Steve Gettings, playing out of Orange Hills CC, relishes Challenge Cup opportunity
HAMDEN >> For almost two full decades, Steve Gettings has been a top-flight amateur golfer playing out of Orange Hills Country Club, where he has won multiple club championships.
Although he has played in his share of Connecticut State Golf Association events throughout that time, Gettings didn’t have his best season until last year. Among those results was a third-place finish in the State Public Links event.
“I want to win a tournament,” Gettings said. “I’ve played with a lot of the kids now. Now I know I can play with them at any given tournament.”
Maybe that victory will come this season for Gettings. Last year’s results got him into the 46th edition of the Julius Boros Challenge Cup matches played Thursday at New Haven CC. Gettings lost his singles match to James Giampaolo as the Connecticut Section pros defeated the CSGA Amateurs 37.5-22.5 for their sixth straight win in the series.
“I’ve hit balls every day into my net always dreaming about making a team like this,” said Gettings, 40. “This is the culmination of the entire last year. You have to earn your spot, it’s not who knows who. There’s also the prestige of being on the team.”
Now in his 18th year teaching mathematics at Carrigan Middle School in West Haven, Gettings was always more than happy to remain an amateur golfer rather than attempt to turn pro. But that didn’t mean the competitive juices don’t flow through him.
Like last year when Gettings qualified for match play at the State Amateur, then won a couple of matches to advance into the quarterfinals. But on his way up to that match, approximately two miles from Wethersfield CC, there was a major accident on Interstate-91. He couldn’t get off the highway to take back roads to the course.
So Gettings finally showed up about 25 minutes late for his match against eventual champion Zack Zaback. By rule, he had to be disqualified.
“I was very upset last year what happened at the Amateur,” Gettings said. “My caddy Rich (Hemming) kept saying, ‘There’s nothing we could’ve done differently.’ It was what it was. I’ve gotten over it.”
Gettings, who played at both Notre Dame-West Haven and Stonehill College, lost his best-ball match Thursday with David Giuletti to Giampaolo and Tony Kelley (Wyckoff CC).
In other matches, Shep Stevens, representing the host course, lost his match against Billy Downes. Stevens was the runner-up in the New Haven CC club championship to Brent Paladino, who works for CSGA but plays for the Connecticut Section PGA. So Stevens got the spot on the amateur team.
New Haven CC pro William Wallis and his partner, Billy Street, his former assistant now the head pro at Whitney Farms CC in Monroe, lost their best-ball match to Chet Hrostek and Brent Dietz.
46TH CHALLENGE CUP
CT Section pros defeat CSGA Amateurs 37.5-22.5
(at New Haven CC)
Match 1: Bill Hermanson (Black Hall Club) def. Fran Marrello (Canaan CC); Dave Szewczul (Tunxis Plantation CC) def. Dave Dell (Springfield CC), Hermanson-Szewczul def. Marrello-Dell
Match 2: Kevin Giancola (Golf Quest) def. Kevin Josephson (Indian Hill CC); Brian Ahern (Wampanoag CC) def. Frank Leja (Crestview CC); Giancola-Leja halved best ball match with Josephson-Ahern.
Match 3: Jordan Gosler (Manchester CC) def. Jason Jaworski (Shorehaven CC); Billy Downes (Great Horse) def. Shep Stevens (New Haven CC); Gosler-Downes def. Jaworski-Stevens.
Match 4: Mike Martin (Clubs to Go) def. Monte Mullen (TPC River Highlands); Kyle Nolin (Tallwood CC) def. Donny Kirkpatrick (Wampanoag CC) Mullen-Nolin def. Martin-Kirkpatrick.
Match 5: James Giampaolo (Hawks Landing CC) def. Steve Gettings (Orange Hills CC); Tony Kelley (Wyckoff CC) def. David Giulietti (GC of Avon); Giampaolo-Kelley def. Gettings-Giuletti.
Match 6: Bill Wallis (New Haven CC) def. Chet Hrostek (Oxford Greens GC); Brent Dietz (Cedar Knob GC) def. William Street (Whitney Farms CC); Hrostek-Dietz def. Wallis-Street.
Match 7: Chris Maxwell (CC of Farmington) def. Marc Bayram (Timberlin GC); Ian Marshall (Watertown GC) def. John Sawka (Ellington Ridge CC); Bayram-Marshall def. Maxwell-Sawka.