Brent Studer of Metedeconk National Golf Club was in control of the New Jersey Senior PGA Professional Championship presented by Golf Advisor and John Deere from start to finish.
The 53-year-old, who did not surrender his lead all week, went on to win by eight strokes for his first senior major at Navesink Country Club.
“I wanted this really bad.” the 2017 New Jersey PGA Hall of Fame inductee
said. “I know I can hit the golf ball as well as I ever have.”
| OMEGA Senior Player of the Year Point Distribution
Studer held a two-stroke lead after the first day, and slammed the door shut when he finished with a 36-hole total 9-under par 135.
Studer’s win is the largest margin of victory since the 2010 New Jersey Senior PGA Professional Championship, which was won by Chris Dachisen at Knickerbocker Country Club by seven strokes.
This championship is a qualifier for the Senior PGA Professional Championship, held at PGA Golf Club October 25-28. There was seven qualifying spots available. Frank Esposito of Forsgate Country Club won the national event for the second time last year
. The Senior PGA Professional Championship is on the road to qualifying for the KitchenAid Senior PGA Championship. The top 35 finishers from the senior national championship will qualify for the major event, which will be held at Oak Hill Country Club, May 21-26, 2019.
Esposito, who won the New Jersey Senior Open when it was held at Navesink last year, finished in a tie for second with Anchor Golf Center’s Mark Yannotta, who has qualfied for the Senior PGA Professional Championship three of the last four years.
Ed Whitman of Knickerbocker Country Club, who has won this event four times (2003-2005, 2014), tied for fourth with Mark McCormick of Suburban Golf Club, who has now qualified for his fourth consecutive Senior PGA Professional Championship and fifth overall.
In his first year of eligibility, Scott Paris of Plainfield Country Club held steady and finished alone in sixth at 3-over. Paris competed in the 2015 PGA Professional Championship when it was held at Philadelphia Cricket Club.
In a 3-for-2 playoff for the final two qualifying spots, Jim McGovern of White Beeches Golf and Country Club, who played in the U.S. Senior Open in June, and David Glenz of Black Oak Golf Club, booked their spot inside the field of 264 competitors.
Earlier this season, Studer had a lingering shoulder injury, which he thought could have affected his game for the year. Luckily, he was able to heal the pain and learn a new swing under Metedeconk’s Director of Instruction, Terry Rowles.
“He gave me something to think about on how to take pressure off the shoulder,” Studer said. “It’s closer to me body and it doesn’t hurt. Sure enough, these last seven rounds [over the past week] have held up. This is going to be my new swing. I’m going to keep working on it.”
Studer also credited a putting tip that he received from a member at Metedeconk on how to focus on the line of the putt than the stroke.
“What a difference it’s made,” Studer said. “Hopefully I can carry it throughout the season. Maybe I can get a couple more wins.”