For the fifth time in the club’s history, Wee Burn Country Club will open its doors to the state’s top amateur and professional golfers for the 78th playing of the Connecticut Open Championship on July 30-August 1, 2012.
Although Wee Burn Country Club was founded in 1896, the current championship course was completed in 1925 by architect Devereux Emmet. Click Here for a full history of Wee Burn Country Club. The par 72 layout with a course rating and slope of 75.1/146 will play to 6987 yards for this year’s championship. The last time the Connecticut Open was held here (1999) amateur Jay Rice, a Wee Burn member, was able to hold off several of the state’s best professional players to record his lone CSGA championship.
Frank Bensel, a resident of Norwalk, Conn. and PGA Professional at Centruy Country Club in Purchase, NY, will be back to defend the title he won at Brooklawn Country Club in 2011. The two-time Connecticut Open Champion will be looking for his third win in his last three attempts, having won last year and at Hartford Golf Club in 2009.
Past champions in the field include four-time winner Kyle Gallo from Kensington, Conn. who is looking to become the first player with five titles to his record. He is currently tied with John Golden who won his Championships in consecutive years from 1932-1935. Other former winners include Steve Sokol (2003), Jim St.Pierre (2002), Jay Rice (1999) and Ken Green (1985, 1992). Green, who won five times on the PGA Tour, is coming off his lowest competitive round (67 - in the final round of the Eastern Regional Amputee Golf Championship at Saucon Valley CC in Bethlehem, Pa.) since a tragic car accident that resulted in the loss of his lower right leg.
Scheduled to hit his first shot as a professional on Monday is two-time Connecticut Amateur Champion, Tommy McDonagh from Shorehaven Golf Club. The East Norwalk, Conn. resident is looking forward to a bright future in professional golf after his incredible amateur career that included two MET Amateur victories and a victory in the IKE, both conducted by the Metropolitan Golf Association.
Notable amateurs in the field include a current Connecticut Amateur Champion (Matt Smith from Quinnatisset Country Club), both defending CSGA Players of the Year (Tettelbach Division – Tom McCarthy from Twin Hills Country Club and Siderowf Division - Dave Szewczul from Tunxis Plantation Country Club), and current Russell C. Palmer Cup Champion (Sam Bernstein from The Course at Yale).
The 129 man field consists of seventy-one qualifiers and fifty-eight exempt players all looking to become the next Connecticut Open Champion. With a record number of applications (528) filed and six past Connecticut Open Champions in the field, this year’s Championship should turn out to be one of the most competitive in its history.
Schedule of Events
Monday, July 30, 2012 - First Round, 18 Holes Stroke Play (7:30 AM-9:10 AM and 12:30 PM-2:10PM from both the 1st &10th tees)
Tuesday, July 31, 2012 – Second Round, 18 Holes Stroke Play (7:30 AM-9:10 AM and 12:30 PM-2:10PM from both the 1st &10th tees)
Wednesday, August 1, 2012 - Final Round, 18 Holes (Tee times beginning at 7:30 AM)
Any tie for first place will be decided immediately by a sudden death playoff. There will be no playoff for low amateur honor.