SPRING LAKE, NJ (May 10, 2016) - Eight years ago, Mike Stamberger of Spring Lake won the NJSGA Mid-Amateur championship on his home course.
On Tuesday, May 10, the 33rd Mid-Amateur Championship returned to Stamberger’s home course and the 44-year-old made the best of the return opportunity at Spring Lake’s 6,543-yard course.
He fired a 4-under-par 68 to earn medalist honors by one stroke over Jason Bataille of Metedeconk National, Nick Desai of Baltusrol and Wes Samons of Galloping Hill.
Sixteen golfers advanced to this morning’s Round of 16. The quarterfinals take place Wednesday afternoon. On Thursday, the morning semifinals will be followed by an 18-hole final match in the afternoon.
"Yes, there is pressure because you want to play well on your home course. I hit it good but didn’t putt it well. It would be special to win here because I won it here the first time,” said Stamberger, who was a Mid-Amateur runner-up to Brian Komline of Black Oak in 2012, yet went on to win State Amateur championships in 2013 and 2014.
“The course is in great shape. We need some sun. The greens are difficult right now. They are very fast and with these pin placements, they are hard to read.”
Stamberger, who carded six birdies and two bogeys, had little difficulties in his opening nine holes, coming in a five-under-par 31.
“I had a good approach shot in on No. 2 and that calmed me down,” said Stamberger, who lives in nearby Brielle. “I was solid with my approaches. I had three or four tap-ins on the front. I didn’t have one birdie putt of longer than six feet on the front nine. It’s nice to play well. It’s a qualifier. I’ll take what I can get.”
Samons, a native of Kentucky, qualified for last year’s NJSGA Mid-Amateur but didn’t play because of work commitments in his job as school psychologist for the Springfield system.
He saw the course for the first time last week when he played a practice round and felt that keeping it in the fairway and staying below the hole were important keys to success.
Samons, 36, who lives in Bloomfield, ended up with six birdies and three bogeys.
“I couldn’t ask for more. The greens rolled nice today,” said Samons, who has qualified for the State Amateur three of the past four years but has yet to make a cut. “I like match play quite a bit. Each year I play in the Lehigh Valley Amateur just because it is a match-play event. Three years ago, I made the semifinals.”
View results for New Jersey Mid-Amateur Golf Championship