N.J. takes Stoddard Trophy over Long Island GA
BEDMINSTER, N.J. (Oct. 15, 2012) -- With 11 of 12 golfers contributing in the afternoon singles session, the New Jersey State Golf Association defeated the Long Island Golf Association, 22 to 21-1/2, to win the 87th Stoddard Trophy matches for the first time since 2006 on Friday, Oct. 12, at Trump National Golf Club in Bedminster.

The Westchester Golf Association was third with 10-1/2 points. The event is billed as the Ryder Cup of the metropolitan area.

The NJSGA leads the standings with 38 victories, Westchester is second with 23 and Long Island 22.

The match wasn’t decided until Kevin McSorley of Charleston Springs earned the all-important final point thanks to his 2 and 1 victory over Matt Minerva of Westchester.

Leading NJSGA players in the singles matches included team captain Allan Small of Fairmount, Niall Handley of Essex Fells, Conor Casey of Madison, Matthew Finger of Darlington, and Ron Vannelli of Metuchen with two points apiece.

Brian Whitman of Knickerbocker added 1-1/2 points, followed by Brian Komline of Black Oak, Mike Deo of Black Oak, Adam Kugler of Alpine and McSorley with one point each.

Mike Hyland of Little Mill added a half-point. State Open champion Ben Smith of Little Mill was shut out by standouts Mike Miller of Westchester and Joe Saladino of Long Island.

“I had a feeling that it was coming down to me when I couldn’t see anyone else on the course,” said McSorley, the 2011 Mid-Amateur champion and a Jersey City firefighter. “I won on my 17th hole with a par. This is a great event. We lost last year, but I’m happy to contribute and help the team win this year.”

Small, 60, was playing in his 26th Stoddard matches and was thrilled to be on the winning side after five straight losses.

“It was good to see so many guys come through. There have been great players over the years involved and it always seems to come right down to the end,” Small said. “There is definitely bragging rights involved. It’s great to be a part of the camaraderie. And the fact that our young kids like Whitman, Smith and Casey came through bodes well for the future.”

The biggest name of all to play in the Stodard matches was Babe Ruth, who led Long Island to victory in 1939.

Komline and Handley, a pair of former teammates at Fairleig0h Dickinson University, won both of their matches in the morning foursomes. Casey and Finger also went 2-0 in the foursomes while the Little Mill duo of Hyland and Smith won one match and halved another.

The pairing of McSorley and Kugler returned another half-point to give the team representing the NJSGA six points.

Heading into afternoon singles session of 12 individual matches, Westchester Golf Association led with 7-1/2 points, NJSGA followed with 6 points and Long Island Golf Association trailed with 4-1/2 points.

The matches include 12 top amateurs each from the New Jersey State Golf Association, the Long Island Golf Association and the Westchester Golf Association. The Stoddard Trophy matches were originally scheduled for August 10, but postponed mid-morning due to rain and lightning in the area.

The Stoddard Trophy competition is a one-day triangular match, Ryder Cup style, featuring six alternate-shot matches in the morning and 12 singles matches in the afternoon. The competition began in 1922. New Jersey has won 38 times, Westchester 23 and Long Island 22, with four ties. The matches were not held from 1942 through ’45.

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