By Mike Moretti

Ryan McCormick, 20, of Suburban closed with a round of 2-under-par 70 after a 5-under-par 67 in the morning for a record 72-hole total of 12-under-par 276 to win the 111th New Jersey State Golf Association Amateur Championship on Thursday, June 7, at historic Baltusrol Golf Club in Springfield.

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McCormick recorded rounds of 68-71-67-70 for a record 72-hole total of 12-under-par 276 to win by five strokes to win the 111th State Amateur Championship by five strokes.

Charlie Edler, 19, of Rumson (72-71-69-69-281), the reigning MGA Junior champion, and Brian Komline, 38, of Black Oak (72-71-69-69-281), the recent NJSGA Mid-Amateur champion, tied for the runner-up spot.

Brandon Dalinka, 18, of The Ridge at Back Brook (67-74-74-71-286), the first-round leader, was alone in fourth place, 10 shots behind McCormick (68-71-67-70-276).

McCormick, a rising junior at St. John´s University, became the first to shoot below par in each round. His 276 total bettered the marks for lowest score of 281 (-3) by Paul Antonucci at Shore Oaks in 1992 and 283 (-5) by Robert Bradley at White Beeches in 1995. The State Amateur has been a stroke-play event since 1971.

McCormick´s afternoon round over Baltusrol´s Lower Course, where Phil Mickelson won a PGA Championship and where Jack Nickluas won two U.S. Opens, included an eagle on the par-5 opening hole, three birdies and three bogeys. His lead was never below three shots in the afternoon.

The victory came jst three days after his father, Mark McCormick, the eighth-year head professional at Suburban Golf Club, qualified for next week´s U.S. Open in San Francisco. He will have a practice round next week with Mickelson and St. John´s grad and PGA champion Keegan Bradley, a St. John´s grad.

"Going into the afternoon, I knew I was ahead by six shots. I had been playing really well all week. I played the best golf of my life this week," said McCormick, who will join his father as a spector at San Francisco´s Olympic Club.

"I just wanted to play my game. The difference this year is my short game. I had a plan coming into this season where I really wanted it to be my year," said McCormick, who the New York City Amateur last week for a second time.

McCormick sank a 10-foot putt for an eagle on his final hole of the morning round, the par-4 ninth hole of The Upper Course, finishing up a round of 5-under-67, to open a six-shot lead over Edler and Komline.

McCormick stood at 10-under-par for the tournament following his 67 over The Upper Course.

On his eagle on the Upper Course ninth hole, McCormick drove a 3-wood 280 yards to within 10 feet and drained the putt.

At one point, the St. John´s University star birdied four of the first six holes on his back nine, the front side of the Upper Course to go 5-under, before incurring bogeys on the seventh and eighth holes. The eagle put him back at 5-under for the round

"I´ve just been playing well all week. I hit good iron shots this morning," said McCormick, who won the New York City Amateur for a second time last week. "If you hit the ball to the right side of the holes, you can make some putts.

"This afternoon, I just want to go out and do what I did this morning. I just want to relax and play well."

On Wednesday, McCormick, a Middletown resident, overcame a double-bogey four putt with an eagle three holes later to shoot under par for the second straight day and take a two-stroke lead at Baltusrol.

McCormick’s 1-under-par-71 on Baltusrol’s Lower Course came on the heels of his 4-under-par 68 at the Lower Course on Tuesday, giving him a two-day 68-71-139 and a two-shot lead over 18-year-old Brandon Dalinka of The Ridge at Back Brook, (67-74-141), the first-round leader.

Dalinka survived a shaky start, and came on late to birdie his final two holes to shoot a 2-over-par 74 in Wednesday’s second round.

On Thursday, the low 47 players were to play 36 holes, first on the Upper Course, then the Lower Course, to determine the winner of the E.M. Wild Championship Trophy.

Also on Wednesday, Anthony Aloi, 22, of Mercer Oaks, (West Windsor resident) the reigning NJSGA Public Links champion, was even par in the morning and remained at 2-under for the tournament (70-72-142), alone in third place. Brian Komline of Black Oak, (Bridgewater) the recent NJSGA Mid-Amateur champion shot 72-71-143 while Peter Kim of Royce Brook, a Metuchen resident and the reigning state scholastic champion, shot 70-73-143 to tie for fourth place.

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