Jack Wall’s four-under-par 68 led Christian Brothers Academy to its second consecutive New Jersey State Interscholastic Athletic Association Tournament of Champions triumph on Monday, May 21, at the Hopewell Valley Golf & Country Club in Hopewell.
The event is sponsored by the New Jersey State Golf Association, the MGA and the PGA Tour.
Wall’s 68, combined with a 75 from Brendan Hansen and 77’s from Michael Paduano and Randall Lazzaro gave CBA a 297 total, enough to win both the Tournament of Champions title as well as the Non-Public B championship over Bergen Catholic, which totaled 314 strokes. Watchung Hills and Old Tappan tied for second in the TOC, each with 311 strokes.
Wall, a junior at CBA and the reigning NJSGA Junior Champion, needed an extra hole to win the individual title over Arav Patel, a freshman from East Brunswick and Group 4 champion who also shot 68. The extra hole was the 132-yard, par-3 ninth hole, which Wall birdied from five feet. Patel recorded a par there.
“I’m here playing more for the team than I am myself. I tried to do my best, because one stroke can make a big difference out here,” said Wall, who was medalist two weeks ago at the U.S. Open Local Qualifier at Spring Lake.
The victories capped an excellent season for CBA, which also won the Shore Conference and Monmouth County championships.
“The greens were great today, rolling true and smooth. It’s a confidence booster to win this, because I had been struggling with my putting,” said Wall, who birdied his first hole of the day, that same par-3 No. 9.
Patel’s round included an eagle, three birdies and a three-putt bogey. His eagle came on the 476-yard, par-5 No. 4, when his 5-iron shot from 185 yards ended eight feet from the cup.
“I’m hitting my irons well. I’m getting stronger and I’m getting into rhythm,” said Patel, 15, who usually plays at Forsgate.
The Watchung Hills Group 4 championship team (311) included Brad Pinho at 76, Liam Larkin at 77 and Clement Shao and Owen Rossman at 79.
Old Tappan’s 311, good for the Group 3 championship, was headed by a 73 from Sam Yom. Yom, Ryan Lee (74) and Chan Park (75) paced the victory.
Madison won Group 2, receiving a team effort from Ryan Selquist, Luke Artigliere, Gabe Schlicksup and Logan Sabol. Artigliere fired a 72 to win the Group individual title.
Midland Park (348) won Group 1 behind Matt Diani, Mikey Folignani, Sean Furlong and Joe Furlong.
The Non-Public B championship went to Morristown-Beard (317) led by Matt Karrat’s 71 and Pat Ryan’s 75. Karrat was the Non-Public B champion.
The top individuals were Wall and Patel at 68, followed by Karrat of Morristown-Beard, Robert McHugh of Wayne Hills, the Group 3 champion, and Will O’Neill of Morristown, all at 71. Jack Strippoli of Verona won Group 1 with a 75.