BLOOMFIELD, N.J. (Oct. 8, 2013) -- Four-time and defending champion Allan Small of Fairmount and Tournament of Champions winner Jay BIumenfield of Mountain Ridge each shot 2-over-par 73 to share first place after the first round of the 55th NJSGA Senior and Super-Senior Championship, both 36-hole competitions, at par-71, 6,224-yard Forest Hill Field Club in Bloomfield.
One stroke back in third place is John Lay Jr. of Howell Park while Tom Hyland of Little Mill is fourth at 75.
The champion earns an exemption into next year’s Mid-Amateur championship.
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Last week, Blumenfeld fired a 1-under-par 71 to win the NJSGA Tournament of Club Champions event by one shot, for his third win in the championship.
In the Super Senior Division, Jim Noe of Manasquan River, 70, carded a 3-over-par 74 to take a two-shot lead over Jay Green of Alpine.
The Senior Amateur field was cut to the top 26 who shot 81 or lower while the Super Senior field was narrowed to the top 14 for Wednesday’s final rounds.
“I played consistent. I was OK out there,” said Small, whose only loss in the event over the past five years was to Tom DiCinti of Little Mill in 2010 at Trump National-Cols Neck. “I still keep thinking about the one that got away.”
Small’s round included three bogeys and one birdie, on the par-4 17th hole.
Blumenfeld has played in 10 USGA events, including this year’s USGA Senior Amateur. He also played in the Canadian Senior Amateur and was tied for the lead entering the final round before finishing tied for sixth.
“I had no bogeys, but I did have two doubles and two birdies,” said Blumenfeld. “The shot that killed me was on the third hole when I topped my drive. A wayward shot landed right on the tee box in the middle of my swing and I couldn’t stop it. On the other double, the (par-4) 13th hole, I tried to go through a tree and didn’t make it.
“For all the rain we had, the greens were fast and it was pretty windy out there,” he added.
Noe on Tuesday started poorly, going 3-over-par for his first four holes, including a double bogey on the par-5 third hole. His final 15 holes included three birdies and one bogey.
“I never played this course before and it didn’t play easy,” Noe said. “I hit a lot of high spin back shots, but sometimes there wasn’t room on the green left to spin it back the way I wanted to. The course played tough even though the tees were up.”
In 2012, Small won his fourth Senior Amateur championship by one shot over the same runners-up as in 2011, Ron Vannelli of Metuchen (72-144) and Jerry Horton of Forsgate (73-144) at North Jersey, which played at 6,465 yards.
Blumenfeld, playing in his third Senior Amatuer, was fourth at 73-146 and Robert Britton of Knob Hill fifth at 70-147. Britton’s 70 was the low round of the two-day tournament. Blumenfeld was runner-up to DiCinti in 2010.
Also in 2012, Jim Noe of Manasquan River, 69, won the 2nd Super Senior Amateur (age 65 and above) with a 79-152, besting Vic Gerard of Eagle Oaks (79-155) and Denis Johnson of Plainfield West Nine (79-156). Johnson earned the fourth ace of his career at the par-3, 156-yard 13th hole, using a seven-iron.
Small has also won the Senior Amateur in 2008, ’09 and ’11.
Small was the first player to win the NJSGA Amateur, Mid-Amateur and Senior Amateur when he won the Senior Amateur in 2008 at Crestmont.
Noe is a commercial contractor who lives in Brielle. When he won the Manasquan River club championship in 2009, he was the oldest ever at 66. He only started playing golf in 1993.
View results for New Jersey Senior Amateur Golf Championship