Thomas Urciuoli of Baltusrol had a round to remember, collecting a pair of chip-in birdies for a round of two-under par 68 to earn medalist honors in qualifying for the 118th NJSGA Amateur Championship on Thursday at the par-70, 6,354-yard Cobblestone Creek Country Club in Lawrenceville.

The 22-year-old Urciuoli, who won the NJSGA Four-Ball Championship in 2017 with partner Will Voetsch,  was two shots clear of the trio of Brandon Capone, 26, of Old York at Chesterfield, Akhil Giri, 18, of Laurel Creek, and Matt Castillo, 43, of Fountain Greens, who all shot 70.

Scoring

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A total of 10 golfers in the field of 45 who shot 73 or better advanced to the NJSGA Amateur, presented by Provident Bank, July 9-11, at Neshanic Valley Golf Course in Neshanic Station.

Play was delayed by rain for nearly four hours before beginning at 12:30 p.m.

Urciuoli, a recent graduate of Fairfield University who plans on going to grad school there, shot one-over-par on the front nine, but turned it around on the back nine with four birdies, including the pair of chip-ins, against one bogey. His other birdies came on the par-3, No. 14, and the par-5, No. 15.

The first magic moment came on the par 4, No. 10, when he chipped 45 yards downhill from the left rough behind the green. The other came on the par-4 No. 17, when he found the hole from 18 feet.

“I never played here before and I really like the layout,” Urciuoli said. “It’s a placement golf course. It’s short at 6,300 yards and it seems like you can hit driver on several holes, but there are doglegs left and right, so you have to use your imagination,” said Urciuoli, who on Monday at Mendham Golf and Tennis Club qualified for the Ike Championship.

 “Today it was about my putter and my wedges. I was hitting the numbers and rolling them in from 10 feet and in. You had to stay below the hole. That was my goal all day.”   

Urciuoli has twice before played in the NJSGA Amateur Championship. In 2017 at Tavistock Country Club, he made the cut and shot 221 for 35th place.

Thursday’s event was the final of four qualifiers for the 118th Amateur Championship, which takes place July 9-11 at Neshanic Valley Golf Course in Neshanic Station. Follow live scoring, presented by NJM Insurance Group, at njsga.org

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