The 94th New JerseY PGA Professional CHampIonship
Welcome to the 94th NJPGA Professional Championship! This week, 148 PGA Professionals will compete for the most coveted title of the New Jersey PGA, the John J. Clancy Trophy, at the famed Crestmont Country Club in West Orange, New Jersey.
This event was introduced in 1928 and has produced champions such as Craig Wood, Vic Ghezzi and Peter Oosterhuis. Babe Lichardus, Emery Thomas and Frank Esposito share the record for the most titles with five each.
This year’s host, Crestmont Country Club, marks the sixth time the Donald Ross golf course has held this prestiguous event.
PGA Head Professional Bob Downey of Crestmont, who has worked at the facility since 1989, says the conditions of the course get better each year. “The golf course is in wonderful condition thanks to Superintendent, Peter Pedrazzi. On behalf of the Crestmont Country Club staff and membership, we hope that you enjoy the full experience. A word of advice: Keep the ball below the hole”.
Last year at the The Bedens Brook Club, Danny Lewis, Assistant Golf Professional at Hollywood Golf Club claimed his first New Jersey PGA Professional Championship after shooting 3-under in the Final Round.
Lewis’ performance was quite impressive as he was 6 shots back of Pat Fillian’s lead at the beginning of the Final Round. The turning point for Lewis was on the Par 5 12th Hole, a risk-reward hole. A conservative play would be to lay back leaving a 250 yard shot into the green for the second shot. The lefty phenom was anything but conservative, taking his tee shot way left of the fairway and carrying the tree lined left side of the hole, leaving him a short iron into the Par 5. Lewis went on to eagle the hole, the only one on that hole during the Final Round, which began his charge towards the then, leading Fillian. “The difference for me this week was my ball striking and putting. I really put myself into a lot of good spots. I didn’t really put myself into much trouble especially on the greens”.
Although Bedens Brook and Crestmont are very different golf courses, the strategies are similar. Both golf course demand that you know where to miss and where not to miss or else you will pay the price because of the severely sloped greens. Whoever can keep the ball below the hole, as Bob Downey suggested, will find good opportunities to score this week. Danny Lewis showed us last year that he was able to do that. This week will prove if he is able to replicate a similar performance to last year.
Cresmont Country Club, the host of the 2018 New Jersey PGA Professional Championship, is home to the site of Brent Studer’s fourth NJPGA Professional Championship victory. In 2018, Studer won the Section Championship by three shots over Upper Montclair’s Tyler Hall.
Crestmont Country Club