PJ Tighe Makes it Two Years in a Row for Wilmington Golf at the DSGA Amateur Tournament
Thursday, July 12, 2012 - Middletown, DE
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Jerry Temple Jr. at the 2012 NCAA National Tournament
Andrew Baldo at the 2012 NCAA National Tournament
PJ Tighe at the 2012 NCAA National Tournament
Continuing his hot play from this past spring collegiate season, Wilmington University golfer PJ Tighe stormed back to capture the Delaware State Gold Association’s Amateur Championship on the Wildcats home course, Frog Hollow Golf Club, making it two years in a row a Wilmington golfer won the state title.
Heading into the fourth and final round of play on Wednesday, Tighe was three shots off the current leader, but played the final 11 holes in 1-under par to pass Chris Hickman for the victory.
Tighe (Logan, N.J./Gloucester Catholic) didn’t make the comeback easy for him to start the final round of play, as he dropped to five shots off the league after he bogeyed the second hole. But Tighe started the comeback by picking up a shot with a par one the third hole, then set his sights straight with a six-foot eagle putt two holes later.
Although he bogeyed the seventh hole, Tighe pulled to within one stroke of the lead as Hickman double-bogeyed the hole starting with a tee shot into the hazard. Entering into his senior year at Wilmington, Tighe finally caught Hickman with a birdie on No. 13, and took the lead on No. 15 as Hickman dropped a bogey while he shot par the rest of the day.
Taking a two-stroke lead to the 18th hole, Tighe hit his approach shot into a sand trap while Hickman set himself up with a 50-foot eagle attempt to tie the match. But Tighe got himself out of trouble with a 97-yard sand wedge to within six feet of the hole, forcing Hickman into sinking his 50-foot eagle. Tighe two-putted for the win as Hickman’s eagle attempt was too strong, flying past the tin.
In an interview with Brad Myers of the Wilmington News Journal, Tighe said “Coming from behind actually feels better than starting with the lead. I knew exactly what I had to do today. I had to beat him by four shots to win, and I did it. Any time you know what you have to do and you go out and do it, it feels awesome.”
Tighe finished the tournament with a 70-71-71-70-282, two-under par, one shot ahead of Hickman.
Fellow Wildcat teammate Jerry Temple Jr. also put on a late charge on Wednesday, pulling within one shot with a birdie on No. 11 but couldn’t find the negative numbers again, placing third behind Hickman. Temple finished the tournament with a 70-71-72-72-285, one-over par.
Dan Ott, who recently completed his collegiate eligibility this past spring at Wilmington, shot a 72-72-75-72-291, seven-over par to finish in fifth place overall. Ott earned an exempt into this year’s DSGA Amateur Championship after winning last year’s tournament as a member of the Wildcats.
Three other current Wildcats also represented the university well, placing in the top-10. Nick Mafale shot a 73-73-82-66-294 and finished in a tie for seventh place. John Perrine tied Mafale with a 70-75-77-72-294 while Andrew Baldo also tied for seventh with a 74-76-71-73-294.
With the win, Tighe is exempt for next year’s DSGA Amateur Tournament and now earned a spot in the field for the Delaware Open. Tighe will compete against both professional and amateurs alike at the Open, while the other wildcats still have opportunities to qualify for the event.
“Everyone’s gelling together at this point of the summer and with the additions we want to include in the upcoming season, it doesn’t look like Wilmington University is going to back down at all,” an elated reigning Central Atlantic Collegiate Conference Coach of the Year Harry Jennings said.