Elite Connecticut Section Junior Golfers Descend on Shennecossett for the Jack Kelly PGA Junior Tournament of Champions
SOUTH GLASTONBURY, Conn. (September 2, 2015) – For fifth consecutive year, the historic Shennecossett Golf Course in Groton, Conn., will host the Jack Kelly PGA Junior Tournament of Champions on Sunday, September 6, closing out the 2015 Connecticut Section PGA Junior Golf TOUR season.
The championship field of 78, including 53 boys and 25 girls, features prominent PGA Junior Golf TOUR players and Junior Club Champions from Connecticut and Western Massachusetts. Overall, 14 of the top 20 boys and 15 of the top 20 girls on the PGA Junior Golf Association (JGA) Player of the Year point list are entered in this invitational event.
Among those are the 2014 and 2015 JGA Girls Player of the Year Angela Garvin (2019 – Feeding Hills, Mass.), who is looking to capture her second Jack Kelly PGA Junior Tournament of Champions title (the previous coming in 2013), and Noah Peterson (2017 – East Longmeadow, Mass.), who has already clinched the JGA Boys Player of the Year title for 2015. Also competing are the top three points leaders in both Boys’ and Girls’ 9-hole division Player of the Year standings.
The tournament history itself lists a who’s who of Connecticut Section PGA junior golfers. Former winners include amateur golf titleholders Nicole Faniola, Juli Wightman, Andy Mai, Kelly Whaley and Cody Paladino.
Last year at Shennecossett, Nathaniel Dong (2016—Glastonbury, Conn.) fired a two-under par 69 to win his first Jack Kelly title. In the Girls’ Division, Julia Kemmling (2015—Berlin, Conn.) shot a four-over par, 75, to claim her second Jack Kelly title by three-strokes over defending champion Angela Garvin (2019— Feeding Hills, Mass.) and Maisie Filler (2019—Bloomfield, Conn.).
Starting times for the tournament will begin on Sunday at 10:35 AM, and run through 2:11 PM off the first tee. Spectators are welcome to attend, and admission is free of charge. The Championship will play at par 71, for both boys and girls, with the boys playing from 6,575 yards and the girls from a 5,543 yard layout. An awards ceremony will follow where the Jack Kelly Junior PGA Champions will be crowned, along with the Connecticut Section PGA Junior Golf Association Players of the Year. The winners of the 2015 Jack Kelly Sportsmanship Awards will also be announced at this ceremony. Special Guest Speaker Adam Rainaud, PGA Professional at the Black Hall Club and 2014 Connecticut Section PGA Player of the Year, will host a Q&A session and discuss his experience as a junior golfer competing on the CT PGA Junior TOUR, as well as his playing in the 2015 PGA Championship at Whistling Straits.
Please visit the Tournament Page for more information on the 2015 Jack Kelly PGA Junior Tournament of Champions.
Connecticut Section PGA Crowns Junior Players of the Year
Peterson, Garvin, Kalk and Hidalgo clinch honors
SOUTH GLASTONBURY, Conn. (August 31, 2015) – With only the Jack Kelly PGA Junior Tournament of Champions remaining for the 2015 Junior TOUR Season, the Connecticut Section PGA has crowned its Junior Players of the Year. The Junior Golf Association annually awards Players of the Year titles in both boy and girl divisions, in the 13-18 and 10-12 age groups, with winners being determined by player performance points.
Winners of this year’s Player of the Year honors are Noah Peterson of East Longmeadow, Mass. in the Boys 13-18 Division, Angela Garvin of Feeding Hills, Mass. in the Girls 13-18 Division, Ethan Kalk of South Glastonbury, Conn. in the Boys 10-12 Division, and Mia Hidalgo of Cheshire, Conn. in the Girls 10-12 Division.
Peterson, the Boys 13-18 Division Player of the Year, is a member of the Class of 2017 and earned a total of 844.50 points in the nine events he entered this season. He recorded seven top-5 finishes in those nine events, and captured four individual wins, including the Ryan Lee Memorial Junior Open, the Ellington Ridge Camera Memorial, the Cas Coscina Memorial Junior Invitational, and The Ranch Junior Open. Over 13 rounds this summer, Peterson posted a stroke average of 74.46 and broke par three times.
Garvin, the Girls 13-18 Division Player of the Year, is a member of the Class of 2019 and earned a total of 1,285.00 points in the twelve (12) events she entered this season. She finished in the top-3 in all twelve events, and recorded eight (8) victories, including The Ledges Junior Open, the Junior Connecticut PGA Championship, the Fairview Farm Junior Classic, The Don Miklus Memorial Junior Open, the Frank Kringle Junior, the Ellington Ridge Camera Memorial, the John D. Wardlaw Memorial and the Hop Meadow Junior Open. Over 15 rounds this summer, Garvin posted a stroke average of 76.26 and broke par twice. This is the third consecutive Player of the Year crown for Garvin, having previously earned the distinction in 2013 and 2014.
Kalk, the Boys 10-12 Division Player of the Year, is a member of the Class of 2021 and earned a total of 966.60 points in the eighteen (18) events he entered this season. He claimed seven (7) victories in 2015, including Little Linksters #1 at Minnechaug GC, the Frank Kringle Junior, the Ellington Ridge Camera Memorial, The Ranch Junior Open, the McDermott Junior Invitational, Little Linksters #4 at Copper Hill GC and the Hop Meadow Junior Open. In 33 total nine-hole rounds, Kalk posted an overall stroke average of 42.24, and a stroke average of 38.46 in 9-hole events, breaking par three times. This is Kalk’s second consecutive Player of the Year title in the Boys 10-12 Division.
Hidalgo, the Girls 10-12 Division Player of the Year, is a member of the Class of 2022 and earned a total of 880.00 points in the eleven (11) events she entered this season. She captured eight (8) victories in 2015, including the Glastonbury Hills Junior Open, The Ledges Junior Open, the Frank Kringle Junior, the Ellington Ridge Camera Memorial, the Torrington-Winsted Rotary Jr. Classic, the Crestview Junior Invitational, The Ranch Junior Open and the Hop Meadow Junior Open. In 14 total nine-hole rounds, Hidalgo posted an overall stroke average of 46.5, and a stroke average of 44.0 in 9-hole events. This is Hidalgo’s second consecutive Player of the Year title in the Girls 10-12 Division.
The 10-12 year old division title holders will be honored at the Jack Kelly PGA Junior Tournament of Champions on September 6, at Shennecossett Golf Course. The 13-18 year old division title holders will be honored at the annual PGA Hall of Fame and Champions Tribute which will be held on Monday, November 30, at Lake of Isles.
Connecticut Section PGA Hall of Fame and Champions Tribute
Event to honor Hall of Fame Inductees and 2015 Champions at Lake of Isles on November 30
SOUTH GLASTONBURY, Conn. (August 31, 2015) – The second-annual Connecticut Section PGA Hall of Fame Induction and Champions Tribute will be held on Monday, November 30, 2015, at Lake of Isles. This awards format will include the induction of a new class into the Hall of Fame, will honor the winners of the 2015 PGA Member Championship events, as well as honoring the Player of the Year, Senior Player of the Year, and the winner of the President’s Award.
Each year, over 30 distinguished PGA Professionals of the section are considered for this great honor. The Hall of Fame Committee is comprised of PGA Professionals, Walter Lowell, Gary Reynolds, and Frank Selva, who, since the Hall of Fame’s inception in 2008, complete the research needed to honor these individuals. A total of 27 PGA Professionals have been inducted since 2008.
The first member of the 2015 Hall of Fame class is a PGA Life Member, James Orsi. Orsi spent 33 years as golf professional at New London Country Club (now Great Neck Country Club) from 1955-1988. He is a Half Century PGA Member, and was the 1969 Connecticut Section PGA Professional of the Year. Orsi served at the Secretary of the Connecticut Section PGA from 1962 to 1971 and wrote for the PGA Magazine from 1967 to 1970.
The second member is Tony Kelley. Kelley has been serving for 30 years as Head Golf Professional at Wyckoff Country Club in Holyoke, Mass. He also has an impressive playing career, winning several premier golf championships, including five (5) Connecticut PGA Championships (1988, 1989, 1996, 2000 and 2012), the 2014 Senior Connecticut PGA Championship, is a 3-time Section Player of the Year (1999, 2000 and 2009), and a 2-time Senior Section Player of the Year (2009 and 2013). Kelley is a PGA Quarter Century member, and ranks tied for fourth all-time with 9 section individual professional championship titles.
The final inductee of the 2015 Hall of Fame is Tim Gavronski. Gavronski is a PGA Quarter Century Member, and is in his 14th season as Head Golf Professional at Shuttle Meadow Country Club, having previously spent 13 seasons as Head Golf Professional at the Black Hall Club. He was named the 1998 Connecticut Section PGA Professional of the Year, and is one of the most decorated award winners in the section, having been honored with Teacher of the Year, the Bill Strausbaugh Award, the Horton Smith recipient, the Youth Player Developer, the Merchandiser of the Year, and the President’s Award for his efforts to raise money for the Connecticut Section PGA Golf Foundation. Gavronski has singularly raised over $72,000 for the Foundation and junior golf through his annual golf marathon efforts.
For more information on the Hall of Fame and Champions Tribute, please visit the CT PGA website.
Harry Nowobilski Memorial Golf Tournament raises charity total to more than $200,000 for Connecticut Section PGA's Golf Foundation
Russ Held Sports - HEBRON, Conn. (August 27, 2015) – "The Harry'' did it again. And then some.
The 13th Harry Nowobilski Memorial Celebrity Amateur Golf Tournament came through in its usual way on a sun-splashed day at Tallwood Country Club Thursday. "It couldn't have been a better day,'' Harry's son John Nowobilski said. "The first year, we started with a keg of beer, grabbed a few celebrities and went with it. And now this . . .''
This is now a major charity event that has contributed more than $200,000 to the Connecticut Section PGA's Golf Foundation since Nowobilski's passing in 2002. The Nowobilski family donated $14,500 to the Foundation, a check that Connecticut Section PGA executive director Tom Hantke said represents the largest it receives from an outside-run event.
"We do so much with our Charity Golf Classic at Hartford Golf Club, but we run that,'' Hantke said of the mid-summer event. "It's really heart-warming to see how supportive people are of this event. I really don't know if it can get any stronger than it is, but it does."
"Every year, our foundation underwrites the Junior Golf Association and Junior Golf Tour,'' Hantke said. "And it really helps make this affordable for parents. It's so important to us.''View More
Black Hall Club captures Mohegan Sun Pro-Am at Glastonbury Hills Country Club
GLASTONBURY, Conn. (August 26, 2015) – The Mohegan Sun Pro-Am Series #6 was held on Wednesday at Glastonbury Hills Country Club. The team contest format for this event was a pro and three (3) senior amateurs, with one low gross and one low net score counting on each hole.
The team from the Black Hall Club, consisting of PGA Professional Adam Rainaud and amateurs Fred Caffarelli, Brice Craven and Jeff Scull, posted a combined score of 13-under par, 131, to win the team competition. Finishing in second place at 11-under par, 133, was the Pomperaug Golf Club team consisting of PGA Professional Dave Cook and amateurs, Bob Hill, James Schettino and William Witkowski.
Kevin Giancola of Golf Quest Family Sports Center posted a stellar six-under par, 66, to win low professional honors by one-stroke over Rainaud (67, -5). Kevin Shea of Great Neck Country Club finished in solo third (73, +1), followed by Tony Roberto of Agawam Municipal Golf Course (74, +2) in fourth place. Dave Giacondino of East Mountain Golf Course and Tony Kelley of Wyckoff Country Club finished in a tie for fifth at 75 (+3).
A total of three golfers earned skins in the event: Dave Giacondino on Hole #2, Adam D’Amario on Hole #14, and Rainaud on Hole #15.
Thank you to Glastonbury Hills Country Club and PGA Professional Scott Knights for hosting the event.
Adam Rainaud wins the 2015 Connecticut PGA Assistant Championship
Captures his fifth title in playoff over Eric Smith
AVON, Conn. (August 25, 2015) – Adam Rainaud of the Black Hall Club emerged from a playoff over Eric Smith, also of the Black Hall Club, to defend his crown at the 2015 Connecticut Section PGA Assistant Championship at the Golf Club of Avon. The Championship is open to all PGA Registered Apprentices and Assistant Professionals in good standing, and serves as the qualifier for the 2015 National Car Rental Assistant Championship, to be held October 29 through November 1, 2015, on the Wanamaker Course at PGA Golf Club in Port St. Lucie, FL.
"This one was pretty fun, pretty intense,'' Rainaud said. "That was one of the most exciting, most intense back nines I've played in a long time. The first two (Assistant Championships) I won when it was pretty close down the stretch with Brent Paladino, those first two were pretty intense, but the last two I had a good lead on the back nine. Today I went to the ninth hole down two needing to come back.”
Rainaud got off to a hot start in his morning round, carding birdies on holes #1, 3, 9 and 17, but closed with a bogey on 18 for a three-under par, 68. Smith’s round had a much different feel, opening with a one-over par 37 on the front-nine, then turning with birdies on 14, 15 and 17 for a two-under par, 69.
Their afternoon rounds would prove to be just as different, yet would lead them both to the top of the leaderboard. With a birdie on hole #8 and a bogey on hole #9, Rainaud maintained his position at three-under par, but was left chasing the hard-charging Smith, who carded an eagle and three birdies against two bogeys for a front-nine 33. Back-to-back bogeys on holes #10 and 11 for Smith dropped him to three-under par and a deadlock with Rainaud, as both golfers would play the final seven holes in one-under par to finish at four-under par, 138. After both golfers halved the par four first hole of the playoff, Rainaud claimed the title with a par on the par three second.View More
Durkin, Garvin, Chorches, Kalk and Hidalgo victorious at the Hop Meadow Junior Open
SIMSBURY, Conn. (August 24, 2015) – The 2015 Connecticut PGA Junior Golf TOUR regular season wrapped on Monday at Hop Meadow Country Club in Simsbury, Conn., attracting more than 100 top junior golfers from Connecticut and Western Massachusetts.
Thomas Durkin of Suffield, Conn. posted a three-over par 75 to narrowly edge Matthew Manjos of Monroe, Conn. and Philippe Morin of Canton, Conn. (76, +4) to win the Boys 16-18 division. Finishing in a tie for fourth place at 77 (+5) were Nick Knisel of Weatogue, Conn., Peter Gehris of South Windsor, Conn., Ricky Nappi Berlin, Conn., and Nick Sullivan of Simsbury, Conn. The Hop Meadow Junior Open is Durkin’s first win of the 2015 season
Angela Garvin of Feeding Hills, Mass. emerged victorious on the first playoff hole over Katherine Mullen of Burlington, Conn. to win the Girls 18-hole division after both golfers tied in regulation at 83 (+11). Finishing in solo third was Julia Migliorati of Wethersfield, Conn. with a score of 89 (+17). This marks Garvin’s eighth Junior TOUR victory of 2015.
Matthew Chorches of West Hartford, Conn. earned his first victory of the 2015 season in the Boys 13-15 division, carding a solid four-over par 76 for a one-stroke over Eddie Morin of East Longmeadow, Mass. (77, +5). Finishing in a three-way tie for third place at 79 (+7) were Michael Bechard of Longmeadow, Mass., Justin Mathew of Rocky Hill, Conn. and Jake Bennett of Madison, Conn.
In the 9-hole divisions, Ethan Kalk of South Glastonbury, Conn. fired an impressive three-over par 39 to win the Boys division by three-strokes over Michael Hanratty of Avon, Conn. (42, +6). Jack Hall of Avon, Conn. finished in solo third place at 43 (+7). Mia Hidalgo of Cheshire, Conn. posted a solid score of 42 (+6) to win the Girls division by two-strokes over Sydney Hidalgo of Cheshire, Conn. (44, +8). Finishing in solo third place was Mia Scarpati of Ridgefield, Conn with a score of 46 (+10). This is Kalk’s seventh victory of the 2015 season, and the eighth for Hidalgo.
Congratulations to our winners Thomas Durkin, Angela Garvin, Matthew Chorches, Ethan Kalk and Mia Hidalgo, and thank you to PGA Professional Joe Cordani and his staff at Hop Meadow CC for hosting the event! The 2015 Junior TOUR season wraps on September 6th with the Jack Kelly Tournament of Champions at Shennecossett GC.
Adam Rainaud seeks record 3rd straight title, 5th overall at 53rd National Car Rental Connecticut PGA Assistants Championship
Russ Held Sports - S. GLASTONBURY, Conn. (August 24, 2015)
Adam Rainaud is still finding opportunities to make history. And another comes Tuesday at the 53rd National Car Rental Connecticut PGA Assistants Championship.
Rainaud can become the first to win three straight titles and claim a record fifth victory at the 36-hole event at Golf Club of Avon. The assistant professional at Black Hall Club in Old Lyme, Conn., will face tough challenges from 32 others, who are also vying for qualifying spots to the national championship in late October at Port St. Lucie, Fla.
"My focus is just to prove to myself that I get a little better every year,'' Rainaud said. "And this tournament has come a long way for me. It was really my first tournament in the Section (in 2010) and I just wanted to get off to a good start. I wanted to prove to the other pros in the Section that I was a decent player, to earn a little respect.
"And now I know most all of the guys, we all have a really good time out there.''
Rainaud, 29, has won the Assistants Championship all four times he has played it, missing only the 2012 event because of a scheduling conflict. The South Hadley native won by nine strokes last year, posting a 66 and 65 to finish at 11 under at CC of Woodbridge. Rainaud's resume includes winning all five Connecticut Section PGA major championships in 2014 and he competed at the 97th PGA Championship at Whistling Straits earlier this month.
The field includes 2012 champion Kyle Bilodeau of Ellington (Conn.) Ridge CC, last year's runner-up David McGregor of CC of Waterbury and two-time runner-up Adam D'Amario (2009, '12) of Indian Hill CC. Bilodeau tied for third place last year and shared fourth in 2013. "I'm trying to win it, trying to make it back to the national championship,'' Bilodeau said. "It's always so tough to make it. Adam (Rainaud) is so tough, he's won this four times. I'm looking forward to it, I just love the golf course. I don't play it all that often, but it's a great golf course.''
Bilodeau qualified for the PGA Tour's Travelers Championship in June, after outdueling Rainaud to win the Section's PGA Stroke Play Championship in May. "I had my struggles off the tee at TPC,'' Bilodeau said of the Travelers. "But I learned a lot, through that experience. And I took some good things out of it too. I've been working hard on that for the last four or five weeks.''
Assistants' Association Player of the Year points leader Jantzen Vargas of Hartford GC holds a slim lead on Zac Stennett of Tallwood CC. Both are entered, as are 14 of the top 15 in the rankings.
Bob Mucha Jr., now head pro at Edgewood GC in Southwick, shares the tournament's all-time victory lead with Rainaud. Mucha won in 1989, '91, '93 and '95 and had a pair of runners-up finishes during that stretch.
First-round tee times run from 7 to 8:30 a.m., with an afternoon shotgun set for 1:45. Winner's share of the $4.450 purse is $1,000.
ASSISTANTS NOTES: Rick Leal of Wyckoff CC in Holyoke was the last to have a chance to win three straight. He followed up titles in 2006 and '07 with a tie for third in 2008. Leal had finished second in 2004 and '05. Ken Doyle (1969, '70) and Al Fuchs (1965, '66) are others to win successive titles . . . John Sutter won the first Assistants Championship, contested in 1952 at GC of Avon . . . GC of Avon is hosting for the first time since 1986, when Stan McLennan won it.
Little Linksters #4 - Event Results from Copper Hill Golf Club
EAST GRANBY, Conn. (August 21, 2015) – The final Little Linksters tournament of the Connecticut Section PGA was held on Friday, attracting junior golfers ranging from ages 5 – 12 to Copper Hill Golf Club in East Granby, Conn. The Little Linksters is a series of open tournaments for all boys & girls (regardless of JGA membership affiliation), with 5-7, 8-9 and 10-12 year-old age groups.
Ethan Kalk of South Glastonbury, Conn. posted an impressive two-over par 38 to capture the 10-12 age division by four-strokes over Sean Dowd of North Granby, Conn. (42, +6). Matthew Doyle of Madison, Conn. finished in solo third place with a score of 45 (+9). This marks Kalk’s second Little Linksters victory of the 2015 season, having previously won at Minnechaug Golf Club.
Luke Stennett of Colchester, Conn. carded a solid round of 48 (+12) to win the 8-9 age division by two-strokes over Cole Banning of Tolland, Conn. (50, +14). Owen Goldberg of Hampden, Mass. (55, +19) finished in third place. This is Stennett’s first victory of the 2015 Summer Season. In the 5-7 division, Vincenza "Vinny" Papa of Foster, RI emerged from a tight race over Mia Laudato of Agawam, Mass.
Congratulations to our winners Ethan Kalk, Luke Stennett, and Vinny Papa, and thank you to PGA Professional Paul Brown and the staff at Copper Hill Golf Club for hosting the event.
Kevin Giancola wins the 84th Connecticut PGA Championship
Captures his fifth CT PGA Championship since 2003
WETHERSFIELD, Conn. (August 19, 2015) – Kevin Giancola of Golf Quest Family Sports Center entered the final round with a one-stroke lead and withstood a duel against Adam Rainaud to capture the 84th Connecticut PGA Championship at Wethersfield Country Club.
“It’s just really, really special,” said Giancola. “Winning our Section championship is a big win overall, but to do it a fifth time, I can’t believe it. I can’t tell you what it means, at this point it’s indescribable. I’ve never cared much about records or trophies, they just happen because of good play, so I never thought about them I just focused on playing well. But to have won this event again means a lot, especially against this group in the field today.”
Giancola, the 2003, 2008, 2010 and 2011 Connecticut PGA Champion, started Wednesday’s final round in a tight race with his playing partners, the 2014 champion Rainaud of Black Hall Club and 2013 champion Kyle Bilodeau of Ellington Ridge Country Club. After getting off to a hot start with opening birdies on holes one and two, Giancola quickly gave back the momentum with bogeys on the third and fourth holes.
Turning to the back-nine following an up-and-down even-par 35 on the front side, Giancola sputtered with bogeys on holes 10 and 13 to fall to two-under par and relinquish his lead to Rainaud. An even-par front-nine, coupled with six consecutive back-nine pars and a birdie on hole 16, helped vault Rainaud to four-under par, good for a two-stroke cushion over Giancola.
All that changed for Rainaud on the 200 yard par three 17th hole, where he tugged his tee shot left of the green and down an embankment under a tree. “I was just trying to hit it in the middle of the green,” said Rainaud, “so I figured it was playing at least 210 or 215, and I just tried to hit a four-iron in the middle and I pulled it. It just landed on a hill on hardpan and kicked way down under a tree into the fescue. I thought that if I could chip it out from under the tree and then get up and down for bogey, that’s what my goal was. But in my backswing I kind of snagged the tree and I should have stopped, but I still kept going and I whiffed it.”View More