Former participants share early lead at 103rd New Jersey Open golf

EMERSON – Danny Harcourt and Nick Bova have been in the lead before, and they’re back with the lead and a chance to win the title.

Harcourt and Bova, both pros, share the first-round lead at 103rd New Jersey Open Golf Championship after carding 5-under-par 67s Monday at sunny Hackensack Golf Club.

“I’m very excited,” said Harcourt, 26, who represents Fiddler’s Elbow. “I’m excited about my game, excited about my hitting and putting and my mental performance.”

“A great round today,” said Bova, 38, who represents Hamilton Farm. “I got off to a good start, got a couple of good breaks early on.”

Harcourt and Bova hold a one-shot lead over two amateurs, Jack Simon of Rockaway River and Troy Vannucci of Little Mill, in a 54-hole championship where the top pro earns $20,000.

Sitting in a three-way tie for fifth with 69 in this New Jersey State Golf Association event: former champion and pro Brian Gaffney of Essex Fells and amateurs William O’Neill of Spring Brook and 18-year-old Winston Blank of Hollywood.

Former champion Mark Costanza of Hamilton Farm shot 70 and is in a four-way tie for eighth with fellow amateurs Davis Weil of Ridgewood and Chris DeJohn of Arcola and pro Danny Daniels of Knickerbocker.

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