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The Farrell Debuts Friday

ELMSFORD, N.Y. (September 27, 2022) – The Stanwich Club and the MGA last December announced plans for The Farrell, a high-level invitational to take place in 2022. That time has arrived, as players get set to compete September 30 – October 2 at the Greenwich, Conn., Club for titles in three divisions.

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“Billy was a close friend and an excellent player in his own right,” says Stanwich Director of Golf Mike Summa of the championship’s namesake Billy Farrell. “So, to have this tournament with excellent players named after him was a no-brainer."

Play tees off Friday as players in the three divisions—men’s mid-amateur, women’s mid-amateur and men’s senior divisions—aim to finish as one of the 16 players advancing to match play following 18 holes of on-site stroke play qualifying.

For the first playing, the field contains many of the Met Area’s top players, competitors from around the country and several international competitors.

This year’s Met Amateur champion Brad Tilley of Sleepy Hollow stands among top competitors in the men’s mid-amateur division. Tilley last week advanced to match play at Pine Valley’s Crump Cup and is currently second in the MGA’s Player of the Year standings thanks also to victories in the Mittelmark Invitational and Westchester Open. Garrett Engel (2020) Matt Mattare (2017) and Pat Wilson (2013) stand as additional Met Amateur champions in the field. Wilson, who is in his first season back as an amateur competitor, will have fond memories at Stanwich, having won his Met Amateur title at the Club.

Reigning MGA Mid-Amateur champion Chris DeJohn of Arcola will be joined by several other players who have captured their regional mid-amateur titles, including Will Davenport of Whitemarsh Valley (Pa., Golf Association of Philadelphia), Stewart Whitt of Canbrake (Ala., Alabama Golf Association). The Met Area’s own Rick Dowling of Golf Performance Center, who has claimed back-to-back Connecticut State Golf Association Mid-Amateur titles; past MGA Mid-Amateur champion Darin Goldstein of Deepdale; and Trevor Randolph of Arcola, a two-time MGA Mid-Amateur winner and four-time New Jersey State Golf Association Mid-Amateur champion are also in the field.

The women's mid-amateur division includes several players who have made their mark on a national level, including 2019 U.S. Women's Mid-Amateur champion Ina Kim-Schaad of Deepdale. Aliea Clark of Five Iron Golf also joins the field fresh of her second consecutive runner-up finish in the U.S. Women's Mid-Amateur in which she edged Kim-Schaad in the Round of 16 at Fiddlesticks Country Club. Back-to-back U.S. Women's Mid-Amateur medalist Jennifer Peng of Fairbanks Ranch (Calif.), who made a run to the semifinals this year, and fellow match play competitors Chaithra Katamneni of Midland Country Club (Mich.) and NJSGA eClub member Daria Delfino are all in the field as well.

The men’s senior division includes past MGA Senior Amateur champion and frequent USGA competitor Ned Zachar of GlenArbor. Zachar earlier this season competed in the U.S. Senior Open. Jay Blumenfeld of Mountain Ridge stands as another past MGA Senior Amateur winner in the field, while Ed Gibstein of Glen Head, Patrick Pierson of New York Country Club, Jay Sessa of Cherry Valley, and Tom Yellin of Stanwich add to the lengthy list of local standouts in the field.

“Stanwich can play to 7,500 yards, it’s tree-lined, it’s bunkered, greens are elevated, they’re undulated and they’re fast,” says Jeff Holzschuh of The Farrell Committee.

Stanwich hosted the U.S. Mid-Amateur in 2002 and is especially known for its fast, true greens. In the years since, the Club has welcomed the Palmer Cup and Wyndham Cup. It stands among 19 Met Area clubs that have hosted all three MGA majors—the Ike, Amateur and Open—hosting the Met Open in 1972 and 1996, the Ike in 1989 and the Met Amateur in 2004 and 2013.

Two rounds of matches will take place both Saturday and Sunday to determine the three champions.

This may be the first year of the championship, but anticipation is high, not only for crowning inaugural champions, but also for the long-term history of the event. “We didn’t want just a regular invitational event,” says Kurtis Babczenko of The Farrell Committee. “We wanted something that had the highest caliber of golf possible, which is why we partnered with the MGA to make this one of the best amateur events in the country and that’s really where we’re going with this.”

Farrell was the first-ever Head Golf Professional at the club, a role he held from 1964 until his retirement in 2000. He passed away in May 2020 at the age of 85.

The Farrell family has long been synonymous with golf in the Met Area. Billy was one of five children and grew up in in New Jersey; his father Johnny, the 1928 U.S. Open champion, was the Head Professional at Baltusrol Golf Club. While competing on tour, where he played in eight U.S. Opens and seven PGA Championships, Billy also worked as an assistant at Baltusrol. Billy and his wife Alvera had seven children; for 20 years, his son Bobby served as the Director of Golf at Tamarack Country Club in Greenwich, Conn. The Farrells were named Golf Family of the Year in 1966 by the Metropolitan Golf Writers Association.

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