August 6, 2020 - Back-to-back birdies on the par-4 13th hole and par-3 14th hole propelled Austin Devereux of Howell Park, a rising senior at Rider University, to a two-stroke victory over Hamilton Farm’s Dean Greyserman in the 72-hole 119th New Jersey State Golf Association Amateur Championship presented by Provident Bank on Thursday at the par-72, 7,091-yard Arcola Country Club in Paramus.
Devereux, who began the day in third place, two shots out of the lead, shot 69 in his final round for a 282 total, besting Greyserman (final round 70 for a 284 total). Open champion Mark Costanza of Hamilton Farm, bidding to be the first since 1970 to win both major titles in the same year, was third at 70-285.
Tied for fourth were third-round co-leader Brendan Hansen of Spring Lake (74-286) and Ryan Lee of Valley Brook (69-286). Tied for sixth was the other third-round co-leader, Chris DeJohn of Arcola (75-287) and Ethan Ng of Knickerbocker (69-297).
Devereux, a resident of Brielle and graduate of Manasquan High School, was playing in his first NJSGA Amateur. Two weeks ago, he tied for 30th in the NJSGA Open Championship. Greyserman was attempting to join his brother Max (who won the Amateur in 2015) as the first brother-brother combination to win the event that dates back to 1900.
Devereux’s 40-foot birdie putt on the 309-yard 13th hole was particularly memorable, coming moments after Greyserman, his playing partner, chipped in for birdie from 30 feet from the rear of the green, as the two jockeyed for the lead down the stretch. That birdie put Devereux, who had birdied the 10th hole to take a one-shot advantage over Greyserman, at six-under-par with Greyserman at five-under.
When Devereux birdied the par-3, 165-yard 14th hole from 10-feet, he went to seven-under-par with a two-stroke edge over his Greyserman. It was a lead he would never relinquish.
“That 40-footer on top of Dean’s chip-in really got my confidence going. The biggest thing for me this week was putting. I had one three-putt all week. The funny thing is, putting was always my biggest weakness,” Devereux said.
“I said coming into today that I wanted to hit fairways and give myself some looks. So today, I hit 12 fairways and 16 greens. My birdie looks were all inside 20 feet and I made a lot of 10-footers. After the front nine, I decided to get aggressive. You had to be aggressive here, especially where the pins were located.”
As a high school senior, Devereux was a sectional champion and was also runner-up in the Shore Conference Tournament. He was also an excellent high school bowler and registered a 300 game to become sectional champion.
“I’ve taken my game to another level this summer. I’m much more confident. Golf is a game you have to practice. For me it’s a matter of practicing and grinding,” Devereux, a NJSGA Caddie Scholar, noted.
Greyserman, 17, is the defending NJSGA Junior Champion.
“I thought I played well today. But Austin was making his putts and was a little bit better than me. I give him all the credit,” he said.
The championship was postponed on Tuesday due to inclement weather. It picked up with Rounds 2 and 3 on Wednesday when Devereux shot 73-68.
“It took me two rounds to figure out these greens,” he said.