WATCHUNG, N.J. - In his first ever open qualifier, Christopher Warner of Indian Spring Country Club fired a 5-under par 67 to earn medalist honors at the 101st New Jersey State Golf Association Open Championship Qualifier Tuesday at Watchung Valley Golf Club. Twenty-two golfers overcame upper-90s temperatures to qualify for the championship, which is scheduled to be played July 19-21 at Spring Brook Country Club in Morristown.

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Warner bogeyed the opening hole, but bounced back with four birdies on the front nine to make the turn at 3-under. He kept his round rolling with an eagle at the par-5 14th and a birdie at No. 15.

“I three-putted the first hole,” Warner said. “After that, I made a couple adjustments with the speed.”

Warner said the key to his success was his ball-striking. “I hit it well off the tee and was able to put a couple good iron shots in there. Proximity to the hole was good today, and I just got a couple to drop.”

 

 

Tuesday’s round was Warner’s first NJSGA tournament round since he was a junior.

“I’m just excited to play, to show that I can hang with the big guys out here.”

Danny Harcourt and Addison Bunn finished tied for second at 4-under par. Harcourt made nine birdies in his round, including seven in his opening nine.

“It felt like everything went in,” Harcourt said through a smile. “A 12-footer, a two-putt birdie on a par 5, a 10-footer on the next, and everything felt like it was going in from there. I made a couple long putts. The putter was the best part, but the irons were really good too. It was a really fun time. I just felt comfortable out there.”

Ryan Fountaine, the Director of Golf at Baltusrol Golf Club, made an eagle and four birdies to finish alone in fourth at 3-under. Jason Lee shot 2-under to round out the top-five. The top-15 and ties (+2 and better) qualified for the 101st NJSGA Open Championship.

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