Team Connecticut Wins 89th Tri-State Matches; Massachusetts Runner-Up - MASSGOLF

Team Connecticut Surges Ahead In Final Round To Earn First Tri-State Matches Victory Since 2018

For Immediate Release: October 11, 2023

WEST HARTFORD, Connecticut – The final round of the 89th Tri-State Matches on Wednesday at Wampanoag Country Club was all going to come down to teamwork. With one round of four-ball matches set to determine this year’s winner, Team Connecticut collected 86 points to edge out teams from Massachusetts and Rhode Island and earn their first victory in the event since 2018 and first on home soil since 2002 at Black Hall Country Club.

Trailing by one heading into Wednesday, Connecticut tallied 36 points in the final round to win the title and go 4-0 in Tri-State Matches held at Wampanoag (1962, 1965, 1977, 2023). Massachusetts finished second with 67.5, and Rhode Island 38.5.

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Team Connecticut won the 89th Tri-State Matches on its home soil. (David Colt)

Just like in 2018, Team Connecticut collected 48 points in the opening two rounds of play on Day 1, including 19.5 points in singles matches in the Nassau-style scoring format. Rick DowlingAnthony GuerreraPeter Tomlinson, and Benjamin Day defeated their opponents from Rhode Island and Massachusetts.

On Wednesday, Connecticut won six of the eight four-ball matchups head-to-head with Massachusetts to run away with the title. Cody Paladino, one of the most accomplished amateurs in Connecticut history, joined with Rick Hayes to win their match 6&4. Despite losing the first two holes, Paladino and Hayes won five of the next six to go 3-up at the turn. Dowling and Benjamin Conroy also had a convincing victory, losing just one hole the entire match.

For the Bay State, Joe Harney (Charles River Country Club) and Herbie Aikens (Old Sandwich Golf Club) won both their matches with Connecticut and Rhode Island, earning a team-best 5 points in the final round. Harney made an eagle on the par-5 12th, and Aikens made a birdie on the par-4 15th to help them pull away late.

Joe Harney hits a drive while his playing partner Herbie Aikens watches on during the final day of the 89th Tri-State Matches at Wampanoag Country Club. (David Colt)

Senior standouts Keith Smith (Franklin Country Club) and John McNeill pulled off a spectacular rally to win their match 1-up. Trailing by 3 at the turn, McNeill went birdie-par on holes 4-5, respectively, to get the deficit to 1-up. McNeill then made par on the final hole (7th) to win the match.

Mike Calef (Pine Oaks Golf Club) & Ricky Stimets (Worcester Country Club) and John Hadges (Thorny Lea Golf Club) & Jim Patterson (Orchards Golf Club) also earned victories in their head-to-head matchups with Rhode Island.

Mass Golf will host the 90th Tri-State Matches in 2024. The location has yet to be determined.

The round three scores and final team tallies for the 89th Tri-State Matches. (Mass Golf)

Event History

This year marks the 89th edition of the Tri-State Matches. Dating back to 1907, the event was first played at Agawam Hunt Club (Providence, RI) and was won by the team from Massachusetts. Since 1928, Team Connecticut (40 wins) and Team Massachusetts (37 wins) have dominated in this three-team event. Rhode Island (11 wins) last came away victorious in 2001 at Newport CC.

The last two decades have been all Massachusetts. Since 2004, Team Massachusetts has won 17 times and has lost just once. The longest winning streak in this event was Massachusetts’ 14-year run from 2004-2017.

Last Five Results:

2023 – Connecticut (Wampanoag Country Club, CT)
2022 – Massachusetts (The Aquidneck Club, RI)
2021 – Massachusetts (Cape Cod National, MA)
2019 – Massachusetts (Kirkbrae Country Club, RI)
2018 – Connecticut (Oyster Harbors, MA)

*2020 – Canceled due to weather