WEST ORANGE, N.J. - James McHugh of Pine Barrens Golf Club made five birdies on the back nine to shoot 1-under par 69 and earn medalist honors, as 10 golfers qualified for the 120th New Jersey State Golf Association Amateur Championship presented by Provident Bank on Monday morning at Rock Spring Golf Club in West Orange. Ricky Calve and Carter Nunez shared second place at 1-over par.

McHugh was two-over after nine holes, but caught serious momentum on the back. He was the only golfer in the field of 60 to finish under par.

Scoring

“On the front nine, I was still hitting them pretty good,” McHugh said. “I made a good par save on nine -- finally saw a putt go in. I think that kind of jump-started me. I started to get some putts rolling in on the back nine, which was really nice.”

 

 

Ricky Calve’s 1-over par 71 was buoyed by a pair of long birdie putts at holes No. 9 and 11. “I felt good,” Calve said.

“I made some long putts, but missed some short ones," said Calve. "Overall, it was pretty good.”

Carter Nunez birdied the 18th hole to earn a share of the runner-up position. He was 4-over after the first nine, but made three birdies and six pars coming in to finish 1-over.

“I had to calm down the nerves,” Nunez said. “I made three silly bogeys on three, four, five, and I also three-putted nine, so I was four-over after the turn. But I knew I was hitting some solid shots, and I think I hit nine-of-nine greens coming in, and I was able to snag a few birdies.”

Overnight rain and intermittent morning showers softened the golf course, but play started and finished without a hitch. John Probst (Essex County C.C.), Marko Kazanjian (Essex County C.C.), and Tim Daily (New Jersey National G.C.) shared fourth place at +2. The top-eight and ties (+3 and better) qualified for the championship, which is scheduled to be played July 6-8 at Essex Fells Country Club. 

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