The team of brothers Steve and Brian Zychowski of Mendham Golf and Tennis Club, and the tandem of Jim Dufficy and Mike Paduano of Eagle Oaks Golf Club each shot three-under-par 67 to share medalist honors in the second of two qualifying rounds for the 87th NJSGA Four-Ball Championship at the par-70, 6,272-yard Knob Hill Golf Club in Manalapan.

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Tied for third at two-under-par 68 were the father-son duo of Niall and Conor Handley of Essex Fells Country Club;  partners Brad Mills of NJSGA E-Club and John Venne of Laurel Creek Country Club; and the team of Kevin Joo of Overpeck Golf Course and Austin Wesolowski of The Ridgewood Country Club.

The 15 teams that shot even-par 70 or better in the field of 35 teams qualified for Four-Ball Championship May 6-8 at Forest Hill Field Club in Bloomfield.

 “It took us a while to get going and for the putts to drop,” said Steve Zychowski, 27, who in 2018 qualified for the U.S. Mid-Amateur Championship. “Brian got us off to a good start but we didn’t have as many birdies on the front. “I shot 31 on the back with four birdies to get us to three-under-par.”

Dufficy, 50, had the hot hand on his back nine with three birdies.

“I haven’t putted that well in a long time,” he said. “I one-putted six greens on the back nine. I have been working on my short game. Mike is a great partner; he keeps me loose.”

Dufficy noted a change in their order of play from the tee on the back nine made a difference – with Paduano leading off – “but we were both pretty good off the tee. For once, the strategy worked,” he said.

“We play here quite a bit,” said Paduano, who has been runner-up in the NJSGA Mid-Amateur, Tournament of Club Champions and Public Links.  “This course has been good for us.”



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