HARTFORD, Conn. – Two weeks ago, Chris Tallman won his first Connecticut Section PGA individual title.
Wednesday October 17, Tallman clinched his first Connecticut Section PGA Player of the Year Award.
The top-seeded Tallman, of Cold Spring Country Club in Belchertown, Mass., earned the POY when he beat John Vitale 4 and 2 in the second round of the Section Match Play Championship at Fox Hopyard Golf Club in East Haddam.
The long-hitting Tallman had earned 10 POY points for a first-round bye on Tuesday, and the 20 that he got for defeating Vitale (GolfTEC-West Hartford) gave him an unbeatable season total of 310.17. In the quarterfinals Wednesday afternoon, Tallman beat Jordan Gosler (Twin Hills CC-Coventry) on the third playoff hole, earning 40 more points.
Mike Martin (Tashua Knolls GC-Trumbull) began the championship with a runner-up 185 points and earned 10 points for a 4-and-3 victory over Eric Nelson in the first round but lost 1-up to Mike Zaranek (Crestview CC-Agawam, Mass.) in the second round. But even if Martin had won a fourth title and 100 points, he would have finished with only 285 for POY.
Tallman won his first Section individual title Oct. 2 when he shot 7-under-par 137 for 36 holes for a seven-stroke victory over Martin in the Connecticut Section Professional Championship at Tumble Brook CC in Bloomfield. He also won the season-opening Senior-Junior Pro-Pro with Phil Krick at Lake of Isles CC in North Stonington. The two wins were part of 11 top-10 finishes in 13 starts this year, including a tie for third in the Connecticut PGA Championship and PGA Pro-Veteran and a tie for fourth in the PGA Pro-Assistant Championship and PGA Pro-Am Championship.
“Player of the Year was a goal of mine this year,” Tallman said after cruising to victory in the Section Professional Championship. “The past couple of years, I’ve ‘been there’ as far as a lot of top-5s and top-10s coming together. But I spent last winter at PGA Village in Port St. Lucie, Florida, played five tournaments and finished sixth once. There were some Web.com Tour players there, so it was really good competition and gave me a big advantage coming into this year. It was really good preparation for the season.”
In the semifinals Thursday morning, Tallman will play Kyle Bilodeau (Tumble Brook CC-Bloomfield), who defeated Nicholas Segaline (Wampanoag CC-West Hartford) and Frank Leja (Springfield CC). Other semifinalists are Zaranek, who beat Martin and Dave Dell (Springfield CC) on the second playoff hole, and William Street (Whitney Farms CC-Monroe), who defeated James Giampaolo (Hawk’s Landing GC-Southington) and E.J. Altobello (Tekoa CC-Westfield, Mass.).
The 18-hole final is Thursday afternoon.
CONNECTICUT WINS TRI-STATE MATCHES
Manchester CC’s Glen Boggini’s four points in the final singles match capped Team Connecticut’s rally to a dramatic 103-102 victory over Massachusetts in the 85th Tri-State Matches at Oyster Harbors in Osterville, Mass.
Connecticut, Massachusetts and Rhode Island were tied at 48 points each entering singles play. In the Ryder Cup style match play format, the 16 players from each state were competing for one point on the front nine, one point on the back, and one point for the overall 18 while playing two matches simultaneously against the other states.
Massachusetts jumped ahead early as Frank Vana, one of the top senior players in the country, earned a maximum six points. New Havven CC’s Mike Kennedy’s 5.5 points and five each from Pat Griffin (Blue Fox Run GC-Avon) and James Sheltman (Alling Memorial GC-New Haven) were the major reasons that Connecticut remained in contention. It became a two-team race as Massachusetts began to inch away from Connecticut, and Rhode Island faded. Team Captain Roger Everin calculated that Connecticut was four points down with two matches remaining.
Then John Abbott, the Connecticut State Golf Association Public Links champion from Timberlin GC in Berlin, registered five points to 3.5 for Tommy Parker of Massachusetts. That left Boggini as Connecticut’s last hope, and he needed to outscore Massachusetts’ Brian Bassett by three points if Connecticut was to win the Tri-States for the first time since 2003.
A tall order, considering Bassett’s home course is Oyster Harbors, but when Boggini registered four points to Bassett’s .5, Everin and his team had the narrow victory. Rhode Island finished third with 83 points.
“We are all so happy for Roger,” CSGA Player of the Year Ben Conroy said. “He is so passionate, such a great competitor, and he put so much into this. It is a lot of fun to win, but even more so to do it for a guy like Roger.”