Sisk joins her mother on the list of Shennecossett club championship winners

A wave of emotion hit Dawn Sisk when she spotted her parents near the end of the Shennecossett Golf Course women's club championship final on Sunday.

She was about to join her mother, Ruby, on the list of champions at the Groton course.

"It meant a lot," Dawn said. "When I first saw them. I said to (my husband) Tim that I can start crying now. It was cool."

Fifty-four years after her mother won the club championship, Sisk beat defending champion Kim Capizzano to earn her first Shennecossett title. They are believed to be the first mother-daughter duo to win crowns there.

The fact that her parents were there to witness her victory made it even more special.

"It was wonderful," said Tim, who served as caddie. "She finally did it. She could be one of the oldest women's champions, too. She will be 67. She's very proud of the fact that she held in there with the younger girls."

Tim and Dawn Sisk, who live in Pawcatuck, have done quite well on the local club championship circuit. Tim still holds the record for most men's club titles at Elmridge with eight while Dawn won two there before they both moved to Shennecossett.

It took a while for Dawn to break through at Shennecossett.

"I had said to somebody that my window of opportunity was closing quickly," Dawn said. "Luckily, my game came together when it needed to. ... I kept trying and I finally prevailed."

Capizzano certainly made Sisk earn her win.

Neither golfer led by more than one in 18 holes of match play. Sisk won No. 17 to take the lead and sealed the victory by winning the final hole for a 2-up victory.

"We had a great match," Dawn said. "We just traded holes back and forth most of the day. It was fun because she is part of my normal Saturday group. We had a good time."

Ruby also had a good time.

"She loved it," Dawn said. "She even called me again (Monday) night to tell me how proud she was. She was thrilled."

When Ruby won her title in 1963, Shennecossett had a far different layout.

"The year she won I think she had been playing golf only about three years," Dawn said. "She won all the majors that same year, so that was pretty impressive."

Dawn didn't have much interest in golf until she married Tim. Now she's thinking about defending her title next summer.

"My game finally came around this season," Dawn said. "I might have another year or two in me."

• There also was a first-time winner in the men's club championship.

Mitch Marron of Groton made quite a splash in his debut, beating Gus Campos, 6 and 4, in the title match. He drained a 40-foot putt to clinch the win on the 14th hole.

"It was a nice way to end it," Marron said. "I was overcome with emotion because I had never won a golf tournament on my own. It was really quite amazing to me that that happened. I'm just tickled to death and I'm thrilled."

Marron, a member for only a year, lives right down the street from the course. He hasn't had much time to play in recent years until this summer.

He entered the club championship with a simple goal.

"All I wanted to do is qualify for match play," said Marron, who had the second best score in qualifying action with rounds of 74 and 76.

He barely won his first match, needing 20 holes to advance. His semifinal match with Corey Jones stood at even at the turn before he pulled away to win 3 and 2.

A hot start propelled Marron into the lead in the 36-hole final, as he birdied the first, fifth and seventh holes to go 3-up. After Campos, a former champion, cut the deficit to one, Marron responded by winning the last three holes to carry a 4-hole edge into the afternoon round.

He continued to putt well and remained in charge until the end.

His caddie, Roger Bidwell, provided valuable support.

"I have to give Roger a lot of credit because he was tremendous in terms of keeping me calm, keeping me hydrated and reading putts," Marron said.

In other title matches, Don Lietkowski defeated Walter Peters, 2 and 1, in the first flight final. Carl Neville beat Dan Stowe, 4 and 3, in the second flight while Rich Strickley nipped Bruce Kelly, 1-up, in the third flight.

Short putts

• Busy week for Norwich Golf Course.

Last weekend, Norwich crowned its club champions. Steve Gambeski fought off some stiff competition in the championship flight to capture his 10th title overall, beating runnerup Chris DeLucia by three strokes in the four round stroke play tournament. Gambeski, who won his first championship 31 years ago, finished at 3-over 287 (69-76-68-74). DeLucia had rounds of 72, 74, 72 and 72 for 290. Todd Lavoie was third at 295 (73-73-72-77).

In the women's final, Frances Meadows posted a two-round net total of 139 as she cruised to an eight-shot victory over Lorie Jakubowski.

Tim Wynosky won the first flight while John DeLucia was the second flight champ and Roy Wentworth captured the third flight.

Starting Wednesday, Norwich is hosting the 32nd Connecticut Public Links. It is a two-day, 36-hole stroke play tournament. Golfers playing on their home course include: Norwich Invitational champion Josh Cameron, seven-time club champion Chris DeLucia, Todd Lavoie, Jeff DeLucia, Rick Vegliante and Jon Caron. Jones tied for fourth in last year's event at Lyman Orchards Golf Club in Middlefield.

Pequot club champion James Lathrop, Dave Jones and Tony Susi of Mohegan Sun Country Club, Greg Kosma of River Ridge Golf Course and Justin Beal of Fox Hopyard Golf Club also are expected to be in the field.

• The Mohegan Sun Golf Club foursome of Phil Krick, Clifford Vanase, Tony Susi and Dave Jones fired a 9-under 135 to tie for 11th place at the National Car Rental PGA Pro-Am on Aug. 8 at Indian Hill Country Club in Newington.

• Aces are wild: Claudia Kelly aced the 12th hole at Stonington Country Club while playing for her Black Hall Club team in a Thames Valley League match on July 27.

Upcoming events

• Stonington Country Club senior club championship starts Thursday and runs through Sunday.

• Several locals will be in the field for the 36th Senior Four Ball Championship at Country Club of Darien on Aug. 28. Susi, Jim O'Neill of Great Neck, Bill Hermanson of Black Hall, John Thomas of Lake of Isles and Shennecossett golfers Ken Wetmore, Tim Sisk, Richard Wilczewski and Bill Ernst have signed up to compete.

• The Connecticut PGA Championship is set for Aug. 29-30 at Keney Park Golf Course in Hartford. Former Black Hall Club assistant pro Adam Rainaud, the defending champion, has won the event two out of the last three years. Also in the field: Great Neck pro Kevin Shea, Shennecossett assistant Casey Roan and Phil Krick of Mohegan Sun Golf Club.

• Shennecossett will be the site of the Jack Kelly PGA Tournament of Champions on Sept. 3.

• Great Neck Country Club is holding its club championship day on Monday, Sept. 4. Eric Bergstrom has won the men's title four of the last five years while Lynn Kiah has captured two straight women's championships.

• Black Hall Club in Old Lyme is hosting the 30th Connecticut Mid-Amateur Championship on Sept. 25-26.

• Please email any golf tournament results, aces, or interesting golf-related news to

g.keefe@theday.com

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