Little Mill Country Club wins 6th Senior Interclub Championship
October 21, 2020 - The 6th NJSGA Senior Interclub Championship came down to the final putt - on the final hole - and Bernie Kelly’s par save on the par-3, 18th hole delivered a victory to first-year participant Little Mill Country Club on Wednesday at the par-71, 6,224-yard Deal Golf and Country Club.
(Above photo: Front row, Bernie Kelly, Carlos Ochoa, Jack Conway, Bruce Meisenzahl. Standing, Doug Jones, John McElgunn, Joe Roeder, Ed Kahn, Bill Cregar, Mike McGarry, Adam Armagost )
Little Mill, which shot plus-17 to edge Baltusrol by one shot and Echo Lake by two, was awarded the Adrian M. "Bud" Foley Cup that goes to the winning team. The champions were one of seven teams that won section titles in the overall Senior Interclub field that advanced to the finals at Deal.
The seven section winners, each featuring two “A” teams and two “B” teams, took part in the Four-Ball, stroke play, format for the overall championship. Each team's Four-Ball scores counted in the team total; the event is played at scratch.
Kelly’s tee shot on the 18th was just off the right side of the green. His 25-foot uphill putt left him with three feet and he calmly drained the putt to enable Little Mill to win.
Kelly and his teammate, Mike McGarry, shot plus eight. Leading the way for Little Mill was the paring of Adam Armagost and Bill Cregan at minus three. Carlos Ochoa and Joe Roeder shot even par and John McElgunn and Bruce Meisenzahl shot plus 12.
Also figuring in the team scoring were fourth-place Hamilton Farm (plus 24), followed by Royce Brook (plus 25), Fiddler’s Elbow (plus 27) and Bedens Brook (plus 45).
One highlight for Little Mill was an eagle by Armagost on the par-5, 14th hole. He reached the green in two and then sank a 25-foot eagle putt.
“It was a pleasure competing in the Senior Interclub. We were told about it when we hosted the NJSGA Open qualifier on July 1st. We showed that we have a very strong contingent of senior players who love to compete, and love to grind,” said Ochoa, a co-captain with Conway.
Little Mill proved its mettle when it defeated 2019 champion Metedeconk National in section play, 8.5 to 3.5.
“I’m glad we entered,” Conway said. “We have good competition at our club and our guys love to compete in NJSGA and GAP events. We’re excited about the victory and looking forward to next year.”
“I don’t think we’re that much better than the other teams that are here,” Ochoa said. “But we love to grind it out, and that’s what Bernie Kelly did on the final hole to enable us to win. That was not an easy thing to do.”
“The Adrian ‘Bud’ Foley Cup is named in honor of one of the greatest past presidents of the NJSGA,” said Eric Houseknecht, NJSGA president. “Bud was a great and thoughtful leader who exemplified everything that’s good about volunteerism and leading a public life devoted to the good of others. The NJSGA’s objective is to have this event capture the spirit of sportsmanship Bud brought to everything he did on behalf of our association.”
The “A” and “B” division format for the seven-week season of the Senior Interclub is designed to encourage participation from higher handicap golfers from each club. The “A” division may include golfers of any handicap index, while the “B” division may include only those with a handicap index of 8.0 or higher. In match play, the two divisions compete only against players in their same category.