BEDMINSTER, N.J. (Sept. 12, 2013) -- A lightning warning at 6 p.m. halted play in the championship match between co-medalists Trevor Randolph of Arcola and former champion Mike Deo of Black Oak in the 30th NJSGA Mid-Amateur Championship at the Trump National Golf Course’s Old Course in Bedminster.
With play suspended until a 7:30 a.m. restart, Randolph held a 3-up lead with both players on the green at the par-4 11th hole. Randolph was facing a 20-foot birdie putt and Deo a 12-foot putt for bogey.
Both players were under par for the championship match. “I’m four or five under par,” said Randolph, the runner-up in the recent Met Amateur. “I’m just trying to stay focused. I’ve been in a lot of tournament finals and couldn’t hold it together.
“In the Bergen Amateur this weekend, I shot a 68 on Saturday morning and a 78 in the afternoon and my caddie, Mike LoCastro, a good friend, asked me what kind of golfer I wanted to be.
“Tomorrow, I just want to stay focused and committed,” said Randolph, who lives in Wyckoff.
Randolph won both the par-4 second and par-4 third holes with birdies. After Deo, the 2007 champion, cut it to 1-up with a birdie on the par-3 fourth hole, Randolph regained a 2-up margin with a birdie victory on the par-4 fifth hole.
He extended the lead to 3-up with a par victory on the par-3 seventh. It became a 4-up lead after a birdie victory on the par-5 eighth hole, as he drained a 20-foot putt.
Deo won the ninth hole with a birdie against Randolph’s bogey to cut it to 3-up. The players halved the par-4 10th hole.
“Trevor’s been playing great and I haven’t been playing bad golf. There’s just a couple of putts missed. I’m under par, so he must be way under par. I got a bad break on the 11thhole when my approach rolled off the green.”
MID-AMATEUR SEMIFINAL WRAP-UPS
Co-medalists Mike Deo of Black Oak and Trevor Randolph of Arcola advanced through difficult semifinal matches to the championship match of the 30th NJSGA Mid-Amateur late Thursday afternoon at the Trump National Golf Club’s Old Course in Bedminster.
Deo defeated Mike Hyland of Black Oak, 19 holes, while Randolph edged Jerry Lee of Trump National-Bedminster, 2 and 1.
Deo and Randolph, who each shot two-under-par 70 in Monday’s qualifier, began play in the final match at 3:35 p.m. on Thursday. The semifinal matches included two lengthy rain delays, the first for two hours at the start of the day and another of 1:30 midway through the semifinal matches.
PHOTO GALLERY COMPLETE SCORING
For Deo, the 2007 Mid-Amateur and 2008 State Amateur champion, the second rain delay came at an opportune time. Hyland, who had been staying at Deo’s house in nearby Berkeley Heights, had taken a 1 up lead with a birdie win on the par-4 11th hole.
After the delay, Hyland, who was battling a sore back, couldn’t get lose. Some stray tee shots cost him two holes and Deo grabbed a 1-up lead until Hyland rallied with a birdie victory on the par-3 14th hole to square the match.
The match stayed unchanged all the way until the 19th hole, the par-5 first hole. Hyland had an excellent opportunity to win on the par-5 18th hole, reaching in two while Deo found a fronting bunker. But Hyland settled for three putts from 60 feet, while Deo managed an up-and-down for par.
On the 19th hole, Hyland’s second shot was wayward to the right and down a hill, 60 yards from the green. His pitch out of fescue got him back on the green, 25 feet from the pin.
Deo, meanwhile, hit his second shot to within 50 yards of the hole and his pitch with a 50-degree gap wedge ended four feet from the pin. After Hyland missed his birdie try, Deo sank his for the victory.
“I played a bump-and-run on that hole and it skipped up close just like I hoped it would,” said Deo. “It was tough playing against a close friend. We knew it would be a tough ending for somebody either way.
“We both had hot streaks and bad streaks. The rain delay did me a favor. I had just come off a few bad holes and Mike had the momentum. You meet a lot of friends in golf and at some point you’re going to play one of them.”
“I came out flat after the rain delay,” admitted Hyland, the 1998 Amateur champion. “I just felt a lot of times I wasn't rewarded on some good shots. I thought I hit a great shot on 18, to 60 feet, but my putt kept going past the pin.
“If I had to lose to someone, I’m glad it was Mike. I hope to see him win this.”
Randolph, the recent Met Amateur runner-up to Pat Wilson of Panther Valley, faced an early two-hole deficit to Lee, the Trump National club champion, after three holes.
But he steadied himself late in the match. He parred the par-4 11th for a victory to go 1 up, but gave it back when Lee won the par-4 13th with a par. Randolph put a 4-iron to six feet for a birdie on the par-3 14th to go 1-up. On the par-3 16th, he added another victory with a par, two-putting from 30 feet. He closed the match with a par on the par-4 17th hole.
“Out here, it’s about the putting and where you place your shots,” Randolph said. “One of my goals was to win this tournament. I just want to take it one shot at a time and see what happens. Mike (Deo) is a good player.”
Lee, a Chatham resident, enjoyed taking part in his first NJSGA tournament.
“It was a great experience. Trevor putted great. He made a bunch of long putts when he had to. I was just playing my game when I grabbed that early lead. After the break, I came apart," Lee said.
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