WEST ORANGE, N.J. - Dean Greyserman carded a 3-under par 68 to top the field during the stroke play qualifying round at the 100th W.Y. Dear Junior Championship at Essex County Country Club. The medalist honors earned Greyserman, the 2019 champion, the second overall seed in the bracketed match play portion of the event, which will begin with the Round of 16 on Tuesday. The defending champion, Thomas O’Neill, automatically draws the top seed.

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“I was putting really well today,” Greyserman said. “I just kept it in play off the tee, and that’s kind of what you need to do on this course, keep it in play and give yourself good looks on the greens. My putter was working, and that was the main thing.”

Greyserman made three birdies on the front side and two birdies on the back nine. The champion in 2019 at Morris County Golf Club, Greyserman fell in the quarterfinals of last year’s event to the eventual champion O’Neill.

“It’s a grind in match play,” Greyserman said. “It’s two matches each day, so you just have to stay patient and not get too worked up out there. It’s going to be a long couple of days.”

Two other players shot below-par. Tyler Lee carded a 2-under 69 and Barnes Blake shot 1-under par 70.

The one player to avoid Monday’s 18-hole stroke play qualifier was defending champion Thomas O’Neill. In 2020 at Watchung Valley Golf Club, O’Neill earned the No. 9 seed through stroke play qualifying, and then collected four-straight victories to hoist the hardware.

“It’s definitely a weight off my shoulders, not having to qualify,” O’Neill said. “At the same time, there’s a little added pressure. I don’t think about it. As soon as you make match play, the seeds don’t matter and you just play whoever you’ve got. You play your game and stick to it.”

Fifteen players qualified for the match play portion of the championship. The Round of 16 will begin Tuesday morning at 7:30 a.m. The eight winners will advance to the quarterfinals Tuesday afternoon. The semifinals and finals are scheduled for Wednesday.

Coverage of the 100th W.Y. Dear Junior Championship will be available at NJSGA.org, where live scoring, news, and recaps will be featured throughout the week. Fans and players can also follow the organization on its social media outlets at Facebook.com/njsga1900, @NJSGA1900 on Twitter and @njsga1900 on Instagram.

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