2017 champions Bill Charpek and Bill Henry will defend their respective titles at the NJSGA Senior Amateur Championship and the NJSGA Super-Senior Amateur Championship on Wednesday and Thursday, October 3 and 4, at the Essex Fells Country Club in Roseland.
These 2018 NJSGA senior championships are presented by the NJM Insurance Group for the first time.
Charpek: Going for Number Three
A little over a year ago Charpek, of Navesink Country Club, won his second NJSGA Senior Amateur Championship. This week, he goes for his third title in the 36-hole event played over two days.
In last year’s championship, Charpek, 61, shot one-over-par 71-72-143, six shots better than a quartet of runners-up at the 6,121-yard Glen Ridge Country Club. He won his first Senior Amateur in 2015 at Fairmount Country Club, in Chatham.
2017 was a good year for Charpek. Last year's victory capped a three-day span in which Charpek played some of his best golf. That same week, he was medalist in qualifying for the U.S. Senior Amateur at LedgeRock Golf Club in Mohnton, Pa.
Earlier that year, Charpek won the award for low amateur at the NJSGA Senior Open at his home club, Navesink River Country Club, while his daughter Julia caddied for him. Charpek, a 10-time club champion at Navesink is also a member at esteemed Merion Golf Club in Ardmore, Pa.
Charpek has been prominent on the state golf scene for years. He is a three-time State Amateur runner-up. His 2017 victory exempted him into the 2018 State Open, State Amateur and State Mid-Amateur.
"I've played in the U.S. Amateur three times in the 1980s and the U.S. Mid-Amateur twice, including the first one in 1981,” Charpek said.
“I still practice a lot and play competitively as much as possible and not just in senior events. I still kind of don’t think of myself as a senior. In my mind, I feel I can still play in the regular events,” said Charpek, who like Gary Player is a firm believer in physical fitness.
Charpek’s competition at Essex Fells could come from any in the group who tied for second last year at 149. They were Phil Fabrizio of Knickerbocker Country Club (73-76=149), Tom DiCinti of Old York Country Club (78-71=149) and first-round leader Joe Roeder of Little Mill Country Club (69-80=149). Roeder's 69 in the first round was the low round of the event. Former NJSGA Senior Player of the Year Jay Blumenfeld of Mountain Ridge is also in the field.
After the conclusion of play on Wednesday, the field will be cut to the low 29 scorers (plus ties), who will advance to Round 2 on Thursday.
Henry: Shooting for a Threepeat
Bill Henry is going for his third straight win in the concurrent NJSGA Men’s Super-Senior Amateur Championship (age 65 and above). Henry, out of Forsgate Country Club, shot 72-78-150 to win at Glen Ridge for a second straight year.
Henry’s par on the final hole of the 2017 Super-Senior event was enough to give him a one-stroke victory over Stephen Boyd of Baltusrol Golf Club (75-76=151). Third place went to Ned Steiner of Mountain Ridge Country Club (76-78=154) and fourth place to Bill Dittman of Fairway Mews (77-78=155).
Challengers to Henry this year include the top finishers from last year and several other SuperSeniors, including two-time champion Jim Byer of Springdale Golf Club and 2015 Senior Player of the Year Ron Vannelli of Forsgate Country Club.