Costanza, Havay share medal in Mid-Amateur Stroke Play Qualifying
October 13, 2020 - Mark Costanza of Hamilton Farm and John Havay of High Bridge Hills each carded a one-over-par 72 to share medalist honor at the stroke-play qualifying for the 37th NJSGA Mid-Amateur Championship on a cool and rainy Tuesday at the par-71, 6,648-yard North Jersey Country Club in Wayne.
Thomas Guy of Eligo Club and Brennan Haley of Echo Lake tied for third at 73. Sixteen golfers who shot five-over-par 76 or better qualified for match play which begins with the Round of 16 on Wednesday morning. The winners in that round advance to the quarterfinals on Wednesday afternoon. The semifinals and final match take place on Thursday.
Multiple bouts with heavy rain impacted play, resulting in two delays totaling over three hours. Once the rain subsided, the current NJSGA Open Champion Mark Costanza made a charge.
“I had a terrible front nine... when the weather was terrible,” said Costanza, winner of the 100th NJSGA Open Championship in July who shot a 41 on his front nine (holes 10-18) and a stellar 31 on his back nine (hole 1-9). “At the turn, I just said, I’ve got to do better. So I birdied my first three holes on my back nine (Nos. 1, 2, and 3) and later, seven and nine, so it ended up being a pretty good round, going five under on my back nine. That’s golf for you.”
Costanza, 31, has only qualified for the Mid Am on one occasion losing in the Round of 16 in 2018.
“I know this course from when I was young, playing in the Pioneer League. I had a good caddie today. I’m thankful to have a chance to play tomorrow. The staff here did a great job with the squeegees and getting the greens ready. They were really good.”
Havay earlier this summer fired a three-under-par 69 to win medalist honors at a NJSGA Amateur Qualifier at New Jersey National. He and Dan O’Rourke of Oak Hill were runners-up in the 2017 NJSGA Four-Ball Championship.
“The two stoppages didn’t bother me. I made a couple of good par putts on my first two holes and I kept going,” said Havay, 28. “My putting was solid. I had all pars today except for one bogey, on the 16th hole, when I had a bad drive. I still had a chance to save par but I missed a four-footer.
“I’m excited. I’ve never played in a state Mid-Am before and I’m looking forward to playing well tomorrow.”