For the third time in five years, Bob and Bobby Krueger of Basking Ridge are the kingpins of the New Jersey State Golf Association Father and Son Championship.
The Krugers combined for an even-par 71 to win the 95thFather and Son Championship, sponsored by McRae Capital Management, by two strokes over playing partners Tim and Dan O’Rourke of Oak Hill on July 6 at Beacon Hill Country Club in Atlantic Highlands.
In a tie for third place at 74 were Kevin and Rick Garrigan of Forest Hill and Kevin (Bowling Green) and Jack Macfee (Eagle Ridge).
The net winners were Richard and Rich Bohny of Beacon Hill with a net 68, followed by William and Nick Dudes of Panther Valley (69 , match of cards) and Michael and Andrew Bryce of Shark River (69). In fourth place were Tom and William Donovan of Trump National in Colts Neck (70, match of cards) with Joseph and Guy Maratta of Hominy Hill (70) in fifth place.
A year ago, the Kruegers won in a three-hole playoff to defeat then-defending champions Ken and Drake Ferriter of Darlington by an aggregate of 10-13. An eagle chip-in from 22 yards on the second of three playoff holes carried the Kruegers to their second title, at Galloping Hill Golf Course in Kenilworth.
At Beacon Hill, the Kruegers combined the long hitting of Bobby, 25, with the crafty play of dad Bob, 57.
“We are such a great combined weapon. Bobby can outhit almost anyone, and I can get a shot with a good sightline into the green. Even if he loses one out of bounds, I’m the safety net. My ball is always in play,” Bob Krueger said.
“With my power and his iron shots, we’re tough to beat,” Bobby said. “I know deep down, that if we play well, we’ll always have a chance to win.”
The Kruegers started off slowly at Beacon Hill, collecting two bogeys over the first four holes. They finished up with three birdies and one bogey over the final 14 holes.
They birdied the par-3 No. 14 when Bobby’s 8-iron off the tee ended 15 feet from the cup and Dad rolled in the putt. On the par-four No. 15, Bob’s chip to six feet resulted in another birdie when Bobby sank the putt.
“We try to pick spots where Bobby can hit his driver and there is a clearing to the green. That leaves me with a better approach shot,” Bob said. “We didn’t have a number in mind that would win. We just hope to hit greens in regulation and hope the putts go in. We didn’t think 71 would win. We thought 69 would win it.”
At age 14, Bobby won a PGA Junior title, but pretty much stepped away from golf to devote time to weight lifting. He runs a gym for weight lifters today.
“I looked at a swing chart of Beacon Hill before we played it, but you really can’t tell where the slopes and elevated changes are. The greens were much faster than we’re used to,” Bobby said.
Bob Kreuger Sr. of Rockaway River, father of Bob and grandfather to Bobby, is a long-time NJSGA volunteer official.
“Us winning again is about my short game and his driving game,” Bob said. “It makes us tough to beat.”
“I tell myself I’m out here to have fun. We came into this event with the mindset that we could win it. When we’re relaxed we play better. There’s nothing I’d rather do than be out here playing golf with my dad.”