Desai and Graboyes lead at midway point of New Jersey Amateur
Luke Graboyes shares 36-hole lead at NJSGA Amateur <br>(NJSGA Photo)</br>
Luke Graboyes shares 36-hole lead at NJSGA Amateur
(NJSGA Photo)

ALPINE, NJ (June 8, 2016) -- Luke Graboyes of Twin Brooks, the Ivy League champion out of Cornell, and Nick Desai, the reigning NJSGA Pre-Senior champion, share the lead after two rounds of the 115th NJSGA Amateur Championship at the 6,690-yard Montammy Golf Club in Alpine.

Graboyes (73-68) and Desai (69-72) each shot 141 heading into Thursday’s 36-hole final. A three-hour weather delay halted play at 12:36 p.m. on Wednesday and several players had not yet teed off. Play resumed around 3:30 p.m. and all golfers were able to complete their second round.

A formidable group of four golfers stood just one shot off the lead. That quartet included defending champion Max Greyserman of Cresmont (70-72), 2010 champion Brian Komline of Black Oak (69-73), 18-year-old Dawson Jones of Jumping Brook (72-70) and 20-year-old Jared Mactas of Edgewood (71-71).

At 143 were collegians Kieran Purcell (Delaware, 72-71)) of Essex County, Chris Yeom (Seton Hall, 70-73) of Rolling Green and Thomas LaMorte (Campbell, 71-72) of Haworh. Bill Evertz of Forest Hill (77-67-144) had the low round of the event with his 67 in the morning.

The low 40 golfers and ties who shot 151 or better advanced to the final day.

Defending champion Greyserman had 16 holes remaining when the weather delay occurred. He finished with a 72 to go with his opening-round 70 to put him just a stroke off the pace.

Graboyes had a round that included six birdies and four bogeys. Starting on the back nine, he got to 3-under-par for the day by birdieing the par-4 12th, the par-3 13th and par-5 14th. On the par-4 16th, Graboyes hit the flagstick on his approach,,but the ball spun into a hazard and he settled for bogey.

He was hurt by a bogey at his17th hole, the par-3 eighth when he three putted. He made up for that with a tap-in birdie on the par-4 ninth.

“It feels great to be near the top. I’m playing great golf, my best ever,” said Graboyes, who played 36 holes at the U.S. Open qualifier on Monday at Canoe Brook where he was five shots from the final qualifying spot.

“I’m miles better than I was last year,” said Graboyes, who was top 15 at the NJSGA Open last summer and was the state high school champion in 2013.. “I’m looking forward to playing 36 holes tomorrow. “

Desai was on the green on his 18th hole, the ninth, 40 feet from the hole, when the rain came. Three hours later, he three putted to take him to two-over 72. His round included four birdies, four bogeys and a double bogey at the par-4 11th hole.

“I’m happy to be where I am. Some pins were tucked into spots where it was more difficult to reach them. But I had a good solid round,” said Desai, 49. “I think the course will play tougher this afternoon. I want to keep big numbers off my scorecard.”

Greyserman is known for his tenacity. Last year in winning the Amateur Championship at Morris County, he overcame a six-shot deficit heading into the final 18 holes when he shot a course-record 64.

“With 36 holes to go, it doesn’t matter where you are as long as you are close. It’s basically a new tournament ,” said Greyserman, a rising senior at Duke who won the NJSGA Open in 2014. “I need to refocus. I hit it really well, but I putted really, really, really bad. If I putted remotely close to my average, I’d be leading.

“I missed two three-footers and a number of others within 10 feet. I may switch putters tomorrow,” Greyserman said.

ABOUT THE New Jersey State Amateur

Open to male amateurs who have qualified through one of three qualifying sites or have met the exemption criteria. Format is 72 holes of stroke play with a cut to the low 40 scores after the second round.

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