Old Tappan, Bergen Catholic, Pascack Hills win sectional golf titles by Greg Mattura of The Record
MAHWAH – Northern Valley at Old Tappan and Northern Highlands have transformed the North Group 3 sectional golf tournament into their personal playground.
NV/Old Tappan won the title on Monday at windy Darlington Golf Course and Northern Highlands was runner-up, one year after their places were reversed.
The Golden Knights won with a shoot-five, count-four score of 304. The Highlanders carded 309 to also earn a bid to Monday’s State Boys Championship and simultaneous Tournament of Champions at Hopewell Valley in Hopewell.
“Tough conditions, and a 304 is a really good score,” said NV/Old Tappan coach Tom Quinn, whose team is reigning state Group 3 titlist. “But we know Northern Highlands is very good. This is not going to be easy Monday.”
NV/Old Tappan was led by the 1-2 punch of Ryan Lee and Sam Yom. Lee earned individual honors with an even-par 72 and said, “Off the tee, I was long and hit a lot of fairways, and my putter was clutch a couple of times.” Yom was runner-up with 74. Chan Park and Ryan Travers shot 79 apiece.
Northern Highlands also had four scores in the 70s. Tyler Senior shot 75 and was fifth via match of cards. Spencer Shih, Ken Battaglia and Brian Sayre each shot 78.
“We’ll take it,” Northern Highlands coach Steve Jochum said of runner-up. “It’s another chance to play, another day to live, and we’re excited about going to the Tournament of Champions.”
North Non-Public A and B
Speaking of the Tournament of Champions, Bergen Catholic will contend for a record-setting fourth consecutive TOC title after repeating Monday as North Non-Public A champion.
The Crusaders shot 307 at Francis Byrne in West Orange and a quartet finished in the top five: Alex Lamarca won with 5-over 75 and Chris Lee was runner-up with 76. Dam Yam was third via match of cards with 78, and Jimmy Criscione was fifth with 78.
“I think our kids played a real good, gutsy round,” said coach Jim Jacobsen, whose Crusaders finished 22 shots ahead of Oratory Prep.
In North Non-Public B, DePaul’s Ryan Fitzsimmons earned the top-five individual finish needed to advance, as he shot 78 and was third via match of cards.
North Group 2
Pascack Hills dominated at Bowling Green in Jefferson with a 335 that was 18 strokes better than Sparta, which grabbed the second spot by winning a playoff over Tenafly.
Pascack Hills’ Scott Rabinowitz was fourth with an 81 and Nick Curcio tied for fifth with 82.
“They would tell you that maybe they think that they didn’t play that well, but they did enough to win,” Pascack Hills coach Ed Sandt said. “And they won by 18 strokes.”
Tenafly’s Jacob Lim won individual honors with 77. Christopher Lee of Westwood was runner-up with 79 and Jake Ferraro of NV/Demarest was third with 80.
North Group 1
Cresskill’s Laurent Span was the lone local to advance here after his 78 at Rockleigh gave him runner-up via match of cards.