PHOTO: From left, Women's Senior Amateur Champion Helen Bernstein and Super-Senior champion Soo Kyong Lee  

Helen Bernstein of WGA of New Jersey carded a nine-over-par 82 in windy and wet conditions to win the 49th NJSGA Women’s Senior Championship on Wednesday, Oct. 17, at the par-73, 5,459-yard Fairmount Country Club in Chatham.

Bernstein was three strokes better than Kathy Smith of Ash Brook Golf Club, who shot 85, and four shots better than four-time champion Fran Gacos of Copper Hill Country Club and Karen Hansard of Neshanic Valley Golf Course. Tied for fifth at 87 were Susan Zupnik of Wessex WGA and  Sue Sardi of Cherry Valley Country Club  in the field of 21 golfers.


In the Super-Senior Division, Soo Kyong Lee of Warrenbrook Women’s Golf Association was the champion with a 98, followed by Kathy McGrorry of Jumping Brook Country Club at 100 and Susan Derose of Forsgate Country Club at 102. Derose won the Third Flight and Smith the Second Flight.

The championship was originally scheduled to be played over 36 holes last month, but was postponed and changed to an 18-hole championship at Fairmount.

Bernstein, 52, won the NJSGA Mid-Amateur Championship at the Upper Montclair Country Club in Clifton in 2016. Also that year, she paired with Sherry Herman of Colts Neck to win the Women’s Four-Ball Championship for a second time.

Bernstein is a native of Manchester, England, who came to the U.S. 26 years ago. She is a marketing photographer for real estate, mostly in Essex County. 

“This is a really nice event to win, but it was unfortunate that it was only 18 holes, and we were lucky to get that in with all this bad weather,” said Bernstein, who carded a birdie when she drained a 15-foot putt on No. 18.

“I putted well and stayed out of trouble and relied on my short game. My game has been quite good this summer, since I took a lesson and straightened out my alignment,” said Bernstein, a resident of Tenafly. “It’s always meaningful to win.”

Lee, a resident of Bedminster, was a flight winner this summer in the Somerset Women’s Golf Association championship.

“This feels really good. Sometimes, it was a struggle out there, but there were a lot of good holes,” said Lee, 68, who was playing in her first Super-Senior Championship.

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