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Top Field to Compete in MGA Senior AMateur at Navesink

ELMSFORD, N.Y. (April 30, 2013) – The long, harsh winter months will all be a distant memory when the MGA season tees off with the 86thMGA Senior Amateur Championship at Navesink Country Club in Middletown, N.J., on May 6 and 7.

A full field of 168 Met Area amateurs ages 55 and over will put their early-season form to test in one of the most competitive events on the MGA schedule. The field will play 18 holes of stroke play on Monday, May 6, after which a cut will be made and the low 40 scores and ties will advance to the second round. The championship will conclude with 18 holes of stroke play on Tuesday, May 7.

Highlighting a talented group of players is first time Senior Amateur participant Ken Bakst of Friar’s Head and seven past champions, including 2012 and 2008 victor Ron Vannelli of Forsgate. Bakst, a former U.S. Mid-Amateur champion and Met Amateur champion, is playing at a highly competitive level and just last year made the on-site cut at the Met Amateur at Hollywood. Vannelli was on the winning end of a one-hole playoff against Tom Trakoval of Port Jefferson last year at Metedeconk National. His strong year continued  in 2012 advancing to match play at the U.S. Senior Amateur at Mountain Ridge.

The runner-up Trakoval also returns to the field this year, as well as 2009 winner Al Small of Fairmount. Small, the reigning NJSGA Senior Amateur champ, finished third at Metedeconk in 2012 and was the low amateur at the MGA Senior Open last August at Garden City Country Club.

Another past winner looking to add another victory to his impressive amateur career is John Ervasti of Sleepy Hollow, the only player ever to win both the MGA Senior Am (2011) and Senior Open (2010). 2007 champion Jay Blumenfeld of Mountain Ridge is also poised to hoist the trophy again as he also advanced to match play at the 2012 U.S. Senior Amateur at his home course.

Three-time champion (‘10, ’05 and ’03) Steve Rose of Fresh Meadow, Shawn McLoughlin of Ridgewood (’06 and ‘01), Bob Housen of Manasquan River (’99 and ’97) and Ned Steiner of Mountain Ridge (’00) round out the list of returning champions looking to add to their already successful MGA careers.

Other strong competitors who can make their mark at Navesink include: Robert Howe of Winged Foot, who carded a  four-stroke victory at the inaugural MGA Senior Masters Tournament at the Country Club of Fairfield this past September; 2012 Westchester Golf Association Senior Player of the Year Jim Graham of Winged Foot, who finished T4 last year at Metedeconk; and Jay Sessa of Cherry Valley, who qualified  for the stroke-play portion of the U.S. Senior Am in 2012 and advanced to match play in 2011. 

Celebrating its 50th year in 2013, Navesink Country Club, located just five miles off the coast of the Jersey Shore, will be hosting its first MGA championship. The Hal Purdy design has hosted LPGA Tour events as well as the New Jersey Open and Amateur championships, and will provide a fun test for competitors on May 6.  

Complete coverage of the MGA Senior Amateur is available at, and on the MGA Mobile App, My MGA, where you can also find live scoring for the final round.

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