by Rick Jenkins

David Pierce won the 2010 Mid-Amateur Championship at Galloway National Golf Club and never looked back. It was the first tournament, and the first major, on the NJSGA’s schedule this year, and Pierce rode that auspicious beginning to the top of the Player of the Year standings.

Pierce, 38, who plays out of Neshanic Valley Golf Course, continued to play well, finishing tied for third at the State Amateur at Montclair Golf Club, second at the Men’s Public Links Championship at Charleston Springs, and claiming a late season victory at the Metedeconk Invitational.

Pierce was “very excited” to receive an e-mail from Executive Director Steve Foehl in mid-October notifying him that he had won the points race while flying back from Paris after representing the MGA in the French-American Challenge.

This season served notice that he has returned to a high level of competitive golf after concentrating on his family and title insurance business for several years. “I’m thrilled to have had this kind of season after basically taking the last four years off from competitive golf,” he said at the Celebration of Golf gala when accepting his award.

In spite of Pierce’s finish atop the rankings with 667.5 points, it was a close race. Brian Komline of High Bridge Hills spent much of the season in the lead following his State Amateur victory in June. Pierce ended up nudging him by 12.5 points in a tight finish. Tom Gramigna of Tavistock wound up 7.5 points behind Komline in third place; Gramigna was a semi-finalist at the Mid-Am, recorded a high finish at the State Open, and won the season-ending Tournament of Club Champions this year. Player of the Year points are accumulated for strong performances in designated NJSGA, local, regional and national championships during the course of the year.

Pierce grew up playing golf at Beaver Brook CC and then Echo Lake CC, where he won eight club championships. But he decided to move to Neshanic Valley, the flagship course of the Somerset County Park Commission, in 2008 to save time commuting to the golf course. He wanted to jump-start his competitive game after the extended layoff, and he felt the competition at Neshanic would help him accomplish that. “The guys I play with there – all scratch players – have really helped me elevate my game,” he said. “They’ve been great fun to play with too,” he added.

The champion wants more than anything to continue his stellar play next season and beyond. He’ll spend the off-season playing in the milder temperatures of central and south Jersey, with the occasional trip down south, and working out in the gym. Now that he’s earned a perch among the top amateur players in the State, he likes the view.

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