connecticut State Golf Association. The CSGA functions as an extension of the USGA and provides stewardship for amateur golf in Connecticut. Founded in 1899, it is the country's oldest state golf association and conducts over 50 Championships, Qualifiers and One-Day Tournaments throughout the year. For more information, visit our website at csgalinks.org.