The First Tee of Connecticut, one of the largest and most active in the national organization’s chain, had three members receive major awards.
Ted May, whose father Ed helped start the Insurance City Open (now Travelers Championship) in 1952, was honored with The First Tee’s Jack Stephens Leadership Award during the organization’s celebration of its 20th anniversary at the Biennial Network Meeting in Orlando, Fla. The award recognizes an individual such as a past or present board member, donor or community advocate for their service, leadership and commitment to The First Tee’s mission. May, chairman of the 1983 Greater Hartford Open and an immediate past president of The First Tee of Connecticut’s board of directors, has been a cornerstone of the state branch since it began in 1999.
Meghan Mazumdar, 14, of South Windsor earned national recognition on and off the course. Mazumdar, who won a spot with Rory McIlroy in the 2016 Wells Fargo Championship Pro-Am, was selected from a pool of national candidates to attend The First Tee Outstanding Participant & Leadership Summit in Orlando. The ninth grader at South Windsor High School was one of only 28 participants chosen based on academic achievement, community service, chapter involvement, leadership, essay responses and letters of recommendation. She also was one of two recipients of TFT’s Outstanding Participant Award and received a $20,000 scholarship from among eight finalists. She spoke to more than 1,000 people after former President George W. Bush, the organization’s honorary chair.
Meghan has been active with TFTCT since the fall of 2009. She participated in a panel of discussion entitled “Empowering Women Through Golf” and continues to serve as an eLeader with the LPGA/USGA Girls Golf program. In 2016, she won the Wells Fargo Succeeding Together essay contest and was invited to appear on NBC’s “Today” to share her experiences. She also participates in various activities through EXCEL (Talent and Gifted Program), including mock trial competitions and filmmaking.
Meanwhile, Dave Polk received The First Tee of Connecticut’s Chairman’s Award, which recognizes executive directors who demonstrate outstanding achievements in leadership and service to the chapter and TFT in organization development and the delivery of participant benefits. Polk retired as TFTCT executive director in August after 71/2 years and was succeeded by Mark Moriarty, who had been program director for six years and is now overseeing the organization serving more than 71,000 young people.
In another recognition department, Glastonbury native Tim Petrovic, who has played on the PGA Tour and PGA Tour Champions, was inducted into the Connecticut Golf Hall of Fame with Malcolm McLachlan, who has worked for the Connecticut State Golf Association for 28 years, the last 15 as Director of Rules and Competitions. McLachlan also has been involved with the USGA for 15 years and dedicated to furthering Rules of Golf education and awareness. He was part of the founding family at Ridgewood CC in Danbury, where the Hall of Fame inductions were held in conjunction with the CSGA annual meeting.
“It’s a huge honor to be included among so many golf greats,” said Petrovic, who lives in Austin, Texas, with wife Julie and their two daughters. “I bought a picture and canceled check of Gene Sarazen’s because I’m a fan, and now we’re both in the Hall of Fame together? Crazy! … I worked so hard for so long to get out on the PGA Tour and then stay out on Tour. I am grateful to have that work recognized.”
Petrovic was inducted two weeks after he shot 17-under 267 to finish fourth in the PGA Tour Champions qualifying school finals in Scottsdale, Ariz., and earn one of five cards for 2018. The University of Hartford grad had played on the 50-and-over circuit for 18 months after 15 years on the PGA Tour, where he earned $12.2 million and won the 2005 Zurich Classic of New Orleans. In his first six starts this year, Petrovic has earned $181,217, including $98,560 for a tie for second in the Chubb Classic. Former University of Hartford teammate Jerry Kelly won the year’s opening event, the Mitsubishi Electric Championship at Hualalai, and then tied for second in the Cologuard Classic and is third on the money list with $572,963. That’s third behind all-time Champions Tour standout Bernhard Langer ($802,271) and fellow “Cheese Head” and longtime friend Steve Stricker ($630,235).
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