Pictured (L-R) Erik Diamond and John Havay
GLADSTONE, N.J. - John Havay and Erik Diamond remained calm and cool in each of their match play bouts, especially in the finale, to win the 91st Four-Ball Championship at Hamilton Farm Golf Club on Thursday, May 18.
“We're definitely excited,” expressed Diamond. “We're glad to be here, but I think the real winner is Hamilton Farm. It was a phenomenal golf course, and they did a great job.”
Havay and Diamond, colleagues at Trump National – Bedminster, faced John Browndorf and Jack Skirkanich in the finale, a duo from the Shore. After Havay and Diamond took a 1-up advantage after hole No. 2, Browndorf and Skirkanich took charge, winning No. 6 and 8 to take a 1-up lead at the turn. Diamond then sunk a lengthy birdie putt on No. 10 to knot the match up.
“We ham and egged it really well,” said Havay. “I played pretty poorly on the back nine and he (Diamond) was able to pick me up. He didn't play as well on the front and I was able to pick him up, so it was really good complementary golf.”
The match remained tied for much of the back nine. It wasn’t until No. 17, an intimidating 255-yard par 3 that the Havay and Diamond tandem saw their first lead of the match since the second hole. As Browndorf and Skirkanich hit errant tee shots, Havay landed his on the green with an opportunity at birdie. Lagging it to within a foot of the hole, Havay and Diamond went into No. 18 with a 1-up lead.
“I think our caddies helped us stay in the moment and said things to keep us nice and loose,” said Havay.
Havay and Diamond once again remained composed on the 396-yard par 4, halving the last hole to hoist the historic Ridgewood Country Club trophy in front of a crowd of Trump National - Bedminster caddies, winning 1-up.
“It was definitely close to a home game,” Havay commented. “Most of the time you have to travel more than an hour or hour and a half to get to these things. In reality, it was 10 minutes from work, 20 minutes from home. It felt like home.”
In the morning, Havay and Diamond routed their opponents, Kevin Silvestri and Matthew Kronisch, 4&2. They took an early 2-up lead after five holes and extended it to three at the turn. Silvestri and Kronisch made a comeback on holes 11 and 12, but Havay and Diamond remained unruffled, winning 13, 15 and 16 to close it out and head into the finals.
The victory marks the first NJSGA title for both Havay and Diamond.
NJSGA Social Media
For the latest updates and news, visit njgsa.org or follow New Jersey State Golf Association on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram at @NJSGA1900.