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Hermanson's 23 club titles top elite list

By Gavin Keefe

Publication: The Day

Published July 27. 2013 4:00AM

Hanging in a prominent place in every golf course clubhouse is a plaque listing club championship winners.

It is difficult to capture even one club championship.

Some golfers are fortunate and talented enough to belong to a special category: winner of multiple club championships.

Here's a course-by-course rundown of each club's men's Champion of Champions, starting with the golfer seated at the head of the elite table.

• Black Hall, Bill Hermanson (23): No one in the area has won more club titles than Hermanson, an East Lyme resident. He owns a whopping 23 championships at Black Hall in Old Lyme.

During one remarkable streak from 1981 to 1999, he won 19 straight titles, and his 23 wins span five decades.

"Nineteen in a row over five decades, that's more impressive than anything," pro Andrew Campbell said. "It's pretty cool."

Hermanson, who won his last title in 2010, continues to play at a high level. He was spotted on the practice green on Friday.

When informed that he held the distinction as the area golfer with the most championships, the humble Hermanson responded, "So I've got that going for me, which is nice."

• New London Country Club, Rocky DelPriore, Jeff Hedden (10): New London Country Club no longer exists but its history lives on. Great Neck CC is in its second year at the same location in Waterford.

DelPriore, who passed away in 2011, was one of the best golfers to ever tee it up at New London CC. He won his last title in 1968. Hedden had a dominating run, winning 10 straight from 1979-88, before leaving the club.

• Elmridge Golf Course, Tim Sisk (8):

What's impressive about Sisk's eight titles is that he's done it over a span of 22 years, collecting his first in 1975 and last in 1996. He's now a member at Shennecossett Golf Course, where he also works in the pro shop.

"Those were the good old days," Sisk said. "When you get older, it gets more difficult."

Now 64, Sisk is still a major threat. He reached the Shennecossett men's club championship final last year before falling to Ken Wetmore. If not for hitting a seagull with a shot, he might have ended up holding the trophy for the first time at Shenny.

Sisk's record at Elmridge might not stand much longer. Defending champion Anthony Kargul is shooting for his seventh title.

• Old Lyme Country Club, Russ Bingham (8): This club held its first championship match in 1966. Since then, Bingham has consistently challenged for title, winning eight times. His championships came in 1982, 1984, 1987, 1995, 1996, 1997, 2001 and 2003.

• Norwich Golf Course, Chris DeLucia (7): At 24, DeLucia is definitely the youngest member of the Champion of Champions club. He also accomplished his feat by winning a club record seven straight, including this year.

Look for DeLucia, who's from Norwich, to keep adding to this total.

• Pequot Golf Club, Vic Walter (6): You have to go back quite a few years to Walter's playing heydays. Walter won his first of six in 1968 and the last three came in succession - 1989, 1990 and 1991.

• Shennecossett, four golfers with four: This was the most surprising finding. The current record holders own just four championships apiece and experienced their success in different decades. E.F. Lauren (1941-44), Sumner Gordon (1952, 1958, 1961, 1962), Ken Glenville (1970, 1972-74) and Ken Wetmore (1993, 1995, 2005, 2012) share the honored top spot.

Wetmore can move into the lead by winning the 2013 championship. Qualifying round action begins today.

John Aspinwall, the 1994 champion, knows from experience the challenge of trying to win a Shenny club tournament. The field is usually loaded with talent and considered one of the toughest in the area.

"It's never easy," Aspinwall said. "The competition is great. It's all about confidence."

The competition will be fierce once again this summer.

"There are 10 or 12 guys who legitimately have a chance to win the club championship," pro Todd Goodhue said. "It's a matter of who's peaking."

• Stonington Country Club, Ian Camfield (4): Stonington has a short history than most area clubs, running its first championship event in 1992. One of the club's founding members, Camfield earned titles in 1994, 1995, 1997 and 2000.

Three-time winner Michael Hawley (2008, 2011, 2012) is a major threat to eventually take over the top spot.

Short putts

• Talking about club championships, several titles will be at stake over the next few weeks.

At Elmridge, the field is down to the final four, as Pete Stefanski faces Duane Vance and Kargul takes on Rick Orlomoski in today's semifinals. The winners play in Sunday's 36-hole final.

Pequot men's club championship play begins on today and continues on Sunday. It is a stroke play event. The final round tees off on Sunday, Aug. 4. Tony Davison is the defending champion.

Josh Bialowans is moving on to a new job after five years as Old Lyme Country Club pro Rob Barbeau's assistant and 13 years overall there. He's been hired as the first assistant at the Country Club of Orlando in Florida.

Barbeau has had good lucking hiring former East Lyme High School golf team players. Kevin O'Connor and John Humphreys also once worked there.

"We've had a good run of kids," Barbeau said.

Hedy Korst finished first in the Old Lyme Country Club Women's Golf Association Most Net Pars Tournament on Thursday.

• The Caddy Reunion/Remembrance Scholarship Golf Tournament Committee recently awarded scholarships to three high school graduates.

Fran Shields (East Lyme), Nick Kamireddy (Norwich Free Academy) and Chris Bovino (Stonington) each received a scholarship worth $1,500. Shields will attend St. Lawrence while Kamireddy is heading to Northeastern. Bovino was named the Kenneth Macdonald Memorial Scholarship winner.

Tony Susi of the Mohegan Sun Country Club at Pautipaug placed fourth in the Tettlebach Division net competition with a 70. The CSGA one-day event was held Monday at Topstone Golf Club in South Windsor.

• Stonington CC held its men's two-day invitational last weekend. Len Battiston and Todd Kroll combined to win the title. Hawley and John Loposky placed second.

Natalie Donath took first in the 2013 Pequot Women's Golf Association Handicap Tournament, needing 19 holes to defeat Angela McLean.

Trevor Hutchinson, who plays golf at Grasso Tech, finished first in the Pequot junior club championship on Wednesday, shooting a 78.

• The Stonington CC team of pro Mike Myszkowski and assistant Gabe Carr-Harris placed second at the TaylorMade-adidas PGA Pro-Assistant Championship Tuesday at Madison Country Club. They shot a 4-under 66.

Upcoming events

• The 79th Connecticut Open tees off on Monday at Torrington Country Club. Locals expected to play include: Kevin Shea (Great Neck), Archie Cart and Nick Torrance (Lake of Isles), Adam Rainaud (Black Hall), Richard Wilczewski (Shennecossett), Keith Anthony and Brad Lusenhop (Fox Hopyard) and James Jones of Ledyard.

• Mohegan Sun CC will be the site of a Connecticut Mid-Amateur qualifier on Wednesday, Aug. 7.

• Norwich Golf Course will host the CSGA's 77th Father & Son Championship on Aug. 15.

Gavin Keefe covers local golf for The Day.

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