NJ State Am: Course record falls (twice!)
SUMMIT, N.J. (June 4, 2013) -- Veteran Mike Stamberger of Spring Lake and 19-year-old Luke Edelman of North Jersey both fired State Amateur record scores of 6-under-par 66s to tie for the lead after the first round of 72-hole, 112th NJSGA Amateur at the par-72, 6,915-yard North Course of the Canoe Brook Country Club on Tuesday in Summit.

The mark of 6-under-par had never been attained since the State Amateur went from match play to stroke play in 1971. Nine golfers have recorded rounds of 5-under-par including two in 2012 at Baltusrol: Brandon Dalinka of Ridge at Back Brook in the first round and champion Ryan McCormick of Suburban in the third round.

Stamberger (33-33-66) carded eight birdies against two bogeys while Edelman, a student at Florida Gulf Coast, had seven birdies and one bogey.

Third-place belongs to the 19-year-old Dalinka (34-34-68), who plays for the University of North Carolina. Jimmy Dengler, 19 of Rumson, a student at Loyola-Maryland, fired a 3-under-par 69 for fourth place.

Former pro Pete Barron of Stone Harbor, a reinstated amateur, was the fifth player to break par with a 2-under-70 heading into Wednesday’s second round of the 72-hole event. After Wednesday's round, the low 40 golers (plus ties) will play 36 holes on Thursday to determine a champion. All five sub-par rounds were played in the afternoon wave.

The 2012 champion, Ryan McCormick of Suburban, carded a 4-over-par 76 and is 10 shots behind the co-leaders.

Stamberger, 41, an equity salesman who lives in Brielle, became the first player to record a round of 6-under-par in the State Amateur, which became a stroke-play event in 1971. “This was all about scoring. I didn’t make any mistakes out there and I made my putts,” said Stamberger, the 2008 NJSGA Mid-Amateur champion and 2003 Met Amateur winner. His previous best finish in the State Amateur was a tie for third in 2001.

“I drove the ball well. When you’re making putts, it frees you up to make some shots. I don’t get nervous in these situations and give it back. I try to get more birdies,” he said.

A father of four children aged four to 12, Stamberger said he hasn’t had much time to devote to the driving range.

“I’ve been playing so badly, I almost didn’t come. It was a great pairing for me playing with (2010 champion) Brian Komline. We both like to play fast and that makes it more fun. The course was in great shape.

“For me, the Amateur is always in the beginning of the season when I haven’t played much. I feel better with the 66. We’ll see what happens tomorrow,” Stamberger said.

Edelman, of Mahwah, last year paired with Mike O’Connell of North Jersey for a runner-up finish in the NJSGA Best Ball of Four championship. This year, he transferred from Bucknell to Florida Gulf Coast and the move benefitted his game.

“Just being in Florida has made a big difference. My iron play is a lot more consistent this year,” said Edelman, who holed out a 50-foot bunker shot for a birdie on the par-4 15th hole. He also lipped out on an eight-foot eagle putt on the par-5 eighth hole.

“I gave myself a lot of chances and putted well,” said Edelman, who led Saddle River Day to the Non-Public B state championship in 2012. “I played a practice round here and said there are lot of birdies out there because the par 5s are gettable and on the par 4s, you can put it close. Also, the greens are so perfect, you can make putts.”

Edelman’s career low round of 65 came at Valley Brook last year in a high school conference final. He shot a 66 as a 13-year-old in a boys’ tournament at Royce Brook.

“For me to do well here, I have to keep making birdies and put the ball in play,” Edelman said.

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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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