RIVER VALE – One correction to his swing and Ross Rabin of Saddle River Day is again among the top golfers in the North Jersey Interscholastic Conference.
The junior led the Rebels to the Division 2 title at Monday’s NJIC Championship at Valley Brook Golf Course with a 3-under 67. It earned him the individual crown and was a whopping nine strokes better than the runner-up.
“I was really striking the ball well, and I putted pretty well, and it just felt good all day,” Rabin said after winning the title for the second time in three years.
Saddle River Day won Division 2 with a shoot-four, count-four total of 321 that was 28 strokes better than defending champion Dwight-Englewood.
Meanwhile, Glen Rock repeated as Division 1 champ with a 328 that was 44 shots better than Leonia. Panthers senior Andrew Nappi repeated as individual titlist with a 77.
Rabin dominated the competition on the 5,900-yard layout because he no longer routinely pushes or snap hooks shots. He won the Division 2 title as a freshman with a 70, but all the errant shots as a sophomore raised his score at Valley Brook to a 90.
Rabin had four birdies and one bogey for his 67 and finished nine strokes ahead of Cresskill sophomore Laurent Span – runner-up via match of cards – and Dwight-Englewood sophomore Matthew Lee.
Rabin kept it straight, hitting 15 greens in regulation. His putter also was working, as he made birdie putts of 6, 10 and 10 feet and closed the round with a 25-footer.
“I just kept grinding my way through,” said Rabin, who played his back nine at 3-under 32. “I was hitting it really well and just finished strong.”
Saddle River Day freshman PJ O’Rourke contributed a 77 to place fourth. Senior Jake Lassaw shot 85 to tie for seventh, and senior Ben Coben shot 92 to tie for 16th among 32.
“All four of our guys really stepped up today,” said Rebels first-year coach Mike Nassar, adding, “We would love to shoot the same score [at Tuesday’s North Non-Public B sectional].”
Glen Rock rode a strong finish to the Division 1 title and a 328 that was 10 strokes better than last year. On the back nine, the Panthers shot a combined 157, their best nine-hole total of the season.
Nappi’s 77 was one stroke better than his winning score of last year. Freshman MinJun Choi was runner-up with 78, and junior Tom LaMacchia shot 80 and was fourth via match of cards. Freshman Spencer Jefferies placed eighth with 93.
“They got warmed up and they played well,” said Glen Rock coach Dan Morgan. “And to shoot that with two freshmen in the lineup …”
Freshman Khine Nunu of Leonia won the girls nine-hole title with a 45, while Glen Rock senior Hannah Daschil was runner-up with 46.
Go to northjersey.com/varsityaces for complete team, individual scores.