MORRISTOWN, N.J. – Michael Brown, champion of the 120th NJSGA Amateur Championship presented by Provident Bank leads the 101st New Jersey State Golf Association Open Championship after 36 holes at Spring Brook Country Club. Despite a hazy sky from the Western wildfires, Brown fired an impressive 5-under 65 on Tuesday afternoon.

“I was thinking really clearly today, making decisive decisions and the putter was good,” Brown explained. “I got off to a slow start by bogeying the first two holes, but I just tried to take it slow to bring it back, and then I got hot on the back nine.”

 

 

Brown, 48, compiled a whopping six birdies and an eagle. His 11 birdies for the event are tied with Spring Brook’s William O’Neill, who sits in a tie for seventh. Brown owns amateur titles in New Jersey (2021), Delaware (2021) and Pennsylvania (2020). He also won the 2020 Mid-Amateur Championship at North Jersey Country Club. 

“Tomorrow I’m going to be aggressive off the tee and aggressive with the putter and other than that, be less aggressive with my irons,” Brown said. "This is kind of the recipe that has been working for me right now.”

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Nick Bova, Director of Instruction at Hamilton Farm Golf Club sits alone at second place. Bova, 36, enjoyed three birdies and a pair of eagles in his second round, but double-bogeyed the par-3 10th to open his back nine on a sour note. Bova also carded bogeys on No. 1 and No. 13. He closed out his final two holes at 3-under par to shoot a 3-under 67 on Tuesday. 

"Tomorrow I’m going to make aggressive swings at conservative targets," explained Bova. "The hole locations are in places that are tricky and really tough. You have to be smart with your start line and where you’re trying to hit it and I’m going to do that all day tomorrow.”

Bova most recently won the Golfzon Pro-Scratch Championship on July 12 at Hamilton Farm. Most notably, Bova was the 2018 winner of the Lincoln Charity Clambake at Rumson Country Club.

First round leader Mark Costanza shot a 5-over 75 on Tuesday. He sits in a tie for ninth alongside Pat Wilson, Mike Muehr and Bill Hook.

The Hamilton Farm contingent of Bova, Costanza and Wilson are all in the top-10.

Forty-three players advanced to the final round of the 101st Open Championship at Spring Brook. The final 18 holes of stroke play will resume at 7:15 a.m. off of tees No. 1 and No. 7.

Coverage of the 101st NJSGA Open Championship will continue at NJSGA.org, where live scoring, news, and recaps will be featured through the conclusion of the championship on Wednesday.

Fans and players can also follow the organization on its social media outlets at Facebook.com/njsga1900, @NJSGA1900 on Twitter and @njsga1900 on Instagram.

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