Junior Semifinals Set for Wednesday: Vowells vs. Wall; Celiberti vs. Greyserman
Dean Greyserman of Crestmont, last year’s runner-up, totaled 10 birdies in two matches as he was one of four golfers to advance into the semifinals of 98th NJSGA/William Y. Dear Junior Championship at the par-70, 6,455-yard Morris County Golf Club in Morristown.
Greyserman will be joined in the semifinals by 2017 champion Jack Wall of Manasquan River, medalist Will Celiberti of Arcola and Sean Vowells of Canoe Brook. On Wednesday morning, Wall takes on Vowells at 7:00 a.m. while Greyserman faces Celiberti at 7:10 a.m. The championship match will follow.
“I’m putting so much better. I switched from a mallet to a toulon blade for speed control and I’m making a lot of putts the past two weeks,” explained Greyserman, 15. His older brother, Max, won the Junior Championship in 2013 and then went on to win the NJSGA Open in 2014 and the NJSGA Amateur in 2015. His Amateur triumph took place at the Morris County Golf Club.
“It would be nice to do something my brother did, especially doing it at a place where he had a big victory,” said Greyerserman, who this past weekend reached the quarterfinals of the Met Amateur. Earlier this summer he shot 10-under-par over 54 holes at Streamsong Resort to win the Florida State Golf Association Boys’ Junior (13-15 Division) on July 8. He turned 16 on July 17.
Greyserman, who is a rising high school sophomore, recorded five birdies in his 4 and 2, Round of 16 victory over Barnes Blake of Echo Lake, including a 40-foot birdie putt on the par-3, No. 15. He added five more birdies in his quarterfinal triumph over Cole Ekert of Fairmount, 1-up.
Celiberti defeated Isaiah Marseille of Plainfield West 9 in the Round of 16, 3 and 2, then ousted Carter Nunez of Galloping Hill in the quarterfinals, 3 and 2. Celiberti recently won the Met Junior Championship and is seeking to become the first to win the Met and the NJSGA Junior Championships in the same year since Ken Macdonald of Upper Montclair did it in 1995.
“I didn’t hit as many fairways and I didn’t hit as many good shots as I did (Monday),” said Celiberti, who shot two-under-par 68 in earning the medal on Monday. “I think if you keep it in the fairway here, it’s not terribly hard to score. You just want to keep it in play.”
Celiberti, a resident of Ridgewood, is a graduate of Bergen Catholic and will attend the University of Maryland this fall as a member of the golf team.
“I think I’ll be fine tomorrow. I’m not worried. I’m good at match play. I trust myself,” he said.
Wall was determined to get past the Round of 16 where he lost last year to Moritz Weigold of Mendham. He totaled five birdies in his 3 and 2 victory over Connor Bekefi of Manasquan River in the Round of 16, then came back and defeated his Christian Brothers Academy teammate, Randall Lazzaro of Trump National in Colts Neck, 6 and 5, in the quarterfinals.
“This is a position golf course. If you can put it in the right spots and dial it in with your wedges, you’ll be okay,” said Wall, who helped lead CBA to three consecutive state high school championships. “The greens are really sloped and have difficult tiers, so you have to put it in the right spots or you’re in for some tough two putts,” said Wall, an incoming freshman at the University of South Carolina. “I want to keep focusing on putting it in the right spots. I want to go out and see how many birdies I can make,” Wall stated.
Vowells, 18, helped Oratory Prep to state non-Public B titles in 2015 and 2016 and will attend Fairfield University. He had two birdies in his 5 and 4 victory over Harrison Haas of Burlington and two more birdies in his quarterfinal victory over Clement Shao of Neshanic Valley.
Shao surprised defending champion and No. 1 seed Johnny Bush of Shackamaxon, 1-up, in the Round of 16.
“I think the first six holes are score-able, but it’s tougher to make birdies after that. You’ve got to get the course early,” said Vowells, runner-up in the MGA’s Carter Cup in 2018 and the third-place finisher this year. “I’ve definitely improved my iron shots. It makes it a lot easier to play for birdies and easier to get up and down.”
Semifinal and final round hole-by-hole scoring will be available on Wednesday at NJSGA.org, as well as full coverage across the NJSGA’s social media platforms.