Baltusrol Wins 2024 Hoffman Cup

Baltusrol Wins 2024 Hoffman Cup

By Kevin Casey

Standing on the high ground dominated by the Bayonne Golf Club clubhouse, one can see for miles in all directions. From that vantage, one could both see and feel the change in the air; not just the clouds, the advancing lightning and barometric pressure, but the sense that defending champion Arcola Country Club may not walk away with the trophy for the umpteenth time.

Change happened. Not only did lightning shut down play midway through the Red Hoffman Cup Finals, but for the first time in a decade, Baltusrol Golf Club took home the Red Hoffman Cup. The 2024 champion team finished at 10-under par, far eclipsing its nearest competitor, three-time defender Arcola, which was even par on the day.

This win was a little different than Baltusrol’s earlier three championships in 2011, ’12 and ‘16. While the 36-hole club always fields a good squad, the Baltusrol team that strode Bayonne was arguably the strongest collection of golfers from one club in the twenty-year history of the event.

Baltusrol’s captains, Nick Desai, John Roberts, and Roddy McRae, were determined to win this event. In the preliminary matches, the club dominated, winning more points than any other club and earning a bye to the Bayonne finals. In the Finals, the captains fielded two nationally ranked amateurs in Mark Costanza and Barnes Blake, always strong professional Ryan Fountaine, and a highly decorated group of state and local champions.

The quality showed as each Baltusrol side finished under par, with Fountaine and partner Gregg Angelillo tying teammates Max Bischel and Jeff Werring at 4 under par. The remaining sides of Costanza/McRae and Ben Alcorn/Blake both came in at -1.

At even par was Arcola, the almost perennial holder of the Hoffman Cup (with seven victories) since its first win in 2015. Arcola was led by the sides of Grant Sturgeon/Jim Craffey and Trevor Randolph/Lucas Farmer at -1. Arcola is proud of its stellar record over the past 10 years, including eight championships and two runner-up finishes. Arcola will find its way back to the podium in short order.

The remaining finalists were not far behind: Black Oak Golf Club (+4), Hollywood Golf Club (+6), and Upper Montclair Country Club (+7). Two-time champion Black Oak (2013, ’14), showing signs of its earlier brilliance, came in third. The squad was led by the side of Jon Ciccone/Cody Cox, with a 1-under total. Hollywood, in its second-straight final, was paced by its fourth side, Winston Blank/Mike Galeotafiore, at even par. Captain Todd Wiggins of finals newcomers Upper Montclair led the way for his squad, teaming with Matt Scozzari to come in at one under.

Bayonne Golf Club was an exceptional venue for the Hoffman Cup finals, with its creative, unique, and often mesmerizing layout, perfect greens, and distracting vistas – a wonderful place to spend an afternoon.

The Red Hoffman Cup Matches were created to foster interaction and friendly competition among northern New Jersey golf clubs. Now completing its 20th year, these matches among 36 northern New Jersey clubs have been named in honor of Arthur K. “Red” Hoffman, the legendary New Jersey golf writer who covered many players and courses that comprise the Matches today.

The venue for the 2025 Red Hoffman Cup Finals will be announced later this year.

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