MORRISTOWN, N.J. – Tyler Hall is now a three-time New Jersey State Open Champion as he came from behind to win the 101st Open Championship at Spring Brook Country Club. Hall, Director of Instruction at Upper Montclair Country Club earned the victory with a 5-under 65 in the final round on Wednesday afternoon.

“This win is not going to sink in for a few hours at least,” Hall reflected on his victory. “Just to do it here at Spring Brook, where I have some definite history and with a golf association that has been so near and dear to my heart, this is just a dream come true.”

Hall won back-to-back titles in 2015 and 2016. He now joins notable names such as the late Al Mengert, Clarence Hackney, Jack Kiefer, Jack Mitchell, Johnny Golden, Johnny Kinder and Vic Ghezzi as three-time State Open Champions. Only three have won more Open titles; Babe Lichardus, David Glenz, and Ed Whitman have each won four.

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Heading into round three, Hall sat in third place, four strokes off the leader, Michael Brown. After opening his final round with a birdie, Hall went on to shoot a 2-under 34 on the front nine. Following a 90-minute weather delay, Hall kept at it, recording pars on five consecutive holes.

Proceeding to the 17th hole, Hall (69-67-65) was tied for the lead after carding birdies on No. 15 and 16. A crowd of over 30 fans erupted on the par-5, 17th when Hall, 39, drained a short putt for eagle, moving him into sole possession of the lead. Hall closed out his round with a bogey, but it proved to be enough to edge the remainder of the field.

“I’ll credit my caddie,” said Hall. “He told me to just go out there and regardless if we start or restart, we have to play it like it’s just the two of us out there playing and not focusing on the leaderboard. I harnessed what my caddie Gary told me and went out there and knew if I made some birdies, I’d be in the hunt.”

The total purse awarded to professionals increased to $100,000 for the 2021 Open. Hall earned the increased winner’s check of $25,000, in addition to hosting the C.W. Badenhausen trophy.

 

 

Mike Muehr, of Pine Valley Golf Club finished as the low amateur after firing a course-tying record of 63 in the final round. He finished alone at second with an overall score of 202.

Finishing alone in third is Nick Bova, Director of Instruction at Hamilton Farm Golf Club. Bova entered the clubhouse with a 2-under 68 on Wednesday.

The low 25 finishers (plus ties) from this year’s championship earn an exemption into the 2022 Open Championship, which will be played at The Ridge at Back Brook.

“Today I just stayed patient, knowing that I was hitting the ball well and gave myself enough chances, it was just a matter of sticking to it and making a putt here or there to get some momentum going,” explained Hall. “I know what it’s like coming down the stretch of a major, and feeling that heat and it’s not easy. No lead is ever safe, as a competitor, you just have to keep grinding and get every shot you can and know that the other guys are going to feel it.”

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