John Kilcullen, captain of his Jumping Brook foursome, knew what it took to win the NJSGA’s 46thBest- Ball-of-Four Championship. Going into Tuesday’s event at the Panther Valley Golf and Country Club, Kilcullen’s name had already been engraved on the trophy five times over the years for being on a winning foursome from Spring Brook.


“It takes a blend of a low handicapper, two mid-handicappers and a high handicapper, getting as close as you can to a combined 50 strokes, and then going for it,” said Kilcullen, who teamed with Jumping Brook’s Bob Skowrenski, Howard Popyer and Joe D’Agostaro to post a combined score of 15-under-par 56 to win the August 21 event over a full field of 27 foursomes over Panther Valley’s 6,445-yard course.

Jumping Brook won by four strokes over teams from Panther Valley (Allan Falvey, Steve Jaros, Paul Gillard and Jerry Rosman) and Toms River (Bill Sorrentino, Bruce Himelman, Paul Rhine and John Ernst). Panther Valley was awarded runner-up status on a match of cards.

“I parred all the par 3s and hit all my irons well today,” said Kilcullen, who plays to a handicap index of nine yet shot a natural 73 on Tuesday. Kilcullen was on Spring Brook´s winning foursomes in 1986, ´87, ´96, ´97 and ´98.

“I’ve played real well this summer. I won the senior gross division of the Mixed Pinehurst with Kathy McGrorry and last week won a member-guest at Spring Brook with a 74.

“What helped us today was the wet conditions, enabling us to go for the green. We had to keep it out of the rough and hit the irons like low darts,”Kilcullen said.

The highlight of the round for Jumping Brook came on the par-3 10thhole when 14-handicap Skowrenski chipped in from the fringe for a natural two which enabled him to post a one on the scorecard. Skowrenski, 70, of Oakhurst, won three holes for the team while Popyer, 48, of Marlboro, and D’Agostaro, 50, of Shrewsbury, took two apiece.

Kilcullen was responsible for 11 low holes, including a stretch of natural birdies on the par-4 15th, 16thand 17thholes.

“Bob’s chip-in was a two-for-one for us,” said Kilcullen, 58, who has residences in Morristown, Point Pleasant Beach, and at PGA National in Florida and works in the industrial packaging/shipping container business. “We just had a real good day as a team.”

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