RIVER VALE, N.J. -- Gregg Angelillo captured the 63rd New Jersey State Golf Association Pre-Senior Championship, carding a second-straight even-par 71 to complete the wire-to-wire victory at Edgewood Country Club in River Vale, New Jersey. Angelillo, 51, became just the second two-time winner of the W.Y. Dear Trophy since the event was separated from the Senior Championship in 2011.
“I don’t have a lot of individual titles,” Angelillo said. “I prepared very nicely for this tournament. I felt pretty confident out there. Today was a difficult day, just because of where I stood in the tournament, I knew that there were a bunch of guys chasing after me.”
After firing an even-par 71 in the opening round on Monday, Angelillo opened with three birdies on the front nine to get to 2-under par for the tournament. But with his competitors playing well, things tightened for Angelillo on the back nine.
“I was doing great until the 12th hole,” Angelillo reflected. “I hit a little squirrely shot and I ended up making an unbelievable bogey. People talk about making birdies and winning tournaments, but that bogey there won me this tournament. It could have been a disaster.”
After bogeys at No. 13 and No. 15, Angelillo approached the 17th tee tied at the top with Desai at 1-over par. “On No. 17, I knew we were tied, and I hit a great drive in the middle of the fairway, stuffed a little sand wedge in there and made it. I’m really excited. These tournaments mean a lot to me, and I’m glad that I get my name on the trophy.”
Baltusrol's Gregg Angelillo is our Pre-Senior Champion yet again!
After a 2018 victory at Roxiticus, Angelillo fired a 71-71-142 to win by one stroke over Nick Desai today at Edgewood CC.
This was Angelillo’s second Pre-Senior Championship title, but making this one a bit more special, he had his son, Michael, caddying for him. “I’ll get a little emotional here,” Angelillo said. “I’m so happy to have these types of experiences with him. He’s the most enthusiastic caddy out there. These are moments that I hope he remembers and I’ll never forget.”
Nick Desai and Pete Kozubal both played strong golf to make things interesting down the stretch. Desai, the champion in 2015 and 2017, shot 1-under 70 to finish second at 1-over par. Kozubal, the 2019 champion, also shot 1-under to finish in third place at 2-over par.
“I joke when I say this is major,” Angelillo said after the trophy ceremony, “but this is major to me, and it’s major to all these people that took the time off to play. Playing in a state event, when you’re playing against a field, where they are all decorated, and they all compete here to win this title, I really feel strongly that you have an opportunity to be a champion. Treat it like a major, and that’s what I did.”
Angelillo’s even-par 71-71-142 was good for his second ever NJSGA Pre-Senior Championship title. He previously won in 2018 at Roxiticus Golf Club by nine strokes.
Fans and players can also follow the organization on its social media outlets at Facebook.com/njsga1900, @NJSGA1900 on Twitter and @njsga1900 on Instagram.