It was a day marked by strong performances from Shore Conference golfers in difficult conditions at various NJSIAA sectional tournaments, setting the stage for next Monday’s Tournament of Champions at Hopewell Valley.
At Mountain View Golf Course in Ewing, Christian Brothers Academy captured the Central/South Non-Public A team title with a four-man total of 312, ten shots clear of St. Joseph’s Metuchen, as the Colts’ Patrick Hussey took individual honors, besting Notre Dame’s Mike Winter on the second playoff hole after each shot 75.
Also at Mountain View, St. Rose won the Central/South Non-Public B title, while the Purple Roses’ Tommy Burns finished tied for second at 82.
Rumson-Fair Haven’s John Edler continued his spectacular senior season with a victory at the Central/South Group II tournament at Wildwood Country Club in Cape May Courthouse, firing a 76 to lead the Bulldogs to the team title. Edler won the Monmouth County Tournament earlier this spring, and lost in a playoff at the Shore Conference Tournament.
Howell’s Dawson Jones successfully defended his individual title in the Central/South Group IV tournament at Linwood Country Club, firing a 72 for a three-shot victory. Also at Linwood, Southern sophomore Jackson Fiel, the Ocean County Tournament winner, advanced to next week’s festivities by finishing tied for second at 75.
Against a loaded field at the Central/South Group III event at Running Deer Golf Club in Pittsgrove, Wall finished ahead of state powers like Moorestown, Burlington Township and Hopewell Valley to grab the second and final Tournament of Champions qualifying spot behind sectional champion Mainland.
Wall senior Connor Birch finished tied for second individually at 78.
CBA will be among the favorites to win the overall team title at the Tournament of Champions, which they last captured two years ago.
“Honestly, I think this year’s field is as deep as ever,” said Colts coach Tim Sewnig of the Tournament of Champions. “Hunterdon Central and Watchung Hills have been lighting it up. (Monday) was all about survive and advance. The winds picked up, the greens weren’t very receptive and the conditions were difficult.”
Hussey, a senior, survived a slow start before carding three birdies in a four-hole stretch to surge to the top of the leaderboard.
“I’m very excited,” said Hussey of his first Tournament of Champions appearance. “Especially coming after this. I had a rough time at counties, didn’t play too well, was better at Shore Conference and played great today so hopefully carry it over.”
For Jones, a sophomore at Howell, who lost a playoff at the Wall Invitational, finished second at the Monmouth County Tournament and third at the Shore Conference Tournament, the first victory of the season was a long time coming.
“To finally get a win is a great feeling,” he said. “I’m really looking forward to next week. I got off to a bad start there last year. I’m just going to try to do my best.”
The eye-opening performance of the day, however, was turned in my Metuchen’s Peter Kim, who posted a sizzling 7-under-par 64 at Town & Country Golf Club to win the Central/South Group I event. Kim’s round included seven birdies and an eagle.
NJSIAA Girls Team Sectional
Three Shore Conference teams were among the four qualifiers at the NJSIAA girls’ team sectional at Bey Lea in Toms River on Monday.
Montgomery emerged as the winner with a four-player total of 335, with Red Bank Catholic, the Monmouth County and Shore Conference champions, finishing just two shots back. Also qualifying for the Tournament of Champions, to be contested next Thursday at Cherry Valley in Skillman, were Rumson-Fair Haven and Holmdel.
Red Bank Catholic was led by senior Taylor Totland, with the reigning individual state champion firing a 72, one shot better than Montgomery’s Alice Chen.