Pasternak Defends W.Y. Dear Boys Championship; Zang Wins Girls' Championship in a Playoff
LAWRENCEVILLE, N.J. - Madeleine Zang played her final 15 holes, including three playoff holes, bogey-free to win the 67th New Jersey State Golf Association Junior Girls’ Championship Thursday at Cobblestone Creek Country Club. Four other golfers held the lead throughout the final round, but Zang, who played her last 12 holes at 1-under par, was able to outlast the rest of the field.
In the 51st New Jersey State Golf Association W.Y. Dear Boys Championship, Liam Pasternak followed Wednesday’s new course record 67 with a 1-over par 71 Thursday to become the event's first back-to-back champion since 1998.
“It was really amazing, especially during the playoff. I haven’t had a playoff in years, so it was a really great experience for me,” Zang said. “Yesterday was one of the best golf rounds I’ve ever played in a tournament, so it was really exciting to see how far I’ve come.”
Zang began the day tied for fourth and one stroke off the lead. She made a pair of bogeys on the front nine, but settled in to shoot 1-under 34 coming in.
“I came in today just hoping, just trying to keep my head in the game,” Zang explained. “Trying to bring up another good score, and today I definitely achieved that.”
Angelina Tolentino finished in second place. Like Zang, Tolentino also delivered a bogey-free back nine. Both players made tap-in pars at No. 18, the first playoff hole, and No. 17, the second playoff hole. Playing No. 18 for the second time in three playoff holes, Zang stuck her approach to five feet, and made two putts from there to secure the championship.
“I’ve played with Angelina before and she’s so nice, it was really great to see her in the playoff with me,” Zang said. “The first playoff hole was a little bit nerve-wracking, definitely. But, I got the nerves settled and was great from there.”
Last year’s champion at Watchung Valley, Pasternak became the first golfer to successfully defend his W.Y. Dear Boys title since J.P. Longueil went back-to-back in 1997 and 1998.
“That’s pretty crazy,” Pasternak said when told he had just become the first two-time champion in over 20 years. “I don’t know. I played well enough, and just got it done.”
With a birdie on the 36th hole, Liam Pasternak of @EssexFellsGolf puts the final touch on his defense of the 51st W.Y. Dear Boys Championship.
Pasternak drained a 20-foot putt at the 18th hole for his 10th birdie of the championship. It gave him a seven-stroke advantage over runner-up Alex Patel, who shot 72-73 (+5). Even so, Pasternak felt his tournament could have been even better.
“I left a lot out there. I didn’t have my best stuff,” he said. “But you can always play a good round by just making a few putts here and there.”
Arth Sinha shot the round of the day Thursday, an even-par 70 with four birdies, to place third at 6-over for the tournament. Arjun Caprihan finished fourth, shooting back-to-back 4-over 74s.