NJ State Amateur: Jimmy Dengler takes lead
photo by Evan Schiller
photo by Evan Schiller
SUMMIT, N.J. (June 5, 2013) -- Jimmy Dengler was a willing listener to whatever advice Rumson head professional Brian Gaffney was willing to dispense.

Gaffney, after all, had earned a spot in the 2012 U.S. Open in a qualifier at Canoe Brook, and also played in the PGA championship last summer.

“Brian told me to stay patient. He said there were some gettable (birdie) holes out there, but there were a lot of other holes to just take your par and run,” said Dengler, 19, of Rumson, who fired an even par 72 to give him a 3-under-par 69-72-141 and a one-stroke lead over first-round co-leader Mike Stamberger of Spring Lake (66-76-142) after the second day of the 112th NJSGA Amateur Championship at the 6,915-yard Canoe Brook Country Club in Summit.

The other first-round co-leader, Luke Edelman of North Jersey was third (66-79-145), defending champion Ryan McCormick (76-70-146) of Suburban - following the morning’s low round of 2-under 70 - was fourth, tied with 19-year-old John Voetsch of Balutusrol (75-71-146), a former Delbarton golfer who is a rising sophomore at Vanderbilt. Peter Barron of Stone Harbor (70-77-147) is sixth.

A total of 42 golfers shot 159 or better to make the cut and return Wednesday for a 36-hole final.

Dengler’s round included two birdies and two bogeys and a chip-in par save at the par-5 second hole (his 11th).

“The chip-in was a big momentum swing for me,” said Dengler, a sophomore-to-be at Loyola of Maryland who helped his team to a conference championship this spring. He was also a member of Christian Brothers’ state Tournament of Champions winning team in 2012.

“I’ve been working on the course management stuff. I used to just swing hard and go for everything. I took a lesson with Brian Gaffney and adjusted my setup and alignment.”

Gaffney won the 2010 State Open champion and is a former NJPGA Player of the Year.

“I hit it pretty straight and I putt it pretty well, so this course fits my game,” Dengler said. “I put myself in a good position going into the final day. The last round could turn into match-play. We’ll see what happens.”

Stamberger, 41, a Brielle resident, salvaged a 4-over-76 after going four-over on his front nine. Starting on the 10th hole, he doubled the par-5 12thhole and added bogeys on the 14th and 15th holes. He played even par for his final 12 holes, including a birdie ad a bogey in that stretch.

“I knew I was going to have problems today. I had some problems on the 12thhole, but managed to rally. I’m happy I was able to get it to two-under for the tournament,” Stamberger said.

Edelman played even par for his first eight holes, then went 7-over-par on his final 10 holes, including a double-bogey, seven bogeys and two birdies.

“I missed a lot of putts on the edges. There were a lot more wayward shots today,” said the 19-year-old who plays for Florida Gulf Coast University. “So far, I’ve had one good round and one bad round. I get to start fresh tomorrow and see what happens.”

McCormick, who in addition to winning last year’s Amateur, also won the Met Amateur and New York City Amateur, said he was looking forward to playing well on Wednesday.

“I had a good feeling after playing so badly Tuesday and still managing a 76,” said McCormick, who plays for St. John’s University. “I was excited to get back into it. It will be fun Thursday being in one of the last groups and trying to chase down the leaders. I’m not used to doing that.”

His round included four birdies and two bogeys.

I didn’t think anybody was going to run away from the field today. The golf course just does not that easy. I’m looking forward to tomorrow,” he said.

Voetsch eagled the 580-yard 18th hole with a 15-foot putt gto get to 1-under-71.

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