Guy fires a four-under par; paces field in Mid-Amateur Qualifying at Copper Hill
One week after teaming to finish as runners-up in the 87th NJSGA Four-Ball Championship, Tom Guy of Eligo Club and Tom Collins of Essex County Country Club continued their run of solid golf – finishing first and second respectively in the first of two qualifying rounds for the 36th Mid-Amateur Championship at the par-72, 6413 yard Copper Hill Country Club in Ringoes.
Guy fired a four-under-par 68 to earn medalist honors; Collins was one stroke behind Guy at three-under par 69. Vince Kwon of NJSGA E-Club (South) was the only other player to finish beneath par, carding a one-under 71. The trio led 24 qualifiers who shot 76 or lower to the Mid-Amateur Championship proper, set for Crestmont Country Club in West Orange, June 4-6.
Conditions at Copper Hill were windy and wet, following three days of rain that had plagued the metropolitan area, but Guy was barely fazed. He collected nine birdies against five bogeys on a course he had never seen.
“I have played courses throughout the world, but I find it easier to play courses blind,” said Guy, a former member of the British PGA from 2002-2017 who now resides in Holmdel. “When there is nothing familiar about a course, you have to trust your swing and worry about what you can control.”
Following his bogey-bogey start, Guy shot six-under par. Over the next seven holes, he registered six birdies and a bogey on the front side for a three-under-par 33 at the turn.
“That’s a story. I had no pars on my first nine holes, and I also had three birdies in a row on three occasions. It was a weird round of golf,” said Guy, who appeared in the Mid-Amateur for the first time last year at Bedens Brook after gaining co-medalist honors in the stroke play portion of the championship.
Guy was in position to finish better, but missed the green on the par-4, 18th hole and settled for a bogey on his final hole.
“I was driving it well off the tee,” Guy stated. “After all that rain, the greens looked and played fantastic.”
Collins, age 38 and a resident of Morristown, had four birdies and a bogey and was also playing Copper Hill for the first time.
“I’m hitting the ball as well as I ever have. If I could start making putts, I’d be playing the mid-60s,” he noted.
The second of two qualifying rounds will be conducted on Thursday, May 24 at Brooklake Country Club in Florham Park which will round out the championship field.