By-Rick Jenkins

David Pierce is leading the NJSGA Player of the Year standings, but his lead is a narrow one. Brian Komline is nipping at his heels and Tom Gramigna is within striking distance. The race is essentially a three horse race to the finish line: Pierce with 667.5 points; Komline with 655 points; and Gramigna with 597.5 points.

The finish line is the NJSGA’s season-ending event, the Tournament of Club Champions, which will be played at Eagle Oaks Golf Club on October 14th. Any 2010 club champion from an NJSGA member club can compete in this tournament. To date, only Gramigna is entered in this event.

Other opportunities to pick up Player of the Year points as the season winds down include the MGA Mid-Amateur at Glen Arbor Golf Club in early October, the Nassau Invitational and the Suburban Cup. Pierce is in the field at the MGA Mid-Am and Pierce and Komline are scheduled to play in the Suburban Cup at Suburban Golf Club on October 8th; none of these players is playing the Nassau Invitational. Players can earn points from events outside the NJSGA as well as NJSGA championships. For example, points can be earned from playing in USGA national championships, championships sponsored by other golf associations such as the MGA and the GAP, and certain club invitationals like the Metedeconk Invitational and the Crump Cup.

Pierce garnered most of his points by winning the NJSGA Mid-Amateur at Galloway National, our first event of the season, and by finishing tied for third at the State Amateur at Montclair Golf Club in June. He added more points in July with a second place finish at the Men’s Public Links Championship at Charleston Springs and overtook Brian Komline for the lead in early September with a victory at the Metedeconk Invitational.

Komline secured most of his points by winning the State Amateur at Montclair Golf Club in June with an exciting playoff victory. June was a big month for Komline, who also finished second at the MGA’s Ike Championship at Metropolis Country Club and picked up more Player of the Year points.

Gramigna surged into contention with a T-7 finish at the State Open at Spring Brook in July; he also earned second low amateur honors with that finish. Earlier in the season, he garnered points at the NJSGA Mid-Amateur as a semi-finalist, losing to eventual champion Pierce. Gramigna also picked up points as a local qualifier for the U.S. Open this year.

As the three points leaders, Pierce, Komline and Gramigna were selected to represent the NJSGA at the USGA State Team Championship two weeks ago in California. The New Jersey squad finished in 23rd place at Mayacama Golf Club. The event was won by the Kansas team.

Last year, Jay Blumenfeld and Michael Deo shared NJSGA Player of the Year honors. Each is in the top ten in points this year. The Player of the Year award, sponsored by Donnelly Construction, will be presented at the Celebration of Golf gala on October 21st at Crestmont Country Club.

Stay tuned for what should be an exciting race to the finish!

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