Russell Palmer Cup: Kwasnik has Round 1 lead

SIMSBURY, Conn. (May 24, 2011) -- Keith Kwasnik from Stanley Golf Club (New Britain) fired the round of the day en route to a one shot lead in the first round of the 8th Russell C. Palmer Cup at Hop Meadow Country Club in Simsbury.

Kwasnik began the day with four birdies in his first eight holes and finished with ten consecutive pars to card a bogey free round of 68. Kwasnik leads Ben Hunter from Sterling Farms (Stamford) who set the bar high with his early round of 69. The two will be paired with 2008 Palmer Cup Champion, Phil Perry from Black Hall Club (East Lyme). The last time Perry and Kwasnik played together was in the round of sixteen in the 2009 Connecticut Amateur when Perry defeated Kwasnik to advance to the quarterfinals.

Others advancing to the final day of the Palmer Cup include two major winners from 2010 (Brian Ahern from Wampanoag (West Hartford) - the 2010 Mid-Amateur Champion, and Rudy Hermstadt from East Mountain (Waterbury) - the 2010 Public Links Champion), a Conn. Amateur finalist (Nick Taylor from Heritage Village (Southbury)) and the two reigning Players of the Year.

Both Jeff Hedden from Black Hall (East Lyme), who has won three consecutive Dick Tettelbach awards as CSGA Player of the Year, and Dave Szewczul from Tunxis Plantation (Farmington), who has won two consecutive Dick Siderowf awards as CSGA Senior Player of the Year, shot a one over par round of 73.

Hop Meadow Country Club provided plenty of drama on the final day the last time the club hosted the Russell C. Palmer Cup (in 2008). Tom McCarthy of Twin Hills CC (Coventry) found himself with fifteen players ahead of him. McCarthy played the final two rounds at even par and climbed up the leaderboard to grab a spot in a playoff which he would win on the first playoff hole to capture his first CSGA title. McCarthy’s one under par round of 71 this afternoon will put him closer to the lead as he starts the second day.

Rounds two and three will be played tomorrow May 25th beginning at 7:30am from both the first and tenth tee.

The Russell C. Palmer Cup, the CSGA stroke play championship, is named for Connecticut Golf Hall of Fame member (1997) and former CSGA Executive Director (1986-1995) who bears the same name. A few of Palmer’s numerous accomplishing include establishing the use of GHIN throughout CSGA member clubs and initiating the construction of the CT Golf House which houses the CSGA and CT Section PGA.

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