Semifinals Set at 100th W.Y. Dear Junior Championship
WEST ORANGE, N.J. - The semifinal matches of the 100th W.Y. Dear Junior Championship at Essex County Country Club is set, and Dean Greyserman, Cole Ekert, Dylan Gallagher, and Ethan Lee will return to the 6,800-yard course Wednesday two matches away from capturing the Lichtenwalter Trophy.
Cole Ekert, whose strong summer has included a T14 finish at the 120th NJSGA Amateur Championship presented by Provident Bank, defeated Jake Morgan 4&3 in the Round of 16 and rallied back to upend defending champion Thomas O’Neill, 4&2, in the quarterfinals. This will mark Ekert’s first final day appearance at the W.Y. Dear Junior, as he fell in the quarterfinals in 2019 and 2020.
“It’s really rewarding, especially since this is my last year before I go to college,” Ekert said. “I’m very happy to be in the semis. I think it’s going to be a dogfight tomorrow. I’ve got some good players lined up. I’m excited and ready to go.”
Dean Greyserman defeated Hunter Po 8&6 and Nathan Drogin 4&3 in his two matches Tuesday. Greyserman, the 2019 champion, advances to the final day of the tournament for the third time in four years. Greyserman is looking to become the first two-time champion of the event since Jason Bataille, who won the championship in back-to-back years in 1999 and 2000.
Tyler Lee and Dylan Gallagher both won their Round of 16 matches, 5&4, before engaging in a back-and-forth affair in their quarterfinal match. Gallagher opened up a two-up lead after the first two holes, before Lee battled back to tie the match on the 16th hole. The duo needed 28 holes to identify a winner. Finally, on the 10th extra hole, Lee missed the green long and Gallagher put his approach shot hole-high inside of seven feet. When Lee missed his par putt, he conceded the match to Gallagher.
“It was just a lot of back-and-forth, great golf all around,” Gallagher said following the 28-hole match. “It was a marathon. It was really up and down. I love golf, so it doesn’t really bother me to play that many holes. Luckily I pulled out the win. Hopefully I will play well tomorrow.”
In the final quarterfinal match, Ethan Lee needed all 18 holes to defeat Graeme Hollingshead, 2-up. Lee trailed 2-up after 10 holes, but won five out of eight holes coming in to secure the 2-up victory on the 18th green. It was the second victory of the day for Ethan Lee, who beat Graeme’s brother, Lance Hollingshead, in 19 holes in the Round of 16.
The 100th W.Y. Dear Junior Championship continues with the semifinals Wednesday morning at 7:30 a.m. Cole Ekert draws Ethan Lee, and Dean Greyserman will face Dylan Gallagher. The winners of each semifinal match will meet up in the finals later Wednesday afternoon. Continuing coverage of the championship will be available at NJSGA.org, where live scoring, news, and recaps will be featured Wednesday. Fans and players can also follow the organization on its social media outlets at Facebook.com/njsga1900, @NJSGA1900 on Twitter and @njsga1900 on Instagram.