Where college students go for golf

Rutgers Making Long Trip to NCCGA Nationals

By Austin Dillard

The NCCGA Metro Region concluded with a great season at one the oldest golf courses in New Jersey, Minebrook Golf Club in Hackettstown. The first round took place on October 19th, 2013 with amazing weather of high 65 degrees and very little wind. The green tees were playing 6,206 yards with a rating of 70.8 and a slope of 131. This 18 hole course was played for both days. The tournament was made up of 5 teams, two of which were from Rutgers University. Along with Rutgers was University of Delaware, University of Pennsylvania and Montclair State University. The first round concluded with a 3 stroke lead from Rutgers (A) team 393(+43) and Delaware finishing the day in second with 396(+46). In the individual tournament, Nicholas Clerici of Rutgers (A) team shot an incredible 74 (+4) and our Top Medalist from the first regional, Bobby Andersen from University of Delaware shot a remarkable 76 (+6) along with Ben Lerner, who also is from Rutgers (A) team.

The second round began early Sunday morning, October 20th, 2013. The teams had a shotgun start on the 18 hole course that played 6,206 yards with a rating of 70.8 and a slope of 131. It was very chilly, with a 20 degree drop of 45 degrees and very cloudy. With very little wind, the course was still pretty difficult to play. There were leaves all across the fairway and it was agreed to play a leaf rule and have a free drop if your ball was lost. The greens were extremely hard to read being the fact that the course was on the side of a mountain. Luckily, Rutgers (A) team did not let that keep them from winning Metro Regionals second tournament. They closed their second round with an outstanding 386(+33), a 10 stroke difference from the day before! University of Delaware coming again in second, shot an amazing 402(+52) and coming in third, Rutgers (B) team following with a 417(+67). All teams played great their second round and did not let the difficulty of the course hold them back. In the individual tournament, Nick Clerici (Rutgers A) again with an impressive round, shot a 73(+3), excelling one stroke from his earlier round. Kevin Walsh, also from Rutgers (A) team shot an excellent 74(+4), six strokes less than his first round of the tournament. Connor O’Brien of Rutgers (A) shot an impressive 75(+5) and Eric Risner of UDel shot also a remarkable 77(+7).

The individual tournament finished with impressive scores from a few players that placed in the previous tournament and also a few players who had a comeback this time around. Clerici stayed consistent and kept the lead and completing with a 147 (+7). Coming in second, also from Rutgers (A) was Kevin Walsh, who made a comeback in the second round and finished the tournament with a 154 (+14). Following behind him was Bobby Andersen of UDel who shot a 155 (+15), Eric Risner also from UDel 156 (+16), Matt Webber from UPenn 157 (+17), Ben Lerner from Rutgers (A) and Mike Pyne of UDel finished with a 159 (+19), and Adam Zweig of Rutgers (A) with a 160 (+20).

Overall the tournament went great! Mother nature was on our side and although the course was difficult to play, due to some restoration, it was still enjoyable to play at one of the oldest courses in New Jersey. Jim Gibson of Minebrook Golf Club and his staff were such a big help and the tournament wouldn't have gone as smoothly without them! Looking forward to the growth of the Metro Region for the next couple of months and excited to start preparing for Metro Regions spring tournaments!

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