SPRING LAKE, NJ (May 12, 2016) - Trevor Randolph of Arcola had more than enough motivation coming into the 33rdNJSGA Mid-Amateur Championship.
“I won the Met Mid-Am last summer and I wanted to hold both Mid-Amateur titles at the same time. And I was pretty upset at the way I played in the State Mid-Amateur last year, losing in the quarterfinals at my home course,” said Randolph, who had won the NJSGA Mid-Amateur in 2013 and 2014.
With a 5 and 3 finals victory on Thursday, May 12, over 2012 champion Brian Komline of Black Oak, Randolph, 44, achieved his wishes and became the third golfer to win three Mid-Amateur titles, matching Bruce Young of Harkers Hollow (1992, ’94 and ’95) and Tom Gramigna of Tavistock (2002, ’03 and ’05).
“Yes, it’s very special to hold both the Met Mid-Am and New Jersey Mid-Am championships at the same time. I’ve been playing well all spring. I’m hoping to use this for momentum going into the summer golf season.
“I had 24 birdies over the three days and six in the final against Brian. You can’t be above the pins here, but I still did that a number of times. Brian can string birdies, so I knew I had to keep focused. And he did come back on me, winning 10 and 11.”
Randolph strung together birdies on the par 4 fifth and par-3 sixth for a 2-up lead and added a par victory on the par-3 eighth to go 3-up at the turn.
But Komline, 42, who has also won the State Amateur, State Open, Public Links and Four-Ball Championships (with Niall Handley), fired back by winning No. 10 with a birdie 2 and No. 11 with a par four to close within a hole.
But Randolph birdied the par-5, 528-yard No. 12, hitting his approach 260 yards into the wind to within 40 feet.
That ignited a string of four straight winning holes, as he also birdied the par-5 No. 13, and won Nos. 14 and 15 with par fours.
Randolph credited an old friend, Howell’s Bob Palumbo , who was on his bag, as providing a big boost.
“I just gave him too many holes,” said Komline, who defeated Randolph in match-play en route to his Mid-Amateur championship run in 2012 at Galloway National. . “You can’t do that. You’ve got to convert. At the end, I started pressing. I started driving the ball to the left nad my driving is my strength. When I’m missing left, it means I’m not getting through and have tired legs.”
Last summer, besides winning the Met Mid-Am, Randolph also captured the Bergen County Amateur and was runner-up in the New York City Amateur and the Arcola Cup. He also reached sectional qualifying for U.S. Open and finished sixth at the U.S. Four-Ball Championship with Keith Unikel of Potomac, Md. He has twice played in the U.S. Amateur (1992, 1997) and the U.S. Mid-Amateur in 2012. He has won the club championship at Congressional six of the past seven years.
“Winning three times in our years shows that all my hard work is paying off and a lot of that comes from my family supporting me. You can’t have success without people helping you,” Randolph said.
Defending champion Mike Hyland of Little Mill had qualified but did not appear at Spring Lake, due to an injured foot.
Brian Komline of Black Oak and Trevor Randolph of Arcola survived their morning semifinal matches to meet for NJSGA 33rd Mid-Amateur Championship on Thursday afternoon at Spring Lake Golf Club.
Komline, who won in 2012, defeated 2008 champion Mike Stamberger of Spring Lake, 3 and 1 while Randolph, the champion in 2013 and 2014, edged 2007 Mike Deo of Black Oak, 1 up.
Komline, the only golfer to win the Mid-Amateur, State Amateur, State Open, Public Links and Four-Ball Championships (with Niall Handley), got the jump on Stamberger by winning three of the first five holes.
But Stamberger answered immediately by taking the ensuing three holes – with two pars and a birdie - to get all square. Komline won the par-5 No. 9 with a par, but Stamberger got even again with a birdie victory on the par-4 No. 10.
Komline took the lead for good with an eagle on the par-5 13th hole, placing a 6 iron from 185 feet to within four feet of the hole. He added a victory with a birdie on the par-4 14th, then closed out the match with a par victory on the par-4 17th.
“I turned it around on the 12th hole by making a three-footer to halve the hole,” said Komline’s whose drive there was hooked into the driving range.
“It was funny. I hadn’t made a putt all day, and just making that three-footer gave me confidence. I knew coming in if Mike gets hot, I’d be in trouble, but thankfully, he never got hot today.
“I know I’ll have to play my best against Trevor to win the championship,” Komline said.
“I didn’t play up to my potential. Brian was better than me at the end of the match,” said Stamberger, the 2013 and 2014 NJSGA Amateur champion . “The course set up tough for me.”
Deo looked to be in position to win the hole – and the match, when his birdie putt from 40 feet ended one foot from the hole. Randolph was facing a 25-foot sidehill, downhill foot on a sloping green.
“Mike Knapp, the caddie master told me last week not to hit my approach to that spot. That was a very tough putt. If it didn’t got in, it probably would’ve gone four or five feet below. It had a lot of break on it,” said Randolph, who fist-pumped after watching the winning put drop.
Deo was down four holes after the front nine, but won the par-4 11thwith a par. He then strung three holes in a row, taking 13 and 14 with birdies and 15 with a par to draw even. He halved No. 16 by sinking an 80-foot uphill putt.
“It hurts to lose that way after coming all the way back,” Deo said. “I made some mistakes early and it was tough to dig out of it. It was nice not to give in and to get back to even.”
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