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NJ Amateur: Stein Comes up big on 18 and then in Playoff
Dylan Stein (NJSGA photo)
Dylan Stein (NJSGA photo)

WESTFIELD, NJ (July 12, 2018) - Dylan Stein of Stanton Golf and Country Club needed four extra holes to hold off Jack Wall of Manasquan River Golf Club and win the New Jersey State Golf Association 117th Amateur Championship, presented by Provident Bank, on Thursday at the par-71, 7,030-yard Echo Lake Country Club in Westfield.

Stein, 21, a rising senior at the University of Arizona and native of Flemington, began the final round one shot off the lead at three-over-par 216 with Wall another shot back at 217.

Stein, a left-handed golfer and graduate of Hunterdon Central Regional High School, forced the playoff when he sank a dramatic 18-foot birdie putt on the par-4 No. 18, with Wall already in the clubhouse at one-over-par 285 after shooting a three-under-par 68. Stein nearly matched him with a 69 and also finished at 285.

In the three-hole aggregate playoff, the players matched shot for shot, with pars at the par-4 No. 10, birdies at the par-3 No. 17, and pars at the par-4 No. 18. Stein and Wall continued on to play the 428-yard No. 18 over again. Both put their drives into the right rough about 150 yards from the hole. Stein placed his approach on the green, 42 feet to the right of the hole.

Wall, however, found the rough behind the right side of the green. Wall’s chip shot left him with eight feet for par. Stein then sent his putt to within two feet of the cup. When Wall failed to convert his eight-footer, all Stein had left was a short putt which he sank easily for the triumph.

“I felt if I stayed patient I would have a chance to win it. I made up a lot of ground with three birdies on my front nine in the final round. Coming into 18 at the end of regulation, I was upset because I bogeyed No. 17.

“I knew Jack was ahead of me by one shot, and I had to make the putt. I buried it and the crowd went nuts,” said Stein, who transferred to Arizona from Towson University in Maryland. “This feels really good to get this victory under my belt, heading into my senior year at Arizona.”

Stein returns to Echo Lake on Monday in a qualifier for the U.S. Amateur Championship.

“I’d love to make it into the U.S. Amateur and get to play Pebble Beach for the first time,” he said.

Wall, 17, who this spring won the NJSIAA High School Tournament of Champions and led Christian Brothers Academy to its second straight Tournament of Champions title, had a string of three birdies on holes 10, 11 and 12 in the final round, vaulting him into a one-shot lead.

He maintained that lead all the way until Stein’s birdie putt on No. 18 at the end of regulation.

“On my last hole of the playoff, I had five yards left to get to the pin. I thought the ball would jump a little bit, but it didn’t,” he said. “I was actually between clubs. I’ll definitely learn from this for future events.”

Chris Gotterup of Rumson Country Club, a rising sophomore at Rutgers University, briefly led in the final round after 12 holes, but bogeyed four of his final five holes and finished third at three-over-par 287.

Tied for fourth at 289 were defending champion Dawson Jones of Eagles Oaks Golf & Country Club, 2016 champion Thomas La Morte of Haworth Country Club, and Jeremy Wall of Manasquan River, Jack Wall’s older brother.

ABOUT THE New Jersey State Amateur

Open to male amateurs who have qualified through one of three qualifying sites or have met the exemption criteria. Format is 72 holes of stroke play with a cut to the low 40 scores after the second round.

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