Steve Shellock, the first-year head professional at Suneagles Golf Club in Eatontown, carded a three-under-par 69 and claimed medalist honors on Monday at the 99th NJSGA Open Qualifying Round at 6,781-yard Glenwood Country Club in Old Bridge.

Scoring

Photo Gallery

Shellock recorded six birdies, a double bogey and a bogey as he was one of only two golfers to shoot a sub-par round. Hunter Wescott of Valley Brook, an Oregon native, shot a one-under-par 71.

A total of 22 golfers and ties who shot 76 or better advanced to the NJSGA Open, which takes place July 22-24 at Trump National Golf Club (New Course) in Bedminster.

“I had a practice round here and I decided to play it conservative today,” said Shellock, a native of Shrewsbury who spent 10 years on the Hooters Tour (now Bridgestone Tour) and recorded 15 victories.

“I only hit two drivers all day, and I was happy with my approach shots,” said Shellock, who in 2009 fired a career-low 61 in a Hooters Tour event at Amelia Island (Ga.). “The greens were really rolling well. I made some good putts.”

Shellock, 35, started out strong with birdies on three of the first four holes, marred only by a bogey on the par-4, No. 2.

He continued his hot hand with a birdie on the par-3 No. 6, the par-4, No. 8, and the par-4, No. 13, to get him to five under par. The double bogey came on the par-4 No. 16. He hit a hybrid off the tee that found a bunker on the 400-yard hole. Due to what he described as an awkward stance on top of the bunker, his second shot hit the lip of the obstacle and the ball fell into the bunker. He came up short of the green on his third shot, then chipped and two putted.

“The last time I played in the State Open was at Shackamaxon (2002) and I was still an amateur,” said Shellock, who caddied at Trump National in Colts Neck the past three years. He was recommended to the Suneagles head pro opening by close friend Chris Dailey, a nephew of new owner Sal Martelli.

“I can’t wait for the State Open. I just want to get back and play competitively again,” Shellock said.

Wescott is a rising senior at Dominican College in New York. He is spending the summer in Boonton at the home of his college golf coach, Keith Prokop.

This website requires javascript. Please enable it or visit HappyBrowser.com to find a modern browser.