MOUNT LAUREL, N.J. (Sept. 25, 2014) — NJSGA president Frank O’Brien called defending champion Trevor Randolph of Arcola and Peter Barron III of Stone Harbor “two warriors” and he gave a perfect assessment of the final match of the 31st New Jersey Mid-Amateur Championship at the par-7, 6,911-yard Laurel Creek Golf Club in Mount Laurel.
The Mid-Amateur Championship was presented by Callaway Golf. Randolph is the first repeat champion since Tom Gramigna of Tavistock in 2002-03. Ed Alden of Flanders Valley did it in 1996-97 and Bruce Young of Harkers Hollow also did it in 1994-95.
Randolph subdued Barron, 4 and 3, on three hours sleep while Barron battled a shoulder he injured hitting out of fescue on the sixth hole of the final.
Randolph, who lives in Franklin Lakes in Bergen County, traveled 2-1/2 hours each morning for three days to participate in the event and on Monday night his 20-month-old son, Landon, was sent to the emergency room with a respiratory illness. Landon is now fine, but Randolph needed to refocus after winning in the semifinals on Wednesday morning.
“It’s pretty special to win this, but to play mid-amateur golf, you have to have the support of your family and your colleagues from work,” said Randolph, 42, a native of Betheseda, Md. “I have to thank my wife, Brandyn. She’s had it all under control. She’s been real supportive of me. I had to get up at 4 a.m. the last three mornings.”
Randolph is a manager director for Credit Suisse in New York in equity derivatives.
The victory enabled him to ascend to second place in the NJSGA Player of the Year standings to Mike Stamberger of Spring Lake, to whom Randolph was co-runner-up in the State Amateur.
In the final against Barron, Randolph birdied the par-3 sixth hole (where Barron injured his right shoulder) to win the hole and then went 2-up with a par victory on the par-3 seventh. Birdies on the par-4 10thand 11th holes gave Randolph a 4-up lead.
Barron carded a birdie on the par-4 13thto get within three holes, but Barron’s second shot on the par-5 15thended in more deep fescue and he wasn’t about to test the shoulder again, conceding the hole and the match.
“I heard something pop and I have a warm feeling in there now,” said Barron, who has an 8:40 tee time for Crump Cup qualifying at Pine Valley on Thursday. “I thought about conceding the match when I hurt it, but I didn’t want to give it to him. Trevor played well. The wind was swirling and sometimes you needed to add two clubs.”
Randolph said he has played 11 of his last 12 rounds under par and said he was two-under-par against Barron. He has been working with pro Mike Breed of The Golf Channel and Manhattan Woods on his entire game.
“I wanted to win. That was my plan. These championships don’t come around that often. This is special because all the hard work I put in this year paid off.”
Randolph and Barron, a former Mid-Amateur runner-up, won their morning semifinal matches to advance to the final.
In the semifinals, Randolph defeated Stephen Ellis of Toms River, 3 and 2, while Barron beat Jason Bataille of Neshanic Valley, 6 and 4.
“I was happy about reaching the final,” said Randolph. “I was up six holes on the front nine and didn’t miss a thing on the first 10 holes. Then I hit a 3-wood into the water on No. 11. I made some mental mistakes and got sloppy and tired. At lunch, I refocused and fought through it. It’s not often you have an opportunity to win something this big,” said Randolph.
“It’s been a goal of mine to win this championship. It will be at my home club next year and I would am happy to be a defending champion there,” he said.
Randolph is serving as captain of the three-man New Jersey team that will compete Sept. 30-Oct. 2 in the U.S. State Team Championship in French Lick, Ind. He will be joined by amateur champion Stamberger and Steve Zychowski, State amateur co-runner-up with Randolph.
Randolph, the runner-up at the Met Amateur in 2013 to Pat Wilson of Panther Valley had 25 birdies for the week when he won the 2013 Mid-Amateur at Trump National in Bedminster. Randolph is a four-time club champion at Congressional.
Randolph played golf at Rice University after attending St. Alban’s School in Washington, D.C.
Ellis, 43, is a former NCAA Division 3 tennis doubles champion while playing at Rowan University.
“I’m thrilled I made it this far. Trevor is an accomplished player. I played great on Tuesday in my two matches to get here. I would have needed my A-plus game to beat him today,” said Ellis, who lives in Toms River.
Barron was runner-up to Anthony Scelba of Deer Run in the 2009 NJSGA Mid-Amateur at Trump National in Colts Neck. In 2011, Barron lost in the semifinals to eventual champion Kevin McSorley of Charleston Springs.
Barron, 38, of Mays Landing, won the Golf Association of Philadelphia Mid-Amateur in May. He played on the victorious NJSGA Compher Cup team in 2012.
“I’ve played this course a number of times. I’m familiar with it,” Barron stated. “In the semifinal I tried to play solid golf and get the ball to the center of the green. On some holes, I could go for the pin. I putted well. I got the 8-to-10-foot putts close and that made things easier,” said Barron, who counted two birdies against Bataille.
Bataille, 31, a former Rutgers University golfer who coached the team for two years, lives in Bridgewater and works for Links Insurance. He is a two-time NJSGA Junior Champion and was playing in his first NJSGA event of the summer.
“I didn’t play well and Pete played solid today,” Bataille said. “I just didn’t hit the ball well.”
View results for New Jersey Mid-Amateur Golf Championship