Last year Moorestown had a strong showing at the NJSIAA Central South Group 3 championship only to come up with no hardware.
This season the Quakers didn’t leave the tournament empty-handed, but only by the slightest of margins.
The Quakers won the NJSIAA Central/South Jersey Group 3 championship at West Deptford’s River Winds Golf and Tennis Club by one stroke.
Moorestown’s top four golfers totaled 338, one stroke ahead of second place and defending champion Mainland at 339.
“It’s a one-day event and in golf, anything can happen, but our guys have been trending in the right direction and we have been playing well,” said Moorestown coach Tim O’Reilly, whose team is 9-0. “I thought there were five or six teams that had a chance of winning this thing. One stroke, gosh, it could have been anybody but I am glad it was us.”
The top two teams (regardless of section) and the top five individuals, ties included, advance to the Tournament of Champions/Group Championships on Tuesday, May 17 at Hawk Pointe Golf Club in Washington.
Moorestown was led by senior Bobby Dominy, who shot 82 on the par 72 course. The other Moorestown scorers were Sam Selverian (84), Dan Cantwell (85) and and Elvyn Liu (87).
On a windy day, Dominy says he was happy with the team’s performance, less so with his own, but he was proud that he battled despite the elements.
“I didn’t really play my best but I grinded,” said Dominy, a senior, who will attend Hardin-Simmons University in Abilene, Texas on a golf scholarship. “It’s great that we made it as a team and I did my best today.”
While the team competition was tight, West Windsor-Plainsboro North junior Jerry Lu won the individual championship by three strokes, shooting a four-over-par 76.
And just like Moorestown’s team, Lu has been trending in the right direction.
Just last week he won the prestigious Carl Arena/Al Rifkin Tournament.
“I came in here thinking I could win,” he said
In winning this Central/South Group 3 title, Lu overcame a bumpy first nine holes (for him) where he shot 40, but turned it around by shooting par (36) on the final nine.
“I knew my first nine was really tough, I just wasn’t playing that good,” he said. “But I had a lot of one-putts and coming in I knew I had to go under or even and I ended up going even on the last nine so I was really happy with that,”
Mainland’s Evan Goldberg shot a 79 to finish second. followed by Ethan Weinberg of Colts Neck (80) and Ocean City’s Cameron Yoa (81).
Four players tied for fifth at 82 – Mainland’s Xander Matik, Moorestown’s Dominy, Princeton’s Brooks Cahill and West Windsor-Plainsboro North’s Ethan Trinh
With the top two finishers from South Jersey, Central Jersey was shut out of competing in next week’s championships. Still, there was the Central Jersey title to contend for and it included overtime.
Princeton and Colts Neck tied for third at 341 and in a one-hole playoff on the 401-yard Par 4 third hole, Princeton prevailed.
For the Tigers, this was the opposite of last year when Princeton finished second to Montgomery in the Central/South Group 4 championships. Both teams advanced to the state championships/TOC.
In the Group 3 match, Princeton was led by Cahill, whose 82 as mentioned above, tied him for fifth place. The others for Princeton were Jackie Zang (84), Peter Eaton (86) and Chris Shen (89).
So this year, there is no advancing, but Princeton coach Pat Noone was certainly happy to acquire the Central Jersey plaque.
“Last year we got second and got to go to the TOC and that was a good feeling, but this year we got to come home with the sectional championship, but unfortunately we don’t go to the TOC, so it’s a little bittersweet but it is still a great accomplishment for them,” Noone said. “They get to put that in the school and nobody can take that away; they will always have that at Princeton High School and it is a good memory.”
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