September 30, 2020 - Former Penn State University teammates Tommy McDonagh of New York and Brendan Borst of Bryn Mawr, Pa., combined for an eight-under-par 64 to earn medalist honors in a sectional qualifying for the 2021 U.S. Amateur Four-Ball Championship on Wednesday at the par-72, 7,011-yard Hackensack Golf Club in Oradell.

Also qualifying for the 2021 event, which will take place May 22-26 at Chambers Bay Golf Course in DuPont, Wash., were Trevor Randolph of Franklin Lakes and Darin Goldstein of New York, who shot 66. The first alternate spot went to Jeffrey Cunningham of West Palm Beach, Fla., and partner Angelo Giantsopoulos of Richmond Hill, who shot 67, followed by second alternates Jack Davis and Jake Maddaloni, both of Newtown Square, Pa., who shot 68.

Scoring

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McDonagh and Borst helped Penn State University to two appearances in the NCAA finals before graduating in 2011. Since then, McDonagh has appeared in seven USGA championships and Borst four.

Previously, the duo qualified for the U.S. Amateur Four-Ball in 2018 at Pinehurst, reaching the Round of 16, and in 2020 when it was slated for Philadelphia Cricket Club (Borst’s home course) but cancelled due to the pandemic.

“This is the one time all year that we play together, but we are best friends,” said Borst, who recruited McDonagh to be his best man at his wedding. “We have a lot of history together and we always have fun when we play.”

McDonagh, a native of Norwalk, Conn., has quite a resume. He’s twice won both the Connecticut Amateur and the Metropolitan Golf Association Amateur (2009 and 2006) championships. He was the youngest ever champion at age 17 in 2006. McDonagh also was victorious in the MGA Ike Championship in 2011.

“I’ve never seen this place, but I had great vibes here because it was so beautiful. It was in amazing shape despite the rain this morning,” said McDonagh, 31. “It is so well manicured and the greens are rolling awesome.”

McDonagh and Borst, who started on the back nine, got off to a rocky start, going one over par for the first four holes. After that, they went nine under par on the final 14 holes.

McDonagh himself collected four birdies and an eagle, which came on the par-5, No. 2, as he holed out of a bunker. Borst added three birdies. The duo bogeyed the par-4, No. 11, when they both three putted.

Randolph, a member at Arcola, and Goldstein, a member at Bayonne, are returning to the U.S. Amateur Four-Ball Championship for a second time, having played together in 2018 at Pinehurst. Randolph, who has won four NJSGA Mid-Amateur Championships and one MGA Mid-Amateur in 2015, reached the Round of 32 in the 2015 U.S. Four-Ball with partner Keith Unikel of Maryland.

Randolph and Goldstein are quite familiar with each other’s games, having paired for seven years in a row in the MGA’s International Matches vs. France and Ireland.

“Probably no one here has paired for as many rounds together as we have,” said Randolph, who registered five birdies on Wednesday. Goldstein carded two birdies. They registered a bogey at the par-4, No. 5.    

“We know each other so well. There are no ‘Sorry’s’ out there,” said Randolph, 47. “I love this golf course. The greens remind me of Arcola. They are very pure. You just putt it on line and roll it in. And, the recent renovations here have made it really pleasing to the eye.”   

“I play offense and he plays defense,” said Goldstein, 39, who won the MGA Mid-Am in 2017. “Trevor provides more birdies, but I try to cover us when the wheels fall off a little bit. We play our own games and have different styles out there, but we have such good rapport out there, that we are always playing as a team.”

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