Randolph defends MGA Mid-Am title
GREENWICH, Conn. (October 6, 2016) – Several players held the lead during Thursday’s final round of the 10th MGA Mid-Amateur Championship at Tamarack Country Club, but Trevor Randolph of Arcola rose to the top at day’s end to claim the Westmoreland Cup for the second straight year. Randolph fired a 1-under 69 en route to his 141 total to earn a one-shot victory over Brian Komline of Black Oak—who matched Randolph’s 69 for the only two sub-par rounds in the championship.
While Randolph’s round was highlighted by four birdies in an eight hole stretch, a scrambling par on the par-4 18th secured the repeat win. He faced a challenging approach after a wayward drive to the right, but managed to punch his second shot under a set of trees to end up off the back of the green. “The lie was just gnarly,” said Randolph, describing the chip shot he faced. “It was very thick, sort of sitting up and you have to hit a lob wedge. It was one of those ones where you can kind of go under it if you’re not focused enough.” He was certainly focused, knocking the shot to within a couple of feet to clinch the title.
Randolph also overcame a rough start to his day, as he made a double-bogy on the first hole. But, he remained confident in his game and swing while focusing only on what stood immediately in front of him. “I was hitting it great. I had the four birdies in an eight hole stretch, but I also had three others that stopped on the lip. It was really good golf in the middle of the round there. I was just very focused on one shot at a time.”
While Randolph dropped a couple shots to begin, others made moves for their own bid at the title. Dan Macdonald, also of Arcola, grabbed a share of the lead as he played the first 11 holes in even-par. A trio of bogeys on Nos. 12-14 set him back, while a birdie on the par-4 16th helped him to a 4-over total and a solo third finish. Meanwhile, Komline tallied three birdies through the middle of his round to move up the leaderboard. He and Randolph stood tied down the stretch, but a bogey on the home hole led to Komline’s solo-second finish.
“I wasn’t really focused on being one behind,” remarked Randolph about his outlook to begin the day. “I was just focused on playing a good round and I thought if I could shoot under-par I’d have a good shot at winning.” After his shaky first, Randolph birdied Nos. 4 and 8 to pull back to even for the day. Two more birdies followed on Nos. 11-12, while a bogey on the 13th set him back to 1-under for the day and 1-over for the championship. He remained steady down the stretch, making five consecutive pars to come out on top.
“This course is very difficult,” remarked Randolph of Tamarack. “The greens are very fast and if you hit it in the wrong spots off the tee you’re playing defensive the whole way. I was really happy with all parts of my game.” Randolph’s win continues what has been an outstanding year, having also claimed victories at the Travis Invitational, Hochster Memorial and NJSGA Mid-Am. He, along with runner-up Komline, will represent the MGA in the upcoming French-American Challenge, October 18-19 at The Stanwich Club.
Steven Tarulli of Hempstead took fourth place with a score of 5-over 145, while Dennis Lynch of Nassau—the only other player that has claimed back-to-back MGA Mid-Am titles—and Ken Bakst of Friar’s Head followed in fifth and sixth, with totals of 146 and 147, respectively. Brad Barnett of Cherry Valley, Kevan McKinney of Tamarack and Jim Dufficy of the Links at Union Vale rounded out the top 10 at 148 for the championship.
Tamarack played to a par of 70 at 6712 yards during the final round, as players were tested from tee to green. Accuracy proved crucial on approach shots due to Tamarack’s elevated greens and flat bunkers. Outstanding conditions and firm, fast greens added to the challenge for the 41 competitors playing in the final round.
The Mid-Amateur is the MGA’s second youngest championship, making its debut in 2007 at Hudson National Golf Club. The two-day, 36-hole event is an invitational to competitors at least 35-years of age based on finishes in MGA and Met Area events. The trophy, the Westmoreland Cup, is named for longtime MGA Tournament Director Gene Westmoreland.
The 11th MGA Mid-Amateur will be played at Bayonne Golf Club in Bayonne, N.J.