Conn. Sr. Match Play: Szewczul takes top seed
EASTON, Conn. (June 4, 2013) -- Connecticut Golf Club in Easton, Conn. welcomed the state’s top senior amateur golfers for the 7th Senior Match Play Championship. Eighty three players began the day vying for one of sixteen qualifying spots, with successful qualifiers advancing to the match play portion of the championship. After heavy rain forced the postponement of the qualifying round, players were greeted with blue skies and cool temperatures as they played their way around the 6,435 yard, par 72 golf course.

Conducted by the Connecticut State Golf Association, the Senior Match Play Championship is open to Connecticut senior golfers who are fifty five years of age and over. The tournament challenges competitors with a round of stroke play to determine the low sixteen match play qualifiers. Following the qualifying round, four rounds of match play are conducted over consecutive days, culminating in an eighteen-hole final match on Thursday, June 6th.

Defending Champion Dave Szewczul of Tunxis Plantation Country Club fired an even par round of 72 to claim medalist honors and the number one overall seed. Szewczul began his title defense with a shaky start to his round, making bogeys on two of his first four holes. Known for his steady play, he calmly rebounded with birdies on Holes #8, #15 and #18, matched by only a single bogey on Hole #17, en route to a round of even par.

Claiming medalist honors is a welcomed relief for Szewczul, who was the sixteenth and final seed in the 2012 championship. The reigning CSGA Player of the Year and two-time New England Senior Amateur Champion narrowly made into match play last year via a five way playoff. He would go on to dominate the match play bracket, winning three of his matches by a margin of five holes or more. Szewczul will look to repeat his performance this year when he faces Dick Weigold, the 1974 Connecticut Amateur Champion from Torrington Country Club, tomorrow morning at 8:00am.

Finishing two strokes behind Szewczul was Tom Scarrozzo of Blue Fox Run Golf Course and Mark Vassalotti of Sterling Farms Golf Course, who both recorded rounds of 74 to claim the second and third seeds, respectively. Scarrozzo, who captured the 2008 Connecticut Mid-Amateur Championship, will face Timothy Dailey of H. Smith Richardson GC, while Vassolitti faces Gene Cufone of Alling Memorial Golf Course.

In addition, a pair of past Connecticut Senior Match Play Champions also successfully advanced to match play. Lou Stone, 2008 champion, shot a four over par round of 76 to advance as the fifth seed, and Bill Torza, 2007 champion, shot a six over par round of 78 to advance as the tenth seed. At day’s end, a score of 80 or better was needed to advance to match play. A six-person playoff was needed to determine the final four seeds, with Jim Bango (New Haven CC), Gene Cufone (Alling Memorial GC), Timothy Dailey (H. Smith Richardson GC) and Dick Weigold (Torrington CC) all successfully advancing.

Connecticut Golf Club, originally founded in 1966 and designed by renowned architect Geoffrey Cornish, is a challenging and demanding layout that tests every aspect of the competitors’ game. The course features numerous rock outcroppings and many of the holes require players to navigate around doglegs and water hazards. As the successful qualifiers look ahead to match play, the middle stretch of the golf course will likely play a big role in the outcome of each match. In stroke play qualifying, Holes #6 through #12 played as seven of the eight toughest holes, with a mere 19 cumulative birdies recorded among the eighty three competitors.

The match play portion of the Senior Match Play Championship begins tomorrow, June 5th, with the Round of 16 beginning at 8am, followed by the Quarterfinals in the afternoon. The tournament will conclude Thursday, June 6th, with the semifinal and final matches. For more information and Live Scoring, visit CTSrMatchPlay.com.

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