NEW HAVEN, Conn. (Sept. 5, 2013) -- Kevin Josephson of Personal Golf Network and Cody Paladino of Wethersfield Country Club teamed up for a seven under-par round of 63 to capture the 73rd Four-Ball Championship at the Course of Yale.
Conducted by the Connecticut State Golf Association, the Four-Ball Championship 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. McDonald and Seth Raynor, the course plays to a par of 70 and measured nearly 6,800 yards for the competitors.
Playing together for the first time in a team competition, Paladino and Josephson combined for seven birdies and no bogies for a blistering 63, one clear of the team of Paul Schaeffer and Rob Violet. After Josephson opened with birdies on the first two holes, Paladino birdied the fourth hole, which played as the most difficult hole for the day. Another birdie by Josephson on the 8th hole and a par on the 9th equaled a total of 30 strokes for the front nine.
“Getting off to a great start was really important, and the birdie on the fourth hole was huge,” said Josepshon. “We hadn’t played as partners in a tournament before so we weren’t really sure what to expect. Getting ahead early definitely freed us up and we were able to have a lot of fun out there. “
The Four-Ball championship is a rare chance for amateur golfers from around the state to compete in a team event. Like many amateur and collegiate golfers, both Josephson’s and Paladino’s summer schedule consists of individual amateur events. The chance to play together in a team atmosphere was one they couldn’t pass up.
“It's pretty rare for Kevin and I to play together on a big stage. We've been great friends for such a long time and we know each others' strengths and weaknesses. Yale is also one of our absolute favorite courses, so it was truly a privilege to be able to share the experience with him."
As any weekend warrior will tell you, chemistry between partners can be far more important than individual skill levels. While no one will debate the skill of Josephson and Paladino, who currently hold the number one and two spots in the CSGA Player of the Year standings, their close friendship was clearly a catalyst. The two grew up playing golf together at Timberlin Golf Course in Berlin and spent this past summer living together in New Britain.
Paladino and Josephson are also locked in an exciting two-man race for the CSGA Player of the Year honors, with Paladino holding a slim forty point lead over Josephson. Paladino claimed the Tournament of Champions title yesterday after shooting a round of two under-par 70, with Josephson finishing in second just one shot behind.
Although 63 is quite 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 three year history of the event, 63 has only been shot three other times (John Howell, Jr. & Jack McConachie- 1968, Ryan Leahey & Jeff Hedden- 2008, and Matt Smith & Kevin Josepshon- 2011). Their round was one better than the team of Paul Schaeffer and Rob Violet, who finished eagle-birdie-birdie to shoot six under-par 64.
The win marks Josephson’s second Four-Ball Championship, having won the title in 2011 with Matt Smith (Two-time Connecticut Amateur Champion). Among Josephson’s accomplishments this season include Medalist honors at the 111th Connecticut Amateur, and qualifying for both the U.S. Amateur and U.S. Amateur Public Links. Similarly, the Four-Ball Championship adds to Paladino’s impressive list of accomplishments this season, although it is his first Four-Ball Championship title. Paladino has already captured the 111th Connecticut Amateur, 10th Russell C. Palmer Cup and 8th Tournament of Champions, in addition to the 89th California State Fair Amateur Championship last weekend.
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