MARLTON, N.J.Its name evokes innocence, but Little Mill Country Club was anything but innocent on the opening day of the 107th NJSGA Amateur Championship. With months to prepare, the staff at Little Mill was determined to present a formidable test for New Jersey’s best amateur golfers this week. They have delivered a course that plays firm and fast, and with a dose of wind thrown in today, Little Mill was a challenge which only a handful of golfers could tackle.

With a first round score of 70 on the par 71 layout, Jay Blumenfeld of Mountain Ridge leads by three strokes. Drawing on his years of major championship experience, Blumenfeld played steady fairways and greens golf and tried not to take unnecessary risks in managing his way around a difficult golf course today. With three birdies and two bogies on his card, Blumenfeld’s round was the only sub-par performance today.

Tied for second place with opening rounds of 73 (+2) is the triumvirate of Matthew Finger of Darlington GC, Mike Hyland, 1998 Amateur Champion and Little Mill member, and Christopher Housen of Manasquan River GC. One stroke further back at +3 is another triumvirate: Max Bichsel of Peddie GC, Marc Issler of Pine Barrens GC, who figured prominently at the State Open last year, and Louis Giovi of Mercer Oaks GC.

Defending champion Bill McGuinness of Tavistock shot 79 (+8) while 2006 Amateur Champion and Little Mill member Chris Gold shot 75 (+4).

The second round will be played on Wednesday, weather permitting, after which the low 40 players plus ties make the cut and advance to Thursday´s 36 hole finale.

Scenes from the State Amateur Championship

Photographs Courtesy of Barry Goldenberg

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