Collins and O'Connell take Brooklawn Invitational
Thomas Collins (left) and Michael O'Connell
Thomas Collins (left) and Michael O'Connell

The New Jersey team of Thomas Collins and Michael O’Connell won the Brooklawn Invitational in Fairfield, Conn. with a score of 139 (-7), over 36 holes.

Collins, of Essex Country Club, and O’Connell, of Arcola Country Club, shot 66 (-5) in the opening four-ball round and 69 (-2) in afternoon foursomes, or alternate shot. The team of Rick Dowling and Nick Taylor, who have won three consecutive Connecticut Two Man Championships, was second with 137 (-5).

Collins and O’Connell made five birdies and no bogeys in the opening round, and four birdies and two bogeys in the difficult alternate-shot format, where players trade shots, with one teeing off on odd holes and one teeing off on even holes.

In the Senior Division, Brooklawn members Randy White and Dan Connell won with 68-71-139 (-3). Another Brooklawn team, Paul Fitzsimmons and Mike Hooper, were second with 141. White and Connell recorded four birdies in each of their rounds to win.

In Thursday’s Super Senior (age 65 plus) Division, comprising 18 holes of four-ball, Dr. Bob Ruby of Stratford and Bill Dober of Wheeler Golf Club in Bridgeport, shot 68 to win easily.

The modern version of the Brooklawn Invitational is in its seventh year. An earlier version of the event was played from 1922 to 1940 at Brooklawn, which recently hosted its fifth major national championship, the third U.S. Senior Women’s Open, won by Annika Sorenstam, in August.

“We’re very pleased with the way the Invitational has progressed,” said chair Bill Wallace. “The field keeps getting stronger and stronger, and the Super Senior Division continues to expand. This year’s champions are another indicator of how strong the competition has become, and our course drew much praise from competitors. Superintendent Peter Bly had Brooklawn in beautiful condition.”

Brooklawn has hosted five USGA championship over the years, including the 1974 U.S. Junior Amateur (won by David Nevatt), the 1979 U.S. Women’s Open (Jerilyn Britz), the 1987 U.S. Senior Open (Gary Player) and the 2003 U.S. Girls’ Junior (Sukjin-Lee Wuesthoff), in addition to the U.S. Women's Senior Open in August.

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ABOUT THE Brooklawn Invitational

36-hole two-man team tournament, with two-man best ball on day 1 and alternate shot on day 2. Open and senior divisions, with a super senior competition held a couple of days prior. Played at the host club of five USGA events including the U.S. Senior Open and U.S. Women's Open.

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