Connecticut State Am: Finals set

WILTON, Conn. (June 24, 2011) -– Tommy McDonagh from Shorehaven Golf Club and Matt Smith from Quinnatissett Country Club walked away victorious in their semi-final matches to earn a berth in the thirty-six hole final of the 109th Connecticut Amateur Championship at Rolling Hills Country Club.

McDonagh, a senior at Penn State University and 2006 CT Amateur Champion, was forced to suspend his quarterfinal match due to heavy rain and severe lightning. When play resumed McDonagh would need extra holes to defeat defending champion and Princeton University junior, Bernie D’Amato. McDonagh made birdie on both extra holes to advance to the semi-finals against Greg Reilly from Country Club of Darien, who had completed his quarterfinal match on Thursday morning.

McDonagh’s stellar play continued throughout the morning. McDonagh would go one down after Reilly made a birdie on the first hole but quickly stormed back. After Reilly’s par putt slid by on the par three third hole, McDonagh was back to all square. He would go on to make five birdies (Holes 4, 7, 8, 10, & 11) in the next ten holes to win 6 & 4. McDonagh will be looking for his second Connecticut Amateur Championship to go along with his two Metropolitan Amateur Championships.

Matt Smith would have a different path to the finals. Having completed his quarterfinal match Thursday morning prior to the rain delay, Smith had to wait until the third quarterfinal match was completed before resuming play. When Curtis Loop from Country Club of New Canaan made a birdie on the first extra hole to defeat Sam Bernstein from The Course at Yale the semifinal match was set.

Smith would start out red hot and take an early 2 up advantage after two holes. Loop, a junior at Georgetown University, would get the match back to all square with birdies on holes four and five. After Smith made a double bogey on the par four seventh hole, Loop had a one-up advantage. Smith, a senior at the University of Hartford, continued to play consistent throughout the rest of the round and would get the match back to all square with a par on the eleventh hole. Smith would take the final lead of the match on the par-three fifteenth hole when Loop’s par putt just slid by the hole.

The last time a Connecticut Amateur final was played on a Saturday was in 2003 at Wampanoag Country Club. The thirty-six hole final match is schedule to begin tomorrow, Saturday, June 25th at 7:00am.

ABOUT THE Connecticut Amateur

The Connecticut Amateur Championship is one of the nation’s oldest state amateur golf championships and is one of 19 championship tournaments conducted by the Connecticut State Golf Association. The challenging format tests the state's best amateur golfers over two rounds of stroke play to determine the low thirty-two match play qualifiers. Two rounds of match play each day culminate in a thirty-six hole final to crown the top amateur player in Connecticut.

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