It’s been a great summer for Jim Dufficy of Hominy Hills, who on Tuesday, June 28, earned his second qualifying medal in as many tries.
On Tuesday, he was top man with a one-under-par 72 at the NJSGA Public Links qualifier at 6,645-yard Charleston Springs Golf Course (South) in Millstone Twp. The JSGa Men’s Public Links Championship takes place on July 20 at Mercer Oaks in Princeton Junction.
A month ago, Dufficy was medalist at qualifying for the NJSGA Amateur Championship at Forest Hill Field Club in Bloomfield. But a work commitment for the ironworker kept him from participating in the State Amateur at Montammy Golf Club.
Dufficy’s 71 was one shot better than playing partner Ryan MacDonald of Colts Neck. Tied for third at 74 were Doug Smith of Galloping Hill, Mike McComb of Twisted Dune, Brian Fitzpatrick of Neshanic Valley, David Warncke of Hominy Hill, and Brian Misher of Royce Brook.
A total of 17 golfers who shot 76 or better qualified for the championship.
“I can qualify with the best of them , but it’s a different story when I get to the championship,” said Dufficy, 47, who lives in Tinton Falls. “I really haven’t had a lot of practice. The less I think about it, the better I play.v I get tight when I get ot the big events.”
Diffucy did mention that practice with his young sons, Jack and Finnbar, has helped. He did make it to the U.S. Public Links championship in 2013 at Laurel Hill, Va.
“One of these days things will change for me. I’m striking it well. I hit it solid and missed a few putts, but I’m very happy,” said Dufficy, a native of West Orange.
Smith is a newcomer to New Jersey, accepting a job in the for the Kean University Foundation. His round included an eagle on the 16th hole.
“This was my first event in New Jersey,” said the native of Kentucky who was on the golf team at the University of Louisville. “I’m really looking to playing in the championship.”
Smith, 31, won the National Minority Championship, sponsored by the PGA of America, in 2005 at Port St. Lucie, Fla. He is working with the First Tee of Raritan Valley and is a course ranker for Golf Digest, having recently visited Baltusrol, Plainfield and The Bridge in the Hamptons, N.Y.
He has played in seven U.S.G.A. qualifiers and advanced to the U.S. Open sectional qualifier in 2010.