Cody Freese said Tuesday's title was a long time in the making.
The Vineland High School senior golfer shot a 4-over-par 75 in tough conditions to win the third annual Galloway National Challenge at Galloway National Golf Course.
"This means a lot," Freese said. "I put in a lot of hard work over the past couple of years to improve my game. This is a lot of hard work finally paying off."
Freese said he hopes to take the momentum from Tuesday's round into upcoming 18-hole tournaments such as the Carl Arena/Al Rifkin Memorial and the Cape-Atlantic League individual.
"Hopefully, I can play as well as I did today in those tournaments," Freese said.
Freese didn't have a birdie Tuesday but also didn't card anything worse than a bogey.
"Today's conditions were brutal, and the pin placements were very difficult," Freese said. "I went in there trying to play to the middle of the green every time.
"On days like today, you're trying to get a par and if a birdie falls, it falls."
Abseami's Chris Filling, St. Augustine Prep's Mark Benevento and Southern Regional's Jackson Fiel were each in a group of five golfers tied for second with 77s. St. Augustine Prep's Cody Dazen and Vineland's Eric Dargis each shot 78s to finish tied for seventh.
Bergen Catholic defended its team title with a 315. Rumson finished second with a 325.
Mainland Regional finished fourth, St. Augustine Prep fifth and Vineland seventh.
1. Bergen Catholic 315; 2. Rumson 325; 3. Northern Highlands 327; 4. Mainland Regional 333; 5. St. Augustine Prep 335; 7. Vineland 339; 9. Absegami 351; 10. Middle Township 352; 12. Southern Regional 358.
1. Cody Freese, Vineland 75; 2. (tie) Chris Filling, Absegami; Matt Love, Bergen Catholic; John Edler, Rumson; Jackson Fiel, Southern Regional; Mark Benevento, St. Augustine Prep 77; 7. (tie) Ryan Rose, Bergen Catholic; Jared Mactas, Pascack Hills; Cody Dazen, St. Augustine Prep; Eric Dargis, Vineland 78.
Egg Harbor Township 159,
Ocean City 166
At Green Tree Golf Course (par 37)
OC-Dom DiGiacomo 38,Steve Pashuck 42, Jack Handshaw 43, Nate McKnott 43.
EHT-Eric Dekarski 37, Greg Szrom 40, Ben Hogan 41, Connor Schaffer 41.
Birdies-DiGiacomo (2), Pashuck, McKnott, Shayna Zoller OC; Dekarski (2), Szrom EHT.
Records-O.C. 2-4; EHT 4-2.
Sacred Heart 174,
Lower Cape May Regional 178
At White Oaks Country Club (par 36
LCM-John Staples 39, Jake Gallego 43, Bryce Onorato 47, Brian Sulecki 49.
SH-Steve Tobolski 40, Nick Calabrese 40, Zach Steelman 47, Patrick Hennessy 47.
Records-Sacred Heart 7-1, Lower 5-3.
Wildwood Catholic 172,
Cape May Tech 191
At Sand Barrens Golf Club (par 36)
WC-Blake Vogdes 38, Pat Vogdes 43, Jake Ferry 45, Pete Yecco 46.
CMT-Dom DiGilio 47, James Schmucker 48, Chris Lanza 48, Pete Adams 48.
Birdies-Vogdes (2) WC.
Records-Wildwood Catholic 7-1, Cape May Tech 3-6.
Clearview Regional 163,
Cumberland Regional 172
At Running Deer Golf Club (par 36)
CL-Mike Raczenbek 42, Nicholas Dellaquila 42, Blake Kazaoka 43, Tyler Smith 45.
CU-Austin Kohler 38, Mike Vulpio 40, Sean Raimindo 41, Nick Cozzi 44.
Birdies-Raczenbek, Smith CR.
Records-Clearview 6-1; Cumberland 6-6.
Toms River North 220,
Southern Regional 226,
At Atlantis Golf Course (par 36)
TRN-Julia Harris 50, Chandler Schaloub 54, Jen Russell 58, Jeong Song 58.
SR-Lauren Sheehan 54, Brittany Cannon 55, Amanda Bonfonti 57, Danielle Sheehan 60.
B-Colleen Anderson 55, Samantha Szewczyk 59, Jennifer Rochette 59, Sara Ridgway 61.
Records-Southern 3-4; TRN 5-1; Barnegat 4-4.