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Connecticut Golf News

NEPGA News

by Tim Gavrich

Spence Wins NEPGA Championship at The Woodlands GC

Connecticut well represented in early round of U.S. Am Important late-summer events have brought out the best in some golfers with ties to the Nutmeg State, and have left others searching for success. Seven Connecticut amateur golfers qualified for the U.S. Amateur, held this year at Chambers Bay Golf Course in University Place, Washington: Tommy McDonagh (Norwalk), John Murphy (Wilton), David Jones (Norwich), Jeff Hedden (Old Lyme), Cameron Wilson (Rowayton), Tom McCarthy (Tolland), and Will Smith (Avon). Of the seven, only McDonagh advanced to match play, where he was defeated in the Round of 64 by 2009 U.S. Amateur Public Links champion Brad Benjamin. Despite this early exit by the Connecticut contingent at Chambers Bay, there are many bright young stars in the Nutmeg State. Kevin Giancola claimed his third Connecticut PGA Championship in wire-to-wire fashion by tallying a three-round total of seven-under par at Lyman Orchards Golf Club’s Robert Trent Jones, Jr. course. Giancola won by five shots over Frank Leja and claimed a top prize of $5,000. Meanwhile, the 2010 FedEx Cup’s “regular season” has wrapped up, signaling the beginning of the playoffs, with three state-affiliated players inside the top 125. University of Hartford alum Jerry Kelly missed the cut in e Barclays and missed out on the rest of the playoff events, but fellow Hawk Tim Petrovic was still alive, as was Fairfield native J.J. Henry. At press time, friends and family were cheering them on at the Deutsch Bank Championship. With the autumn comes the end of the competitive season in Connecticut, but many of the state’s best amateur players, including those who played in the U.S. Amateur, will be heading off to play for colleges throughout the country in the next few weeks.

Senior Open CT Farmington, CT, resident and veteran amateur Dave Szewczul captured the 28th Connecticut Senior Open on July 13th, winning the fifth playoff hole to beat Don Robertson of Irving, TX. Both players carded two rounds of even-par 71 at Groton’s Shennecossett Golf Course, one of the best-regarded public courses in the state. Szewczul, the first amateur Senior Open champ in six years, won the playoff with a bogey after Robertson drove into deep rough. Six other Connecticut-based players finished in the top 10.

Falmouth, ME - Scott Spence, PGA did his best to battle the elements, and his best came on some of the hardest holes in some very difficult conditions. Playing the majority of his second round on Wednesday in a record setting rainstorm, Spence made back to back birdies on 7 & 8, two of the most difficult holes on the course. When play resumed on ursday, Spence, the Director of Instruction at Carnegie Abbey Club in Rhode Island, had only a few holes to play. Making all pars on the way in was enough to post a 69 (3-under), making him 3-under for the tournament. From there, it was a waiting game. Most of his closest competitors were already in the house, with Jeff Martin, PGA (Point Judith CC) closest at 1-under par. Troy Pare, PGA (Wannamoisett CC), fresh off his appearance at the PGA Championship in Wisconsin, had a later tee time and the best chance to catch Spence. Ultimately, Pare was unable to manage better than 74 at the tree-lined Fazio layout. It was the second Section major of the year for Spence, who won the NEPGA Senior Championship at Okemo Valley GC at the beginning of August. Spence is the first professional in the history of the Section to hold both titles simultaneously. e event also serves as a qualifier for the PGA Professional National Championship, with 11 players securing spots at Hershey CC in June of 2011.

September - October 2010 | New England Golf Monthly | 51

New England Golf Monthly - September/October 2010  
New England Golf Monthly - September/October 2010  

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