Tyler Hall Wins Back-to-Back New Jersey State Open Championships
Tyler Hall left no doubt.
The Wayne, New Jersey-native and director of instruction at Upper Montclair Country Club shot a 6-under-par 65 for his final round to finish at 15-under-par, seven shots better than Alexander Hicks of Stone Harbor Golf Club, to cruise to his second consecutive state title at the 96th annual New Jersey State Golf Association Open Championship at Galloping Hill Golf Course in Kenilworth.
The 34-year-old Hall (64-69-65–198) became the first back-to-back New Jersey state champion since Ed Whitman accomplished the feat in 1995-96 and the 12th player to win consecutive titles since 1921.
“It’s been a tough year so far and last year having come close in the Met Open and coughing it up the way I did, I really wanted to get back in the winner’s circle in a big tournament and fortunately this week it was my week and it feels pretty good,” Hall said immediately after the final round. “Just to have the support of my family and my club out here, the people came out and it’s pretty cool to have their support.”
After Hall and final group-playing partner, Campbell University-senior and Metuchen High School graduate Jeremy Nevius parred each of their first three holes, Hall struck first with a birdie on the par-4, 379-yard fourth hole and never relinquished the lead.
On the ensuing par-3, 150-yard fifth hole, Nevius hit a brilliant tee shot to within three feet, but pushed his birdie attempt right to par the hole, which would have put him in a tie with Hall.
Hall took advantage with birdies on the sixth and seventh holes, while Nevius three-putted the par-4, 407-yard seventh hole to register a double bogey and trail Hall by four shots heading to the back nine.
“Monday was really one of those special days and I really didn’t feel like I had my best stuff going into that round and I just kinda managed to get lucky in a few spots and piece it together and then today, I felt really comfortable and stayed in the moment all day and played great all day,” Hall said.
Hall was steady with a bogey-free back nine with birdies on 10, 13, 17, and (almost an eagle) at 18 to collect the $15,000 winner’s check.
Hicks (70-69-66–205) finished in second place, Brent Studer (71-67-68–206) of Metedeconk National Golf Club finished in third place at 7-under, and Nevius (65-68-74–207) and Richard Terga (70-69-68–207) of Mountain Ridge Golf and Country Club each tied for fourth place.
Last year, Hall fired an 11-under (68-69-68–205) to cruise to a seven-shot victory over a-Max Greyserman of Cresmont Country Club in capture last year’s championship at Rockaway River County Club in Denville.
136 players (65 professional, 61 amateur) started on Monday in the 54-hole, stroke-play tournament over the par-71, 6,845-yard renovated venue and after Tuesday’s second round, the field was cut to the lowest 50 scorers plus ties for Wednesday’s final round.
Opened in 1928 and headquarters to the NJSGA, Galloping Hill is the first county-owned and only the second public facility to host a New Jersey State Open since Asbury Park Golf Club in 1930.