Brian Komline of Black Oak, the only golfer to win five different NJSGA championships, shot one-under-par 71 to earn medalist honors in stroke-play qualifying for the 36th Mid-Amateur Championship on Tuesday, June 4, at the par-72, 6,616-yard Crestmont Country Club in West Orange.

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While the honor got him the top seed in match play – which begins with the Round of 16 on Wednesday morning – it did him no favors. Komline, who won the event in 2012, will meet last year’s runner-up Michael Brown of Darlington, who claimed the No. 16 seed as one of three golfers to shoot four-over-par 76.

Trevor Randolph, the defending and four-time champion, finished at plus-three 75. He also earned a difficult opening round match, drawing No. 6 seed Chester Patterson of Darlington, who shot 74 on Tuesday. Last year at Bedens Brook, Randolph edged Patterson in 22-holes in the semifinals before going on to defeat Brown, 2 and 1, in the final.

Troy Vannucci of Little Mill, who last week reached the semifinals of the U.S. Amateur Four-Ball Championship with Vince Kwon, shot even-par 72 to gain the No. 2 seed. He faces No. 15 seed Jim Cardamone of Colts Neck (76) in the Round of 16.

Match play on Wednesday includes the morning Round of 16 following by the quarterfinals. On Thursday, the semifinals and final take place with the Gigi Carnevale Championship Trophy at stake.

“I’ve been there before as a top seed, and had some really tough matches in the first round. It doesn’t matter who you play. It will be a battle either way,” said Komline, who carded five birdies against four bogeys. “I haven't been to Crestmont since the State Open was here in 2004 and I didn’t really remember the course. Fortunately, my caddie, John Doherty, has been here many times and guided me around."

Komline, the 45 year old resident of Bridgewater, started his round on the tenth hole. “I kept the ball under the hole. I played well my first 12 holes, going three under, but I got a birdie on No. 7 to help offset the three bogeys coming in,” said Komline, who bogeyed the par-4 Nos. 5 and 6, and the par-3 No. 8 on his back nine.

“I hit it down the middle and two-putted when I could - but I also made a couple of 8-to-10-footers for birdies.”

Besides the Mid-Am, Komline has also won the Open (2005 and 2007, the Public Links (2008), the Amateur (2010) and twice won the Four-Ball Championship, in 2010 with Mike Deo, and in 2008 with Niall Handley.

“I haven’t been playing as much as I’d like, with family life, kids who like playing baseball, plus traveling for work,” said Komline. “But I was happy to get out there and play well today. It was fun – although, I tweaked my back this past weekend playing in the Hoffman Cup. I took some Advil and felt better, but we’ll see what happens tomorrow (Wednesday) if I have to play more than 18 holes.”

Live scoring and full coverage of the championship will be available at the NJSGA web site: www.njsga.org, and also across the NJSGA’s social media platforms.

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