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NJ Pre-Senior: Tom Fallon prevails
RUMSON, N.J. (May 7, 2014) -- It had been 15 years since Tom Fallon of Colts Neck had won an NJSGA-hosted championship.

On Tuesday May 6, the 46-year-old Fallon got back in the winner’s circle by carding a two-day total of 74-74-148 to win the 56th Pre-Senior Championship by two shots over Andre Bolukbas of Rockleigh (75-75-150) and Bob Duenskie of Flanders Valley (76-74-150) at the 6.745-yard, par 71 Rumson Country Club.

Thad Coontz of Old Orchard was fourth at 76-75-151. The event is for eligible golfers ages 45 to 54..

FINAL SCORING VIEW PHOTO GALLERY

“It’s a great honor to win anything in this state, especially, five minutes from my home,” said the Fair Haven resident who won the NJSGA Mid-Amateur in 1999. “It feels good to win an NJSGA tournament again.”

Fallon was revitalized last summer when he won the Eagle Oaks Invitational. He had a long recovery from health issues including three herniated back disks and hypogonadism which was finally diagnosed when Fallon was in his mid-30s.

“I was diagnosed with low testosterone and once I was treated, it changed my whole life. It changed the physical condition of my body and my endurance. It changed my well-being. In the past, I would be very anxious. I went through a lot of highs and lows.

“Today, I managed it well out there.”

Fallon said his drive on the par-4 16thhole was his biggest of the two-day championship.

“It was probably the biggest shot of my life,” he said. “To stake a three-wood 282 yards with a 270-yard carry to eight feet of the hole was a real boost for me. It was a once-in-a-lifetlme shot.”

At that point, Fallon was six-over for the tournament and unsure if he was still leading the event. He knew that Duenskie had shot 2-under on the front side and was somewhere near the top of the leaderboard. Duenskie, however, shot five-over 39 on his back nine.

“I knew about how well Bob (Duenskie) had played the front. I had to do something, and what happened on 16 was it. I had to make birdie there. I had a number in my mind of 148,” said Fallon, who reached the Round of 16 at the 1998 U.S. Mid-Amateur.

Fallon fell back to six-over with a three-putt bogey on the par-3 17th hole. His drive on the par-4 18th hole found the left rough and he could only wedge out to within 55 yards of the green. But he masterfully spun a 60-degree wedge to four feet of the hole and dropped the putt for a par save and the victory.

"That par was enormous," he said.

“It’s been 15 years since I won one of these. I often wonder what would have happened 15 years ago if I had been properly treated. I remember leading the State amateur at Deal in 2006 after 54 holes, but on the final day, I was exhausted . Now I’m in better shape and eating beter. I’m fit. It’s huge for me to win a tournament like this.”

Fallon will continue a full schedule this month with a U.S. Open sectional qualifier May 13 at Bedens Brook, the New York City amagteur on May 24-25 and the Ike Qualifier on May 29 at Deal.

View results for New Jersey Pre-Senior Championship

ABOUT THE New Jersey Pre-Senior

36 Holes, Stroke Play; Gross and Net Scoring. A player must be between the ages of 45 and 54 years of age, or have reached his 55th birthday (to include those ineligible to participate in the Senior Championship). After the first round, the field in will be cut to 40 players (plus ties)

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