ROCKLEIGH, N.J. Brian Komline proved again today his stature as the top amateur player in New Jersey golf by shooting 7-under par to win the 36-hole Men’s Public Links Championship at Rockleigh Golf Course. With rounds of 68-67 earning him a two stroke victory, Komline adds the Public Links Championship to his two NJSGA State Open victories in 2005 and 2007.
After an opening round 68, Komline was clearly the player to beat. Close behind were two players who shot opening rounds of 69, Anthony Martire of Seaview and Andrew Tursky of Neshanic Valley, as well as Mike Paduano of Old Orchard, who shot 71.
In the afternoon round, Martire could not improve on his opening round and shot 72 to finish in third place. Tursky didn’t factor into contention with a closing round 79. But with a personal best 66, Paduano nearly caught Komline and finished in second at 5-under par. Merv Smith, who lost in a playoff last year, finished fourth and Nick La Banca of Shark River and Anthony Fioto of Charleston Springs finished in a tie for fifth. The top five finishers earn exemptions into next year’s State Amateur Championship.
Last year’s winner, Ajai Sirohi of Mercer Oaks, finished in the middle of the pack with rounds of 75-77.
En route to victory, Komline had one eagle, seven birdies and two bogeys on a course that measured 6,700 yards and on which he won the Bergen County Amateur last September. “I love this course,” he said, noting that it sets up well to his eye. A big hitter, Komline keeps the ball in play and has a marvelous short game for the infrequent occasions when he misses a green. He will defend his Bergen County title next month, at none other than Rockleigh. The day before capturing the Public Links Championship, Komline teamed with club mate Niall Handley to qualify for the NJSGA Four-Ball Championship at Spring Brook Country Club, which starts on August 11th. Komline and Handley combined for a 64 and medalist honors at the qualifier held at High Mountain. Komline’s game appears to be well-tuned for this next NJSGA major on the schedule.