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Connecticut courses participating in nationwide outing for Wounded Warriors Project

The Wounded Warriors Project is one of the nation’s more popular charities and its affiliation with Billy Casper Golf has only heightened its visibility.

The fourth annual “World’s Largest Golf Outing” will be held on Monday at 120 Billy Casper Golf properties across 26 states, including Hawaii. That includes its four Connecticut properties: Lyman Orchards Golf Club (both the Jones and Player courses), CC of Woodbridge, Oxford Greens GC and East Hartford GC.

“This was a no-brainer,” said Ryan Phelps, the regional director of operations for BCG. “The first year, we were a little late to get started. We had wounded warriors show up to the event and it quickly became apparent that this would be bigger than any of us ever thought. The third year, we started to get more national attention and we’ve raised close to $1 million for a well-known charity.”

Wounded Warriors are again playing at the various BCG facilities across the country for free. The golfers’ entry fee is minimal fee ($60 at Lyman Orchards GC, for example), with $10 of it going toward the Wounded Warriors Project.

The golfers are also encouraged to raise money and get sponsors for their own foursome. The team that raises the most money nationally wins a trip for four to play Pinehurst No. 2 in Pinehurst, North Carolina, site of this year’s U.S. Open.

Lyman Orchards GC raised the most money last year of all participating courses with $51,449. Jason Beffert, general manager of Lyman Orchards GC, said he expects to have a full field of approximately 300 golfers combined on both courses Monday.

“The first year, there were 100 players at Lyman Orchards. Each year, it has grown more and more,” Beffert said. “I know so many people personally who have sacrificed their time, energy and livelihood to serve in the military, so this is a little thing I can do to help show my support. ... This is important to us personally and as a company to use our platform to help raise money for such a great cause.”

People can donate to WWP whether they play or not. At Oxford Greens GC, that $10 donation will allow golfers to be in a raffle that involves a helicopter — yes, a helicopter.

According to Steve Landi, the general manager at Oxford Greens GC, a hole will be cut in the middle of its range tee and all the balls will be dropped simultaneously from an undetermined height. The closest to the pin wins a one-year membership at the course.

Even people not playing can log onto www.mygolfballdrop.com/e/Oxford_Greens to make a donation and participate in the ball drop. The winning team at each course will enter a drawing to win tickets to the 2015 PGA Championship.

CT Women’s Amateur

Kelly Whaley is scheduled to defend her title at the 49th Connecticut State Women’s Amateur Championship Aug. 18-20 at The Farms CC in Wallingford.

At age 16 last year, Whaley won by 16 shots, matching the tournament record set by Natalie Sheary in 2007. Among the other players scheduled to play are Jen Holland of Branford, Brooke Stepanek of Guilford, Andra Frappier of Cheshire and both Mackenzie Hawkes and Gabrielle Martin of Madison.

After 18 holes the first two days, the low 30 players and ties, plus up to three players from each age group (junior, senior, super-senior) if they had not previously qualified, advance to the final round on Aug. 20.

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