Royce Brook G.C. wins NJSGA Senior Interclub title
PHOTO: Royce Brook G.C. Senior Interclub champions with Adrian "Bud" Foley Trophy . First row, from left, Gary Prato, Bob Blumber, Ed Sheehan and Huey Yang; Standing, from left, Jeff Hentz, Paul Schoeb, Fred Brower and Don Oshiro
Gary Prato and Huey Yang combined for a three-under-par 69 to lead the way as Royce Brook Golf Club won the Fourth NJSGA Senior Interclub Championship on Tuesday, Oct. 23, at Metedeconk National Golf Club in Jackson.
Royce Brook, which was awarded the Adrian "Bud" Foley Trophy that goes to the winning team, was one of six teams that won section titles in the overall 24-team Senior Interclub field. Winning their section enabled them to reach the finals at Metedeconk National.
The six section winners, each featuring two “A” teams and two “B” teams, squared off in the medal-play, best-ball format for the overall championship. All four better ball scores counted in the team total and handicaps are not applied in the scoring.
Royce Brook’s second “A” team of Bob Blumber and Paul Schoeb finished with a 74. Royce Brook’s “B” teams of Fred Brower and Jeff Hentz (80) and captain Ed Sheehan and Don Oshiro (82) also contributed to the victory.
Royce Brook’s combined total of 305 strokes was four shots better than Rockaway River Country Club and Montclair Golf Club, which both totaled 309.
Fourth place went to Forest Hill Field Club at 313, followed by Mendham Golf & Tennis Club at 317 and Oak Hill Golf Club at 321.
“This is only our second year in the Senior Interclub. Last year, in match-play, we lost our section title on the final weekend to Metedeconk, which went on to win the championship,” said Sheehan, who is also an NJSGA tournament official.
“We have about 25 guys on our team roster and I made it clear at the beginning of the year that we would use our best guys. We came so close last year, I knew we had to improve our B teams, and we did. That elevated us today,” Sheehan said. “Our club really supported us and treated all of our players very well.”
Sheehan was quick to point out that Prato was the star of the team. In the course of the year, Prato dropped only one point to an opponent, duplicating his strong performance in 2017.
“I had a good year and played well in all of the matches,” Prato said. “This is very meaningful for us. We were only in our second year in the event, and Eddie did a good job of shuffling our teams. And what you saw today was so many of the guys contributing to the victory.”
Prato and Yang combined for four birdies and one bogey. Each had two birdies on his own ball.
“Fortunately, we came here last year in our match against Metedeconk, so we saw the course. I knew if we came in under par, we would have a good chance today,” Prato noted.
The “A” and “B” division format for the six-week season of the Senior Interclub is designed to encourage participation from higher handicap golfers from each club. The “A” division may include golfers of any handicap index, while the “B” division may include only those with a handicap index of 8.0 or higher. In match play, the two divisions compete only against players in their same category.
The 2019 Senior Interclub Matches will kick off again late next summer. Organization is important – start thinking now about how your team will win the Bud Foley trophy next year.