Skyland Conference golf teams had their share of championships last spring, and with an outstanding group of individuals back there could be a repeat.
Hunterdon Central senior Dylan Stein, who signed a national letter of intent to attend Towson University, carded a record-setting round at Royce Brook Country Club in Hillsborough Township to lead the Red Devils to last year’s Skyland Conference title.
His 6-under-par 66 with five straight birdies at the 6,946-yard course in Hillsborough, broke Alex Edford’s five-year-old tournament record by one stroke. Edford, who played at Franklin, shot a 67 at Neshanic Valley. Edfort went on to play at the University of the Pacific.
He’s also excelled on the tournament circuit. He’s posted five top-five finishes in 2014 with three wins. He shot 150 (75-75) to win the IMG Junior Golf Tour event at Heron Glen Golf Club in April. He then carded a 148 (76-72) to win the IJGT Jersey Shootout at Greate Bay Country Club in May. In July, he bested a field of 63 to capture the NJPGA Junior Masters with a 146 (73-73).
Montgomery had a fine season as it was led by standouts like senior Kyle Macklin. The Cougars won a Somerset County Tournament title. Macklin was 22nd at the Tournament of Champions, tied for fourth in state Group IV, tied for fifth in Central-South Group IV and finished eighth in Somerset County. He was the sixth highest area finisher at the T of C. He was seventh at the Cherry Valley Invitational.
The Pingry School won Non Public B and Skyland Conference Valley Division titles. Justin Chae and Jake Mayer return. Chae finished 11th at the Tournament of Champions and won the Skyland Valley with a 70 — which would have placed him second Stein in the Delaware Division and would have given him the Raritan Division by 10 strokes. Mayer was runner-up to Watchung Hills’ graduated standout Mike Graboyes. Chae was third.
Chae, Matt Dannenbaum and Mayer went 1-2-3 at the division meet, beating runner-up Gill St. bernards by 50 strokes.
In Union County, Governor Livingston junior Ryan Davis will be the one to beat. He was third in the Tournament of Champions behind runnerup Tom LaMorte of Demarest and Graboyes. Davis won the state Group II title by winning a three-way playoff with Delaware Valley’s graduated Dan O’Rourke and Summit’s Andrew Bowers. He also captured his second Union County Tournament title with an even-par 72 at Echo Lake Golf Course.
Scotch Plains-Fanwood sophomore John Pak is back after leading the Raiders to the North Group III title.
The Ridge girls won their fourth straight Tournament of Champions and Somerset County Tournament titles. The Red Devils are in position for another outstanding season as seniors Monica Schumacher and Christine Yang return. Wang was sixth at the TOC and Schumacher ninth.
Voorhees junior Megan McLean was fifth at the Tournament of Champions for the second straight year and was runnerup in the Skyland Conference to graduated Montgomery star and Tournament of Champions’ king Alice Chen. Hunterdon Central sophomore Katie Lee was eighth at the TOC and fourth to lead the Red Devils to a Hunterdon/Warren/Sussex title.
Montgomery senior Allison Herring finished in the top 15 at the Tournmaent of Champions, shooting a 77 to help the Cougars place second. She was fourth in the Section II meet and runnerup to teammate Alice Chen at the Somerset County Tournament. She was also fourth in the Skyland Conference Tournament.