EDISON, N.J. (May 9, 2013) -- Scott Lipareli of Metuchen, playing in his first NJSGA Pre-Senior Championship, made the most of local course knowledge and rode an even-par 72 over the final round of the 36-hole 55th Pre-Senior to a four-shot triumph on Wednesday, May 8, at the par-72, 6,419-yard Metuchen Golf and Country Club in Edison.
Lipareli (3-over-par 75-72-147) punctuated his victory with a 20-foot putt for a double bogey on the par-3 18th hole after nerves got the best of him, to outlast both Harris Podvey of Rolling Green (77-74-151) and Tom Hassel of Manasquan River (76-75-151).
The final field of 43 players endured 4:15 of rain delays, first with a delayed start, then another delay once play had resumed.
Tied for fourth place were Michael Guli of Essex County (77-75-152) and Chris Housen of Manasquan River (74-78-152). Both Housen and first-round leader Bob Duenskie of Flanders Valley (72-84-156) were penalized two shots each for resuming play before the official restart.
“It almost seemed unfair, because this is a quirky little golf course and the greens are so fast, that I had an advantage of knowing where to hit it,” said Lipareli, an accountant who lives in North Bergen.
Lipareli, 45, is a native of Long Island and a former professional racquetball player. He joined Metuchen and the NJSGA in 2012 and failed to qualify for both the Mid-Amateur and the State Amateur. His Pre-Senior championship earned him exempt status into next month’s State Amateur at Hackensack.
Lipareli made the turn at two under 34 with three birdies against a bogey. He gave one stroke back with a bogey on the par-5 13th hole, but then came his decisive run of three consecutive birdies on the par-4 14th and 15th holes and the par-3 16th.
“I felt I earned this victory by going birdie-birdie-birdie on the back nine when the pressure was on,” Lipareli said. “I made some swing changes to get more of a full rotation on my swing. This is by far the biggest win of my career.”
Although he struggled with double bogeys on the final two holes, he drained the 20-footer on the18th hole to walk away with victory firmly in his grasp.
“It’s amazing what goes through your mind when you’re standing on the 18thtee in a tournament like this,” he said.
View results for New Jersey Pre-Senior Amateur Golf Championship