Danny Lewis has won back to back Match Play Championships after defeating Brent Paladino 2&1 on Wednesday, May 12 at Echo Lake Country Club. Lewis is the first player in New Jersey PGA history to win back to back Match Play Championships since Forsgate CC's, Frank Esposito won the Jack Mitchell Trophy in 2006 & 2007.
"It's just a crazy feeling. 3 days, 6 matches, it's a lot of golf. I'm just lucky to have been able to advance all the way to the end", Lewis said after the round. "It's a grind, there are a lot of emotions that go into it. You're up, you're down, you're angry at yourself but at the end of it, you have to control it as best as you can. I play my best golf when I stay pretty neutral so I tried to stay neutral as much as I could throughout the last 3 days."
Lewis was down 2 early in his semifinal match against Morris County's Head Golf Pro, Craig Smith and down 1 going into the back nine in his final match against Paladino. "It's funny to say but I play my best golf when I'm down. I don't do as much thinking. I seem to play better when I'm down with my back up against the wall. This morning I was remembering last year when Pat Fillian had me down 3 early in the Final Match at Spring Lake. I told myself that I've been here before and that helped me keep battling and I was lucky to have been able to play some good golf down the stretch".
The 32-year-old Lewis has won 3 New Jersey PGA Majors in a span of 8 months, starting with the 2020 New Jersey PGA Professional Championship, 2020 Match Play Championship, and now the 2021 Match Play Championship. Lewis also won the 2020 Player of the Year Race last year. In his 4 seasons in the New Jersey PGA, Lewis has certainly made a name for himself. He will look to continue his impressive play entering next week's second New Jersey PGA Major of 2021, the Lincoln Charity Clambake held at The Ridgewood Country Club.