BRIELLE — Ben Smith of Little Mill is again in position to win a major golf tournament in New Jersey.

Smith shot a 2-under 70 Wednesday and grabbed a two-stroke lead in his bid to become the first amateur to win the New Jersey Open since 2007.

The 25-year-old Smith, who shared the first-round lead with Mark Issler, finished second in the state amateur last year and was in the top 15 in this event last year. He has won several qualifiers this year.

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“I have been here before,” said the Voorhees resident who is trying to become the first amateur since Brian Komline to win the state Open. “It’s kind of like it’s time to win one. I just have to play solid.”

Smith had five birdies and three bogeys in his second trip around the Manasquan River Golf Club and has a 36-hole total of 6-under 138.

“It’s time to put my name on a trophy,” Smith said.

Fellow amateur Niall Handley of Essex Fells and professional Bobby Gage of Forsgate were tied for second heading into today’s final round in the 54-hole tournament. The 40-year-old Handley shot a second straight 70 despite breaking his 3-wood with seven holes to play.

The local golfers are Centerton’s David Quinn (tied for eighth, 143), Wildwood’s John Appleget (tied for 11th, 144), Sea Oaks’ Jeff Bonicky (tied for 19th, 146) and Stone Harbor’s Alex Hicks (tied for 19th, 146).

Bonick had five birdies and two bogeys for his 3-under 69 in the second round.

Hicks birdied holes two through five and finished with five, along with three bogeys for a 70.

Appleget had three birdies and four bogeys for his 73, while Quinn had three bogeys and two birdies for a 73.

Benjamin Smith (a), Little Mill C.C. 68-70—138

Niall Handley (a), Essex Fells C.C. 70-70—140

Bobby Gage, Forsgate C.C. 72-68—140

Brandon Dalinka (a), Ridge at Back Brook 69-72—141

Bill Britton, Trump National GC- Colts Neck 72-70—142

Sam Kang, Farmstead G. & C.C. 71-71—142

Mark Yannotta, Riehl Golf Academy 70-72—142

Frank Esposito, Brooklake C.C. 72-71—143

David Quinn, Centerton G.C. 70-73—143

Marc Issler, Toms River Golf Ctr. 68-75—143

John Appleget, Wildwood C.C. 71-73—144

Brian Gaffney, Rumson C.C. 73-71—144

Jakob Gerney, Trump-Philadelphia 74-70—144

Craig Smith, Trump National GC- Bedminster 71-73—144

Robert E. Cronheim (a), Twin Brooks C.C. 69-75—144

Brian Roth (a), Darlington G.C. 74-70—144

Michael Stamberger (a), Spring Lake G.C. 72-73—145

Craig Lindsey, Madison G.C. 72-73—145

Brian Komline (a), Black Oak G.C. 75-71—146

Jeffrey Bonicky, Sea Oaks G.C. 77-69—146

Matthew Freitag, Hamilton Farm G.C. 71-75—146

Brett Jones, Trump National GC- Bedminster 75-71—146

Mike LaBrutto, Greenacres C.C. 74-72—146

Todd Rickenbach, Roxiticus G.C. 73-73—146

Alexander Hicks (a), Stone Harbor G.C. 76-70—146

Matthew McKeon, Plainfield C.C. 70-76—146

Greg Baker, Rockaway River C.C. 72-74—146

Mike Burke, Montammy G.C. 74-73—147

Paul Poandl, Bedens Brook Club 75-72—147

Brent Studer, Manasquan River G.C. 75-73—148

Edward Whitman, Knickerbocker C.C. 76-72—148

George Ancuta, Knoll C.C. 74-74—148

Dan Marino (a), Due Process Stable 71-77—148

Charles Cai (a), Old York C.C. at Chesterfield 74-74—148

Brad Olson, Rumson C.C. 74-74—148

Dave Laudien, Howell Park G.C. 72-76—148

Anthony Aloi (a), Mercer Oaks G.C. 74-75—149

Rob Schaal, Tara Greens Golf Ctr. 74-75—149

Chris Dachisen, North Jersey C.C. 72-77—149

Patrick Fillian, Canoe Brook C.C. 78-71—149

David Glenz, Black Oak G.C. 76-73—149

Peter Busch, Galloping Hill G.C. 71-78—149

Gregory Mergel (a), Manasquan River G.C. 72-77—149

Doug Walters (a), Rolling Greens G.C. 75-74—149

Stuart Greenberg (a), Ash Brook G.C. 72-77—149

Tom Gramigna (a), Tavistock C.C. 74-76—150

Jerry Wall (a), Manasquan River G.C. 73-77—150

Ken Pridgen, Liberty National G.C. 78-72—150

Charlie Edler (a), Rumson C.C. 78-72—150

Marc Grinberg (a), Charleston Springs G.C. 74-76—150

Brian Varsey, Rumson C.C. 76-74—150

Cory Wilson (a), Panther Valley G&CC, 74-76—150

Lou Kubisa, Knob Hill G.C. 75-75—150

David Polchinski, Bayonne G.C. 72-78—150

Michael DiMeglio (a), Mercer Oaks G.C. 75-75—150

Greg Farrow, Deerwood C.C. 75-76—151

Jim McGovern, White Beeches G&CC, 77-75—152

Jacob Stockl (a), Hyatt Hills G.C. 79-73—152

Thomas Forte, Preakness Hills C.C. 75-77—152

Jay Blumenfeld (a), Mountain Ridge C.C. 76-76—152

Ethan Wall (a), Manasquan River G.C. 76-76—152

Allan Small (a), Fairmount C.C. 76-77—153

Kevin Weyeneth, Hollywood G.C. 73-80—153

Tom Hassel (a), Metedeconk National G.C. 77-76—153

Paul Lejeune, Suburban G.C. 80-73—153

Baker Maddera, Rock Spring C. 79-75—154

John DiMarco, Laurel Creek C.C. 77-77—154

Mark McCormick, Suburban G.C. 78-76—154

Gary Ostrega, Hyatt Hills G.C. 76-78—154

Scott Paris, Plainfield C.C. 74-80—154

Danny Liebowitz (a), Shackamaxon G. & C.C. 78-76—154

George Frake II, Little Mill C.C. 77-77—154

Kijoon K.J. Kim (a), Darlington G.C. 77-77—154

Wes Samons (a), Weekenders G.A. 77-77—154

Andy Brock, Metuchen G. & C.C. 80-74—154

Tom Hyland (a), Little Mill C.C. 75-79—154

Rich Owsik (a/r), Valley Brook G.C. 75-79—154

Chester Patterson (a), Fiddlers Elbow C.C. 75-80—155

Steve Sieg, Navesink C.C. 75-80—155

Christopher Dymek, Navesink C.C. 78-77—155

Michael Lanzetta, Mansfield Golf Ctr. 81-74—155

Damien Hamlett, New Jersey National G.C. 77-79—156

Bryan Dougherty, Navesink C.C. 76-80—156

Brandon Gelo, Essex Fells C.C. 73-83—156

Kyle Hartlaub (a), Canoe Brook C.C. 76-80—156

Peter Jaeckle, Baltusrol G.C. 80-76—156

Mark DeLaura, Montammy G.C. 80-77—157

Kevin O'Connell (a), Spring Lake G.C. 80-77—157

Scott Chisholm, Plainfield C.C. 79-78—157

Brian Krulfeifer, Knickerbocker C.C. 77-80—157

Craig Langslet (a), Glenwood C.C. 82-75—157

Larry Hall, Packanack G.C. 78-79—157

Vincent Giunco, Manasquan River G.C. 78-80—158

Jason Panter, White Oaks C.C. 76-82—158

Mike Paduano (a), Colts Neck G.C. 75-83—158

Nicholas Cappetti (a), Burlington C.C. 76-82—158

William Bello (a), Metedeconk National G.C. 78-80—158

Christopher Housen (a), Manasquan River G.C. 75-83—158

Jacob Murphy (a), Mercer Oaks G.C. 80-78—158

Matthew Hardy, Mendham G. & T.C. 74-84—158

John Tyrell, Running Deer G.C. 77-82—159

Frank Greco (a), Glenwood C.C. 81-78—159

Peter Chang, Black Oak G.C. 78-81—159

Michael Beyer (a), Ash Brook G.C. 79-80—159

Kevin McSorley (a), Charleston Springs G.C. 80-80—160

John Kondash, Greenbriar Oceanaire G.C. 80-80—160

Brian Cass (a), Flanders Valley G.C. 78-82—160

Thomas Fallon (a), Colts Neck G.C. 83-78—161

Ryan Buckley (a), High Bridge Hills G.C. 79-82—161

James Famula, Raritan Golf Ctr. 78-83—161

Justin Clark (a), Ridgewood C.C. 83-78—161

Kieran Purcell (a), Forest Hill F.C. 79-83—162

Casey O'Reilly, Colonia C.C. 80-82—162

Steve Zychowski (a), Mendham G. & T.C. 80-82—162

John Lay, III (a), Tamarack G.C. 79-83—162

Josh Camitta (a), Fiddlers Elbow C.C. 79-85—164

Michael Kierner, Maplewood C.C. 80-84—164

Chris Kowalczyk, Montclair G.C. 80-84—164

Aaron Asedo (a), Hominy Hill G.C. 80-86—166

Tom Staples, Newton C.C. 80-86—166

Larry Kopp (a), Glenwood C.C. 84-84—168

Josh Rosen (a), Crystal Springs G.C. 86-82—168

Robert Housen (a), Manasquan River G.C. 85-84—169

Kevin Anderson (a), Burlington C.C. 96-88—184

Vince Ramagli, Forest Hill F.C. 75-DQ—DQ

Derek McDonald, Echo Lake C.C. 79-WD—WD


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