BEDMINSTER, N.J. (Sept. 11, 2013) — Co-medalist Trevor Randolph of Arcola, club champion Jerry Lee of Trump National-Bedminster, and former State Amateur champions Mike Deo of Black Oak, the other co-medliast, and Mike Hyland of Little Mill advanced to the semifinals of the 30th NJSGA Mid-Amateur Championship on Wednesday, Sept. 11, at Trump National-Bedminster.
In Thursday’s semifinal match-ups, Deo faces Hyland at 7 a.m. and Randolph will play Lee at 7:10. The 18-hole championship final will follow in the afternoon.
In Wednesday’s quarterfinals, Randolph defeated Gregg Angelillo of Baltusrol, 6 and 4; Lee edged Matt Finger of Darlington, 1 up; Deo ousted Chris Housen of Manasquan River, 3 and 2, and Hyland bested Merv Smith of Neshanic Valley, 1 up.
Randolph, the runner-up at the Met Amateur to Pat Wilson of Panther Valley and the recent club champion at Maryland’s Congressional for a fourth straight year, appears to be the hottest golfer in the championship. In the 48 holes he has played, he has recorded 16 birdies and an eagle.
“I’m playing real steady golf,” said Randolph, who lives in Wyckoff with his wife and three young sons. “I’m hitting it where I’m looking. I made some real good par saves, and that kept the momentum going. I also made a couple of long birdie putts.”
A 40-foot birdie putt gave him a 2-up lead over Angelillo, the Baltusrol club champion, on the par-3 seventh hole . A 25-footer for birdie gave him a 4-up lead after 10 holes.
“The Mid-Amateur championship is something I’ve been gearing up for all summer long,” said Randolph, 40. “It was one of my three goals: To make the U.S. Mid Am, which I failed to do; to play well in the Met Amateur, and then to win the State Mid-Am.”
Lee received an exemption into the championship as Trump National club champion. He said course knowledge is a key to his success this week.
“It is an advantage. I know I can play within myself,” said Lee, who lives in Chatham, and played golf at Princeton University.
“The key for me is to keep it in the fairway, get it on the green and two putt,” said Lee, who shot 2-under-par 70 in his afternoon round. “The key tomorrow will be the speed of the greens in the morning.
“It was exhausting today,” said Lee about the 90-degree temperatures. “My back started bothering me and I also have a partially torn rotator cuff that has forced me to adjust my swing.
“Winning this would be a huge accomplishment,” said Lee, a native of Timonium, Md., who works in the bond market in New York. “The NJSGA is doing a fantastic job of running this tournament. I’m also proud to represent my club.”
Deo, 36, is playing in only his third Mid-Amateur and found success in his previous two appearances. He won in 2007 in his first try and was runner-up to Mike Stamberger, then of Plainfield, in 2008.
“I want to make sure I’m not missing the putts I’m supposed to make, the three and four-footers,” said Deo, who won the State Amateur in 2009. “I want to be a little more confident with my putter tomorrow.
“It was not easy to walk 36 holes today with no shade out here,” said Deo. “It was quite a day. Tomorrow I want to stay consistent, keep it in the fairway and make putts.”
The Hyland-Smith match was a battle of attrition as both players battled the afternoon sun.
“If the match went to 19 holes, I was dead,” said Hyland, 34, the State Amateur in 1998 when he was 18 years old and a student at UNC-Charlotte.
Hyland secured victory when Smith’s four-footer on the 18thhole for a par victory lipped out.
“This has been by far my worst summer of playing, but making the U.S. Mid-Amateur (Oct. 5-10, Country Club of Birmingham, Ala.) made it all worth it. Playing well here is the perfect preparation for the U.S. Mid-Am.”
Hyland, 34, who lives in Medford with his wife and son and daughter, recently moved back to New Jersey from Las Vegas.
“The key here is getting the speed of the greens. That’s where I was having major trouble. What I am doing, and what is surprising to me, is that I’m keeping it on the fairway,” he stated.
View results for New Jersey Mid-Amateur Golf Championship