Beck and Albertus Magnus look like a match made in heaven

Buy Photo Sean D. Elliot/The Day Phil Perry chips on to the green during the final of the championship flight during the Norwich Invitational on Sunday at the Norwich Golf Course. Dan Hendrickson beat Perry for the title.

Albertus Magnus College needed an enthusiastic, energetic and qualified person to coach the school's first golf program.

Jackie Beck fits the job description, so it made perfect sense that Albertus hired her earlier this month.

She has an impressive golf background.

She's passionate about the sport and just about everything else she gets involved with.

She knows the business side from running her own golf marketing and public relations business.

And she loves to teach.

Now she's getting a chance to run a college golf program for the first time.

"It's exciting…," Beck said. "I've always wanted to do something like this. It's a great opportunity. Now my kids are getting bigger, I have more freedom and more time."

Beck lives in Old Saybrook with her husband, Ron, a golf professional at Fox Hopyard Golf Club. They have three daughters - Taylor, Molly and Mandy.

Golf always has been an important part of her life. She basically grew up on a golf course, working at Cog Hill Golf and Country Club, a top 100 rated course about 30 miles southwest of Chicago.

She earned a college scholarship, starring at Illinois State where she was inducted into the school's Athletic Hall of Fame.

After graduation, she stayed in the golf industry. She became a teaching professional at Innisbrook Resort in Tampa, Fla., and eventually moved into the business end of the sport. She spent 12 years as a marketing executive for Spalding Sports.

Beck returned to the teaching ranks last year, coaching for the First Tee of Connecticut at Alling Memorial Golf Course in New Haven. She's there two days a week.

"I love it," Beck said.

During a conversation with Larry Thornhill, the pro at Alling, Beck found out the about the job at Albertus in New Haven.

She'll be in charge of the school's first men's and women's golf programs, which will start out on the club level and eventually join the other Division III teams at the school.

"We're excited to have Jackie onboard as our golf coach for our new men's and women's programs," said Jim Abromaitis, the school's athletic director, in a released statement. "Her knowledge of the game combined with her enthusiasm for the sport and college athletics will be a positive fit for the program and our student-athletes."

Beck is ready to dive into the job. She has staff orientation next week.

Albertus Magnus started recruiting golfers last spring. About 15 players expressed an interest in joining the program including Zachary Schatz, who played at East Haven High School. Country Club of Woodbridge will be the college's home course.

Once the fall season begins, Beck plans to reach out to area high school golf coaches. She's looking forward to watching the program and players grow and develop.

"It's fun to just be able to build a program from the ground up because you can see success as you go along the way," Beck said.

Short putts

• Pequot Golf Club is starting its men's club championship competition on Sunday with the first round of its stroke play tournament.

George Thurrott is back to defend his title. The second and third round will be Aug. 2 and Aug. 3.

In other Pequot news, Trevor Hutchinson, a recent Grasso Tech graduate and The Day's Golfer of the Year, shot a 73 on Wednesday to win the club's junior championship. Jack Ognisty and Jack Tobin tied for second at 82.

In the nine hole championship, Nolan Arruda took first with a 48 and Colby Aiosa was second at 55.

Erick Cerrone recently won the club's President's Cup event. Terry Smith placed second.

The Pequot Ladies Club championship will be two rounds, running Aug. 5 and Aug. 12.

Pete Stefanski is the golfer to beat in the Elmridge Golf Course men's club championship.

He set the course record in late May, firing a 65. He's also the top seed and defending champion. Last year he won his fourth title, first since 1987. He's already captured the club's senior championship this summer.

In the semifinals on Saturday, Stefanski plays Anthony Kargul, a six-time champ. Ian MacKay and Dave Award meet in the other match.

Semifinal winners play Sunday in a 36-hole final, teeing off at 8 a.m.

In the First Flight semifinals, Ron Allen plays Gary Sicard while Ron Allen faces Warren Braun.

That's right, two golfers named Ron Allen are competing - one from Rhode Island and the other from Connecticut.

In a first round match, Bob Crothers beat his brother, Rich Crothers. So the bragging rights belong to Bob.

• Black Hall pro Andrew Campbell and playing partner Paul Tracey finished ninth at the National Car Rental PGA Pro-Officer, a Connecticut Section PGA event held at Shuttle Meadow Country Club in Kensington on Tuesday. They combined to shoot a 149 (80-69).

Dave Dell and Dave Brosseau of Springfield Country Club won with a 141 (72-69).

The Stonington Country Club duo of pro Michael Myszkowski and Bill Roderick tied for 25th at 155 (85-71).

Phil Perry of East Lyme is playing well on the tournament circuit this summer. Most recently, he earned runner-up status at the Norwich Invitational, losing the championship flight final to Dan Hendrickson on Sunday at Norwich Golf Course.

He appreciated the support from the club and its members.

"It's always fun," Perry said. "Everybody comes out. It's a good time. The club takes care of us. They treat us good."

In his first round championship flight match, Perry defeated Matt Fuller, his nephew. They regularly play together at Black Hall Club in Old Lyme where they're members.

"That was tough, because I've been working with him for three or four years," Perry said. "He's getting really good. He's improving a lot. He's getting much better."

Perry wasn't about to take it easy on Fuller.

"My wife asked me, are you going to let him win?'

No, he answered.

"You always learn more when you lose," Perry said.

Lorraine Tiberii is the latest golfer to record an ace at Stonington Country Club this summer. She accomplished the feat playing the 130-yard, second hole, on Saturday, using a Callaway #11 wood. Donna Brown, Bonnie Battiston and Leigh Kroll were witnesses.

Upcoming events

• Elmridge is holding its member-guest tournament on the weekend of Aug. 16-17. The two-day, 36-hole, Four Balls stroke play event costs $180 per team. Golfers will play two different courses - White/Blue and Red/White. There will be a 1 p.m. shotgun start each day.

• The Connecticut Open Championship tees off Monday and runs through Wednesday at Rolling Hills Country Club in Wilton.

• Fox Hopyard Golf Club in East Haddam is hosting the CSGA's 33rd Senior Four Ball Championship on Aug. 25. Registration deadline is Aug. 6.

Gavin Keefe covers local golf for The Day

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