O'rourke, Randolph Share Lead After Round Two Of 116th State Amatuer
First-round co-leader Dan O’Rourke of Oak Hill and veteran Trevor Randolph of Arcola share the lead at six-under-par heading into the 36-hole final day of the 116th New Jersey State Golf Association Amateur Championship after play in Wednesday’s second round at Tavistock Country Club in Haddonfield.
O’Rourke shot two-under-par 70 (68-70-138) and Randolph shot 69 for the second consecutive day (69-69-138) to hold a one-stroke lead over college golfers Dawson Jones of Jumping Brook (69-70-139), who plays golf at Rhode Island, and Sam Goldenring of Brooklake (68-71-139), who attends Williams College.
Three other golfers are two shots off the pace including 1998 champion Mike Hyland of Little Mill (71-69-140), 21-year-old Jared Mactas of Edgewood (73-67-140) , a recent graduate of Elon, and 19-year-old John Felitto (71-69-140), a Notre Dame golfer. Mactas’s 67 was the low round of the championship and one off the Tavistock course record.
The 41 golfers who shot 5-over-149 or better return for Thursday’s final day, which consists of 36 holes to determine a champion. Defending champion Thomas La Morte of Haworth, a rising senior at Campbell College (N.C.), shot 72-71-143 and is five shots off the pace.
O’Rourke and Randolph will be in the final pairing on Thursday morning when they tee off at 9 a.m.
“I tried not to look at the leaderboard and just stuck to my game plan, which was to hit as many fairways and greens a possible and to give myself good looks at birdie putts,” said O’Rourke, 20, a graduate of Delaware Valley Regional who resides in Milford. He is contemplating turning pro in the fall. O’Rourke last year qualified for the U.S. Amateur.
O’Rourke’s round was highlighted by an eagle on the par-4, 342-yard seventh hole when his pitching wedge from 129 yards backed up into the hole.
“Sometimes you need a little luck. I was coming off a bogey on No. 6 and after the eagle, I felt like I was off and running,” O’Rourke said.
He birdied holes No. 10 and 12 to go eight under for the tournament, but gave back three shots with bogeys on holes 13 through 15. He got one shot back with a birdie on the par-five No. 17 when he reached the green in two.
“I try not to look too far ahead,” said O’Rourke, who was twice runner-up at the boys’ high school Tournament of Champions. “If I stick with what I’m doing, I have a great chance to win.”
Randolph, 44, who lives in Franklin Lakes, is one of the most decorated golfers in the area. Last year, as NJSGA Player of the Year, he won the NJSGA Mid-Amateur for the third time in four years, won the Met Mid-Amateur and qualified for the U.S. Mid-Amateur.
“Winning the State Amateur is something I’ve wanted a long time,” said Randolph, who attended prep school in Washington, D.C., and graduated Rice University.
Randolph is currently between jobs and is concentrating on his game until beginning the new job at ghe end of July. Last weekend, he helped Arcola win the annual Hoffman Cup competition.
“I feel like my game is continuing to progress. I’m building on the past. Here, the back nine plays tougher than the front. You’ve got to be more precise of the tee. I like the position I’m in going into the final day,” he said.
On Wednesday, Randolph carded one birdie on the front, and immediately eagled the par-4, 300-yard 10th hole when he drove the green. He added another birdie on the par-4 No. 14, but bogeyed the par-five No. 15 and par-three No. 16 before adding a final birdie on the par-five No. 17.
“I’m looking forward to tomorrow,” Randolph said.
Mactas at one time was seven under par on the day and on his way to a course record. He did it with birdies on seven of the first 12 holes. He gave back two shots on No. 15 when he hit a tree and then found fescue for a double and bogeyed the par-three No. 16 when he found a bunker.
He rallied with a birdie on No. 17.
“When I was seven under after 12, and then 14 holes, I was playing really good. The golf hole looked like a basketball hoop today,” said Mactas, 21, who plans a going to Q-School for the Web.com Tour in the fall.