BASKING RIDGE, NJ (September 21, 2016) -- Dan Gregory of Panther Valley made the most of local knowledge, as the three-time club champion at New Jersey National shots rounds of 71 and 72 for a one-under-par total of 143 to win the 58thNJSGA Pre-Senior Championship by three shots on Wednesday, Sept. 21, at 6,400-yard New Jersey National Golf Club in Basking Ridge.
Gregory, 51, claimed the victory over playing partner Bob Duenskie of Bowling Green (73-73-146). In third place was Gregg Angelillo of Bsaltusrol (74-73-147). Tied for fourth were defending champion Nick Desai of Baltusrol (71-77-148) and first-day leader Chris Housen of Manasquan River (70-78-148).
Tied for sixth were Clark Holle of Essex County (73-76-149) and Michael Guli of Essex County (71-78-149).
The Pre-Senior Championship is for players ages 45 through 54 with a handicap of 12.0 or below.
"It really helps to know this course, especially the greens,” said Gregory, 51, who was playing in his first NJSGA individual event. He and Ray Ash partnered in the NJSGA Four-Ball last month and reached the match-play portion.
A new job in Information technology with Mars, Inc., was the reason why Gregory moved to Panther Valley in Allamuchy five years ago Up to that time, he lived for a decade in The Hills community, which surrounds New Jersey National Golf Club, while working locally.
His best round ever there was a five-under-par 67 in 2009.
“I’m excited about winning this trophy,” said Ash, who carries a 1.4 handicap. “I putted well and didn’t lose a ball over the two days. I kept everything in play. Here, it’s about course management. I knew when to hit driver and when not to hit driver.”
He carded four birdies and four bogeys on Wednesday, including a birdie-birdie finish, both times placing a wedge to within eight feet of the cup.
Gregory, a native of Old Tappan and graduate of Fairleigh Dickinson University, said New Jersey National hasn’t changed much since he left, “except for a few less trees.
“Coming into the tournament, I thought I could contend, but had no thoughts of winning it. You have to keep everything out of the rough and keep the ball on the right side of the hole and below the hole if you can,” he said.
Duenskie played even-par on his final nine to garner second place. He was also runner-up two years ago to Tom Fallon of Colts Neck.
“Dan kept his composure. I saw him make one mistake all day. He hung in there and made some tough putts,” Duenskie said.
View results for New Jersey Pre-Senior Amateur Golf Championship