ORADELL, N.J. (October 22, 2008). The warmth of the clubhouse and the fireplace was a good place to be this afternoon after the conclusion of play in the NJSGA’s Tournament of Club Champions. On a cold, brisk day intrepid club champs from across the State gathered for the NJSGA’s season-ending championship at Hackensack Golf Club.

In the men’s division, Pablo Hernandez of Knoll C.C. overcame the elements and fired an impressive two-under par round of 70 to take his first NJSGA title. Ron Vannelli of Metuchen was one stroke back at 71 and Jeremy Quinn of Panther Valley captured third with an even par 72. Impressive scores from all of the top finishers given the cold temperature and gusty winds!

Hernandez, a native of Puerto Rico who has lived in this country for many years, displayed a lot of natural talent today. “I have never taken a golf lesson in my life,” he commented after the round.

In the women’s division, Fran Gacos of Copper Hill fired the only sub-80 round en route to her victory with 79. Shareen Lai of Mercer Oaks finished second with 81 and Linda Leahy of Fairmount took third with 83. Gacos is now a three-time winner of this event, having been champion in 2005 and co-champion in 2004.

The Tournament of Club Champions is an opportunity for male and female club champs from NJSGA-member clubs all over the State to gather at the end of the season for one round of stroke play to determine the champion of champions. The event is sponsored by Eastman Properties, a Livingston-based commercial real estate development firm.
Hackensack, a wonderful Charles Banks design, was set up to play at 6,639 yards for the men but played much tougher in the wind and with its greens rolling fast.

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