FARMINGDALE, N.J. (August 5, 2013) — A pair of friends from childhood, Steve Zychowski and T.J. Malman of Mendham, teamed up for the first time and had a round to remember, shooting 6-under-par 65 to earn medalist honors in the 81st NJSGA Four-Ball Championship on Monday, August 4, at Eagle Oaks Country Club in Farmingdale.
Zychowski and Malman carded seven birdies against one bogey and were one shot better than three other teams – Domenic Gatto and Riley Power of Eagle Oaks, Charles Cai and Michael DiMeglio of Mercer Oaks, and Alexander Hicks and John Murphy of Wldwood.
The top 16 teams advanced to Tuesday’s match-play which includes a Round of 16 in the morning and quarterfinals in the afternoon.
On Wednesday, the semifinals and final rounds will take place. The 2012 champions, Mike LoCastro and Harris Podvey of Black Oak, failed to qualify with 73.
“We play together every day, but we’ve never been partners. We’ve known each other since kindergarten,” said Zychowski, 21, a recent graduate of Holy Cross where he played on the golf team.
“We made the putts we should have made. I think we missed only one make-able pout all day,” said Malman, also 21, a recent graduate of Vanderbilt. Both young men majored in economics.
The only bogey came on the par-4 13th hole, when Zychowski missed the green from the middle of the fairway.
“After that hole, neither of us missed the fairway the rest of the way,” said Zychowski, who made the cut this summer at both the State Open and State Amateur.
Malman had a memorable birdie on the par-4, 437-yard seventh hole, when his wedge from 135 landed four feet from the hole. And Zychowski made a similar wedge shot for birdie on the 429-yard par-4 15th hole.
“We both hit our drivers well today,” Malman said.
Gatto and Powers are competing in the championship for a third time. They were runners-up in 2010 to Mike Deo and Brian Komline, then of High Bridge Hills.
Gatto, 39, is one of the owners at Eagle Oaks and a six-time club champion, while Powers, 28, is a graduate of Wall High School and Wesley College in Delaware and works in the environmental groundwater business. The two carded seven birdies and two bogeys on the day.
DiMeglio won the event in 2011 when he partnered with Anthony Aloi, both representing Mercer Oaks. Aloi is testing himself in the professional ranks, playing in the E-Golf Tour.
DiMeglio, 24, is a program director for the First Tee of Trenton. Cai, 18, is a sophomore-to-be at Dartmouth. Last summer, he reached the Round of 16 at the U.S. Junior Amateur.
Two years ago, he shot a record 65 to win the Mercer County High School championship at Mercer Oaks. They also carded seven birdies and two bogeys.
Hicks and Murphy combined for six birdies against one bogey.
View results for New Jersey Four-Ball Golf Championship