HARTFORD, Conn. – Starting in July, the Connecticut State Golf Association will assume administration of the prestigious Borck Memorial Junior Tournament, a fixture in Fairfield County for half a century.
The 51st Borck will be played at the Country Club of New Canaan on July 27-29 and is one of three important changes to the CSGA 2020 competition calendar.
The inaugural Parent Child Championship will be played at Wethersfield Country Club on July 14. Unlike the Mixed Team Championship, which requires a male and female partner, and the Father Son Championship, which is restricted to only fathers and sons, the Parent Child Championship will accommodate any type of team composition as long as members of the team are parent/child or grandparent/child.
Also, the first Super Senior Player of the Year will be determined in 2020. The award joins the Liz Janangelo Caron Women’s Player of the Year, Dick Tettelbach Player of the Year and Dick Siderowf Senior Player of the Year. It will be open to players 65 and older and based on play not only in Connecticut but throughout New England.
The Borck becomes the second major junior championship on the CSGA calendar along with Connecticut Junior Amateur at Watertown Golf Club on July 6-9.
“We felt quite honored when the the Borck Junior Committee approached us two years ago about taking on responsibility for conducting this championship,” CSGA executive director Mike Moraghan said. “We are also very much aware of the responsibility that goes along with it. The Borck has been a wonderful event for five decades, and we want to make sure it continues not only as a first-rate junior tournament but as an important part of so many people’s lives.”
The Borck is named in honor of Jay Borck, who died of a cerebral hemorrhage in 1968 at 16 only a week after winning the Brooklawn Country Club Junior Championship. Jay was a promising and talented golfer who often had to travel outside Connecticut to compete with golfers of equal ability. Soon after Jay’s death, his brother, Jim, and father, Chester, along with family friends Samuel and Giles Payne and Paul Hiller thought the best way to memorialize Jay would be with a world-class junior golf tournament.
The event was founded in 1969, first played in 1970 and has become a way to share Jay’s love of the game with a new generation every summer. It has always been contested at clubs in Fairfield County, a tradition that the CSGA will continue. Previously, the field was comprised only of Fairfield County junior players, but under the CSGA, eligibility will expand statewide to include boys and girls 18 years and younger who reside in Connecticut and hold an active United States Golf Association handicap from a CSGA member club.
The format of the tournament will remain unchanged, with one round of stroke-play qualifying followed by two days of matches. The event promotes good sportsmanship among girls and boys, and in conjunction with the competition, has frequently awarded scholarships to deserving young people who exhibit good citizenship and academic excellence. Beginning this year under the CSGA Scholarship Fund, the CSGA will name one boy and one girl annually as Borck scholars.
Over the years, the Borck has served as both the first major competition for high school golfers and has seen the emergence of some of the best young players in state history. They include J.J. Henry, whose three PGA Tour titles include the 2006 Buick (now Travelers) Championship, and Big East Conference star Nick Cook in the 1990s and more recently Dan Murphy, Finn Boynton, Mia Scarpati and Noranoel Nolan.
Last year’s tournament, played at Brooklawn Country Club, was evidence of both. Sophia Sarrazin of Westport, who won the American Junior Golf Association Mahong Valley Hospital Foundation Junior All-Star Tournament in Ohio in June, took the girls title over defending champion Scarpati, while Charlie Duffy of Tashua Knolls Golf Club in Trumbull broke through for his first major win.
“It’s cool to be up there with J.J. Henry and a lot of other great names, to be part of that trophy,” Duffy said in the spirit of the Borck.
The tournament’s founders could never have anticipated the event would become as popular or long-lasting as it has. A popular dinner was added in 1972, and girls were invited to join the boys as participants in 1976.
In 1988, the tournament also became a memorial to Jim, who died of cancer that year. A tree was planted for Jim on Brooklawn’s 16th fairway, right next to the tree that had been planted for Jay 20 years earlier. Jim strongly believed blessings grow from sorrows, and he considered the tournament to be one of those blessings.
So the Borck Memorial Junior Tournament has become more than just a memorial to Jay. It’s a way to share Jay’s love of the game of golf with a new generation every summer.