Max Bichsel is a medalist in the qualifying round

New Jersey Mid-Amateur: Max Bichsel is medalist in the qualifying round

Max Bichsel (New Jersey State Golf Association photo)

Max Bichsel (New Jersey State Golf Association photo)

Sixteen players will advance to Union League National Golf Club to compete in the 41st Mid-Amateur Championship following a qualifying round at Brooklake Country Club on May 6. Max Bichsel scored a four-under par, 68, to earn a medalist’s honor.

Despite an errant tee shot on his first hole, Bichsel was able to settle in and right the ship on his way to the top of the leaderboard.

“I was riding it pretty well, but I hooked it in the water on the first hole and made a bogey, but then was able to get it going again. The sight lines are difficult here, so you have to know where to choose your spot,” says Bichsel. “I started playing more strategically and controlling my game a lot better. I tried to use my length off the tee to make sure I had short shots on some of the longer holes.

Bichsel is looking forward to a return to the Mid-Amateur Championship and the challenge of Union League National.

“I’ve never played the golf course before, but I have a few friends there who are members, so I’ll call them and see what they have.”

Cody Cox, a Penn State golf alumnus, finished one shot behind Bichsel, driving a hot putter and a chip-in eagle on his fifth hole en route to qualifying.

“I rolled the putter pretty well. I started a little slow on the back nine but made a few putts to keep me in it,” Cox said. “I didn’t make every putt, but they scared the hole and got a good look at myself.”

Cox will look to continue his solid play when he tees off in the 92nd Four-Ball Championship, which begins tomorrow, May 7-9, at Hollywood Golf Club.

“It was good to get a competitive round in before going to Hollywood, so it was nice to see the putts go in and prepare for the tournament that way,” Cox said.

Andrew Hurley was tied with Cox at three under par, 69, and avenged last year for missing the cut in Mid-Amateur qualifying at Cobblestone Creek despite an early bogey.

“Right from the start I hit a six-iron on the first hole, made a bogey and was kind of laughing at myself like, ‘Here we go again,’ but I made steady pars and tried to take advantage of a few of the holes. Hurley said. “I made a long putt on the third hole to get back on track. By the third hole last year I was already five over.”

Brooklake was the second of four qualifying sites for the 41st Mid-Amateur Championship at Union League National, which will host the first major NJSGA championship June 4-6. There are two qualifying dates remaining for the championship: May 16 at Little Mill Country Club and May 20 at Westlake Golf and Country Club.

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ABOUT THE Mid-amateur from New Jersey

Open to male amateurs aged 30 or over who have qualified through one of the two qualifying venues or met the exemption criteria. The format consists of 18 holes of stroke play, followed by a round of 16 match play.

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