Suarez wins NJJGC opener with three straight birdies

Riding a string of three consecutive birdies on the back nine, Springfield’s Stephen Suarez opened the New Jersey Junior Golf Competition 2004 season with a sizzling round of 70 at the Eagle Oaks Golf Club.

Suarez, 15, who will be a junior at Oratory Prep this fall, easily won the boys 14-15-year-old division as the NJJGC got its summer tour under way June 21 in Howell.

Suarez birdied the 15th, 16th and 17th holes on the way to a 32 on the back nine and a score of 70 that won the division by eight strokes. Brian Kivlehan of Washington Township (78) and Steve Mann of Lawrenceville (79) were second and third.

Ana Peris, a 16-year-old from Castellon, Spain, gave an international flavor to the season-opening event, winning the girls division after carding a 78. Peris is visiting relatives in Middletown.

Colts Neck’s Cindy Sobieski was second (80) and Sarah Feldman of Edison (80) was third. Sobieski was placed second on a match of cards.

Joey Lander from Moorestown won the boys 16-17-year-old division by two strokes over Point Pleasant’s T.J. Henrich. A front nine of 38 helped Lander to score 80 and edge Henrich’s 82. Marlboro’s Brandon Weiner claimed third place after an 85 on a match of cards with Kevin Krecicki.

Hamilton’s Jack Murphy posted a 79 to win the boys 13-13 division by 14 strokes over Pete Inglese of Colts Neck. Jonathan Jenks of Ringwood was third (97).

Fair Haven’s Charlie Edler won the boys 9-11 division with a 43 over nine holes. Michael DeGennaro of Colts Neck was two shots back, and Sean Doyle of Monroe was third at 50.

On June 23, the junior golfers were at Deer Run Country Club, Lincoln Park, for a nine-hole tournament. Kevin Lee, 11, Point Pleasant, carded a 38 to win the boys 9-11 division. Westfield’s Sean Elliott (42) and Lodi’s Darryl Albonico (52) were second and third.

Ringwood’s Jenks, third at Eagle Oaks, won the boys 12-13 division with a 43. North Caldwell’s Ryan Careny was runner-up (47) with Manalapan’s Patrick DiLeo at third (49).

Cristen Cusumano from Wyckoff won the girls division. The 14-year-old scored a 58. Amalia Nicholsof of Staten Island, N.Y., was runner-up (71). There was no third place.

The NJJGC is now in its fifth year. The 2004 tournament schedule consists of 17 events. Next stop on the circuit is tomorrow at the Cranbury Golf Course. On Tuesday, the circuit moves to Staten Island at Latourette Golf Course. It is the first out-of-state tournament for NJJGC.

For more information on the NJJGC, call (732) 683-9042 or visit its Web site at

— Tim Morris