Thirty-two of New Jersey’s top amateur golfers over the age of thirty will vie for the 24th New Jersey State Golf Association Mid-Amateur Championship May 7-9th at Eagle Oaks Golf Club in Farmingdale. Heading the list of impressive players is defending Champion Allan Small of Fairmount who captured his second Mid-Am title last year at Galloway National. A third title for Small would tie him with Bruce Young and Thomas Gramigna for most Mid-Am wins by one player.
Gramigna of Tavistock Country Club has won the Championship in three of the past five years (2002, 2003, 2005) and has proven himself to be one of the best players in the state. The three-time Champion advanced to Eagle Oaks by shooting a one-over par 72 at the Battleground Country Club sectional qualifying site, where he was one of three tri-medalists. Another past Champion, Harris Podvey of Newton Country Club, will contend for his second title after qualifying at Fox Hollow Golf Club with a four-over par 74 in windy conditions.
Reigning NJSGA Player of the Year Jay Blumenfeld of Mountain Ridge Country Club is another player expected to provide a formidable challenge. A semi-finalist last season, Blumenfeld will look to capitalize on his 2006 success and begin the ’07 season with his first major NJSGA title. Michael Deo of Montclair Golf Club (2006 NJSGA Amateur Championship runner-up), who turned thirty and became eligible for the Championship this past winter, seeks first-time success in this match play contest.
Other accomplished players in the field include 2005 NJSGA Open Champion Brian Komline of High Bridge Hills, 2005 NJSGA Player of the Year Ron Vannelli of Metuchen, and 2006 NJSGA Public Links Champion John Lovett of Charleston Springs. These three are joined by Dennis Blake of Basking Ridge, who claimed medalist honors at the Fox Hollow qualifier, and the other two medalists from the Battleground qualifier, Louis Giovi of Mercer Oaks and Rob Habeeb of Blue Heron Pines.
The Championship will be contested over three days (five rounds) from Monday, May 7th through Wednesday, May 9th. Eagle Oaks Golf Club, formerly known as Shore Oaks Golf Club, is centrally located in Farmingdale, New Jersey. Designed by former U.S. Open and British Open Champion Johnny Miller, the par-71, 6923 layout has hosted a number of prestigious events, including U.S. Open qualifying rounds in 2001 and 2004, the NJSGA Amateur Championship in 1992, and the New Jersey PGA Section Championship in 1991.