MARLTON, N.J. On the strength of stellar play in the 36-hole finale, Tom Gramigna of Tavistock surged to victory in the 107th NJSGA Amateur Championship today at Little Mill Country Club. With closing rounds of 72-70 (even par), Gramigna won the biggest title of his life by three strokes over Mike Hyland of the host club.

After a difficult stretch of opening holes in the final round spelled doom for 3rd round leader Jay Blumenfeld of Mountain Ridge, Gramigna concentrated on hitting fairways and greens in his march to victory. He kept his eyes off the portable scoreboard and focused on his own play, which proved to be too steady for anyone to challenge after Blumenfeld fell off the leaderboard. And it proved to be the right strategy for Gramigna. “I learned from my mistake last year, when I got caught up in watching the leaderboard coming down the stretch,” he said, referring to last year’s Amateur Championship at Rockaway River CC where he finished in a tie for second.

Gramigna credits his win to exceptional driving on the final day. On a course where trouble lurks just off each fairway, Gramigna hit 8 of 13 fairways in each of his two closing rounds, and his missed fairways were barely missed. He was never in serious trouble on any of his final 36 holes, an amazing feat at Little Mill where danger is omni-present.

The golfers who represented Little Mill and nearby Tavistock had a dominant week at the Amateur Championship. Mike Hyland and Chris Gold from Little Mill locked up second and third place finishes, respectively, while Jamie Slonis of Tavistock finished sixth and Sean Leonard of Tavistock finished in a tie for seventh.

Little Mill proved every bit of a stern test of golf in hosting its first NJSGA Amateur Championship, as well as a superbly conditioned golf course. Clearly the winner at Little Mill would need the best all-around skills in conquering its tight fairways and small, fast greens. Gramigna is that player, whose ball striking and short game can match anyone’s in the State.

Scenes from the Final Rounds (Photos Courtesy of Barry Goldenberg)

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