State Amateur champion Thomas La Morte of Haworth headlines a group of 13 individuals who will comprise the team representing the New Jersey State Golf Association at the 91st Stoddard Trophy matches on Thursday, August 11, at Century Country Club in Purchase, N.Y.

La Morte is one of six collegians on the team that is looking to win the event for the first time in three years against golf association teams from Long Island and Westchester . In 2015, Westchester won by a half point over New Jersey, which has won 39 times. Westchester has won 24 times and Long Island 23 with four ties

“We have a good group of guys and a strong team. We have good mix of younger kids, some mid-amateur and senior players. Most of us know each other. We gel and get along well and hope to have a nice Stoddard Cup result,” said NJSGA captain Brian Komline of Black Oak, the only golfer to win the State Open, State Amateur, State Mid-Amateur and Public Links championships.


“Winning always great. While the Stoddard Trophy matches are very competitive and we all want to win, it is a nice day of camaraderie. You get to interact with the golfers from the other association. You there for the day with guys who have ll had good seasons and earned their place to represent their team in the matches,” said Komline, who is serving as captain for a second straight year.

Besides La Morte and Komline, the team includes 2016 Senior Amateur champion Jay Blumenfield of Mountain Ridge, 2015 Senior Amateur champion Bill Charpek of Navesink, 2007 Mid-Amateur and 2009 State Amateur champion Mike Deo of Black Oak, 2015 Pre-Senior champion Nick Desai of Baltusrol, 2015 Mid-Amateur runner-up Matt Finger of Darlington, and five-time Senior Amateur and 2004 State Amateur champion Allan Small of Fairmount.

The collegians include La Morte (Campbell University), Michael Graboyes of Twin Brooks (Cornell), former State Open and State Amateur champion Max Greyserman of Crestmont (Duke), 2016 Met amateur semifinalist Kieran Purcell of Essex County (Delaware), 2016 Met Amateur semifinalist Dawson Jones of Jumping Brook (RHode Island) and State Amateur qualifying medalist Dylan Stein of Copper Hill (Towson).

“It’s nice to be on the team, and to be honored as captain again is special. I enjoy doing it. I’ll try and try lead the team the best I can,” said Komline, a Bridgewater resident.

“All of these guys know how to play golf. They’re all there for the same reason - to go out and win and to have a good time. And hopefully we’ll win.”

Golf Digest and The Met Golfer regularly acknowledge Century as one of the top courses in New York State and the Metropolitan area, respectively. In 2013, Links Magazine ranked Century Country Cub as one of the "100 Most Prestigious Private Golf Clubs in the World".

Ben Hogan served as head pro there in 1940-41.

“Century is a fantastic golf course. The facilities are wonderful. It’s not terribly tight, but there are definitely trees there. There is ample room off the tee, but if you get wild, the golf course will penalize century is a course that rewards good golf shots,” Komline said.

The Stoddard Trophy competition is a one-day triangular match, featuring six alternate-shot matches in the morning and 12 singles matches in the afternoon. The competition began in 1922. The matches were not held from 1942 through ’45 due to World War II.

A total of 36 points were available in the afternoon singles matches, but the most one team could garner is 24 points if all 12 players swept all their matches.

On Thursday morning, players will be paired in twosomes . The NJSGA’s six twosomes will square off against twosomes from each of the WGA and LIGA. Each twosome can win a maximum of two points.

In the afternoon, all 12 individuals play against similar opponents from the WGA and LIGA with a maximum of 24 points at stake.

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