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It's time once again for the Connecticut Senior Open at Shenny

By Gavin Keefe

Publication: The Day

Published July 13. 2013 4:00AM
Tim Cook/The Day
Black Hall Club's Bill Hermanson, shown playing in last year's Connecticut Senior Open at Groton's Shennecossett Golf Course, is one of the locals who will tee it up on Monday in this year's event.

Let's play a round of Did You Know.

The topic is the 31st Connecticut Senior Open, which is set to tee off at Shennecossett Golf Course in Groton on Monday.

Did You Know?

• This is the 16th straight year that Shennecossett will serve as tournament host for the two-day event.

• Since the tournament moved to Shennecossett in 1998, no one has won consecutive Connecticut Senior Open titles.

Only two golfers - Tom Joyce (2000, 2002) and John Gentile (2003, 2008) - have won the event twice at Shennecossett. Both players are in this year's field.

James Becker of Bloomfield returns this year to try to defend his title. He shot a 138 (68-70) in last year's event.

Frank Eaton is the last golfer to defend a Senior title, posting wins in 1995 and 1996 at The Farms Country Club.

• Mal Galletta owns the lowest two-round tournament total at Shennecossett, shooting a 136 (67-69) while winning the event in 1999.

• This year's expanded 156-golfer field features 29 state major golf championship winners, including 12 Connecticut PGA titles, 10 Connecticut Open titles and seven state amateur titles.

Danbury native Ken Green's impressive resume includes five PGA Tour victories.

• Golfers come from 14 different states, including 108 from Connecticut.

• Former three-time U.S. Open tennis champion Ivan Lendl, who's from Goshen, also is in the field. He also coaches Andy Murray, who won this year's Wimbledon title.

• David Jones of Norwich made a terrific Connecticut Senior Open debut last summer, finishing as the low amateur and fourth overall. He went on the beat Becker and Jerry Courville in a playoff in the Rhode Island Senior Open last August.

He's competing again this week at Shennecossett. Chances are his wife and caddy, Jo Ann, will be there, too.

His golf season is off to a strong start, as he combined with Brian Bardier to capture the Connecticut State Golf Association Two Man Championship in early May at Black Hall Club in Old Lyme. They fired an even par 142 (69-73) to win by four strokes.

• Shennecossett regularly receives raves from the senior golfers.

"It's a great golf course and a great event," Becker said in a released statement. "Everyone can roll the ball on the green, and I just hope they never change it. Everyone gets excited to play it. Shenny is awesome!"

• Shennecossett pro Todd Goodhue, his staff and superintendent Eric Morrison put in countless hours to prepare for and help run the event.

For his contributions, Morrison was awarded the new Morrison Medal in a ceremony at last year's Connecticut Senior Open. The medal will be given each year to a person "who truly emulates the spirit of the Connecticut Senior Open and works tirelessly to make it happen."

Short putts

• Monday's Connecticut Senior Open tee times for local golfers: Mark Toscano, Westerly, 7 a.m.; Stonington pro Michael Myszkowski, 7:27; Elmridge teaching pro Chuck Slenker, 8:57; William Ernst, Waterford, 9:15 a.m.; Bill Hermanson, Black Hall, 10:27; Jones, 11:03; Tony Susi, Gales Ferry, 1 p.m.; Levi Thomas, Groton, 2:21; Sean Grimsey, Waterford, 2:57.

• Here's a rousing golf clap for Ron Beck, Fox Hopyard's head professional for the last 13 years.

Beck will be inducted into the Connecticut Section PGA Hall of Fame at an award banquet on Nov. 17 at Lake of Isles in North Stonington. He's one of three members in the new class, joining Vic Svenberg and Fran Marrello.

"I'm extremely humbled and honored," Beck said in a released statement.

• There's still time to sign up for the 2nd Annual Charity Golf Tournament to Benefit the Wounded Warriors Project. The event will take place on Aug. 23 at Elmridge Golf Course in Pawcatuck. The shotgun start will tee off at 12:30 p.m.

Event organizer Chuck Slenker is looking to add more golfers to the field. His goal is to reach about 25 to 30 foursomes. Entry fee is $125 per person and $500 per team.

This is more than just a charity golf tournament for Slenker, who's a Vietnam Veteran. His father, who turned 91 this week, served with one of General George Patton's tank divisions in World War II.

"It's rewarding to help them out," Slenker said.

Last year the event raised $1850 for Wounded Warriors.

For more information, contact Slenker at (860) 287-2043 or call Elmridge at (860) 599-2248.

• Matti Fuller of Black Hall Club competed in the 72nd Connecticut Junior Amateur Championship earlier this week at Watertown Golf Club. Fuller shot a 76 to advance to match play but lost his first match to Jason Hogan of Watertown, 5 and 4, on Tuesday.

• Chris DeLucia stretched his Norwich Golf Course men's club championship title run to a record seven straight. It was another dominant performance by DeLucia, who beat Ed Hilario by seven strokes in the final last week.

DeLucia shot the low qualifying score with a 141 (69-72) and then posted rounds of 72 and 75.

Other flight winners: Chris Perras (first), Bob Veneziano (second) and Roy Wentworth (third).

Jennifer DeLucia recently won her five women's club championship in six years.

• Rose Peterson (Old Lyme), Linda Drago (Salem), Dottie Verkade (Niantic) and Jane Martini (Old Lyme) combined to win the Fox Hopyard Ladies Club event on June 25.

• Two Lake of Isles golfers - Michael Masso and Nick Torrance - will be competing in the 84th New England Amateur Championship starting Tuesday at Green Mountain National Golf Course in Killington, Vt.

• Jim Lathrop II won the gross division of the Pequot Men's Golf Association individual gross-net tournament on July 7. He fired a 74. Shane Winters was the net champion with a 60.

Upcoming events

• The Norwich Invitational, the longest running amateur tournament in the state, begins Friday with qualifying round play and ends Sunday. Kevin Marcoux is the defending champion.

• The Pequot men's club championship competition begins on July 27 and culminates with the championship round on Aug. 4. It is a stroke play event.

The women's championship final match is set for Aug. 13 and the 18-hole junior club event will be July 24.

• The Elmridge Golf Course men's club championship is in its final week of qualifying play. Match play begins next weekend. The championship round will tee off on Sunday, July 28. Anthony Kargul, the defending champ, is shooting for his seventh title.

• The 79th Connecticut Open will tee off July 29 at Torrington Country Club. Phil Perry of Black Hall, Keith Anthony of Fox Hopyard and Richard Wilczewski of Shennecossett are local qualifiers. Jason Caron of Greenwich is the defending champion.

• Elmridge will hold its member-member tournament on Aug. 10. Stop by the pro shop to sign up for the event.

Gavin Keefe covers golf for The Day

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