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 Amateur Golf Championship