Elmridge champ Stefanski making a comeback from health scare

Pete Stefanski is a humble guy.

You'll never hear him bragging about his accomplishments on the golf course.

Ask him how many Elmridge Golf Course men's club championships he's won and he has no idea.

"I'm not sure of the number," Stefanski said.

The answer is a club record nine.

Stefanski, a 62-year-old Westerly resident, also has dominated the senior men's club championship in recent years, winning another one earlier this summer.

"I've been playing pretty well this summer," Stefanski said.

He'll never forget what transpired on the day of the men's club championship late last month for another reason other than winning his ninth title.

Just hours after his championship-clinching match on a hot Sunday, July 28, Stefanski felt ill at home and his wife, Pamela, took him to the hospital. He found out that he suffered a heart attack and underwent surgery.

Heart disease runs in his family, but this was his first heart attack.

He said he prefers to keep the details private.

"I'm feeling much better now," Stefanski said.

Still on the mend, his golf game is on hold probably until sometime in September.

No doubt that Stefanski will pick up where he left off.

In the scheduled 36-hole club championship match versus John Donohue, Stefanski surged in front early on. He fired a 72 in the morning round, finishing with one birdie, one bogey and 16 pars. He closed out the match early in the afternoon round, winning 6 and 5.

Donohue, who's from Pawcatuck, was the medalist in qualifying action.

As you might expect from Stefanski, he praised the play of his opponent.

"John played well all day," Stefanski said. "He probably would like three or four shots over. It was a closer match than the score indicated."

It was Stefanski's sixth club championship title in the last seven years, including third straight.

So what's behind his successful run?

"I've been playing golf a long time," Stefanski said. "I do a lot of practicing. It helps me prepare for the matches."

Stefanski usually plays on the weekends and stops by Elmridge a couple times during the week to hit balls on the practice range after working at Electric Boat.

He considers himself pretty competitive and doesn't feel much pressure during his club championship matches.

"I think it's a lot of fun," Stefanski said.

Hopefully, Stefanski will be back on the golf course having fun with his buddies in the near future.

Short putts

• Pequot Golf Club recently crowned its senior club champion.

In the gross division, Richard Simonds beat David Farwell in a sudden death playoff to capture the title. Both golfers fired a two-round total of 155, with Simonds shooting 74 and 81 and Farwell firing 77 and 78. Kevin Turley (77-80–157) and Richard Reynolds (78-79–157) tied for third.

Joseph Faulise won the net division with a two-round total of 129 (63-66) while Kenneth Moriarty (68-63–131) took second and George Taylor (62-71–133) placed third.

• At the 11th Annual Jason Gigliotti Memorial Golf Tournament on Aug. 12 at Great Neck Country Club in Waterford, Jason's 14-year-old son Jake played in the event for the first time ... a special day for everyone involved.

Tournament organizer Tony Gigliotti Jr. reports that Jake's sister Ava, 16, wants to take up the game and perhaps play in the tournament next year.

Proceeds to the event will be donated to support Jason's Children's College Fund, Waterford Youth Services and The Shelton Food Bank.

One hundred and two golfers turned out to celebrate Jason's life and enjoy each other's company.

First place went to the foursome of Tim Arsenault, Mike Sullivan, Seamus Sullivan and Norman Ngubane. Tim Ververis, Peg Ververis, Pete Ververis and Josh Tiven took second while Ron Baude, Matt Greene, George Gianakos and John Malia finished third.

Tim Lineburgh won closest to the pin and Seamus Sullivan was the longest drive winner.

• Chris DeLucia ran away with the Norwich Golf Course men's club championship earlier this month, posting a four-round total of 1-under 283 (70-71-74-68). He beat his nearest competitor, Todd Lavoie, by an impressive 13 strokes. Lavoie finished at 296 (76-73-78-69).

Flight winners were John Crocker (first), Tim Griffin (second), Josh Miller (third) and Ted Richard (fourth).

In the women's club championship, Jeanette Farquhar beat runner-up Frances Meadows by four strokes in the two-round event.

• The pairings are set for the Great Neck Country Club men's club championship match play. Chris DeLucia is the top seed and Andrew Cavasino is the defending champion.

Opening round matchups: DeLucia vs. No. 16 Logan Rolfe, No. 8 Chris Yeomans vs. No. 9 Brad Columbus, No. 4 Tony Siragusa vs. No. 13 Marco Frausini, No. 5 Peter Gonski vs. No. 12 Bill Mayo, No. 2 Matthew Shea vs. No. 15 Rob Renehan, No. 7 Cavasino vs. No. 10 Tim Haggerty, No. 3 Mike Gross, Jr. vs. No. 14 Jim O'Neil, and No. 6 Sam Gonski vs. No. 11 Eric Bergstrom.

Championship Day is Monday, Sept. 2.

Karen Anderson, the runner-up the last four years and two time champion (2013, 2014), will face Sue Delpriore in the women's final. In her only other title match trip, Delpriore earned runner-up status in 2012.

Upcoming events

• Shuttle Meadow Country Club in Kensington is hosting the Connecticut Mid-Amateur for the first time. The two-day event runs Monday and Tuesday.

Local golfers in the field include Brian Zito and Jeff Riley of Black Hall Club, Steve Chevalier of Lake of Isles, Michael Thompson and Justin Beal of Fox Hopyard, James Lawler and Tony Susi of Mohegan Sun Golf Club and Nick Heddeno of Connecticut National. Black Hall's Bill Hermanson, who tied for third last year, also will play. Ben Conroy of New Haven Country Club is the defending champion.

• Kevin Shea of Great Neck and Michael Painchaud and Philip Krick of Mohegan Sun will participate in the Connecticut Section PGA Championship on Tuesday at Keney Park Golf Course in Windsor.

• Old Lyme also runs its men's club championship final on Sept. 2. Mitchell Etess has appeared in three straight finals, winning the last two.

• Black Hall Club in Old Lyme will host the 74th Connecticut Senior Amateur Championship on Sept. 23-24.

• Please email golf results to g.keefe@theday.com

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