OLD WESTBURY, N.Y. (August 21, 2013) – Greg Bisconti of Saint Andrew’s will carry a two-stroke lead into the final round of the Metropolitan Golf Association’s premier event, the 98th Met Open Championship at Old Westbury Golf and Country Club in Old Westbury, N.Y. Bisconti, already a winner of the Mastercard Westchester PGA Championship at his home course earlier this summer, backed up his first-round 68 with a solid 1-under 70 on Wednesday to maintain a slight cushion over several top Met Area players.
Although he said his gameplan was not to be too aggressive, Bisconti came out firing and birdied three of his first four holes to get his total to 6-under. Even after cooling off with two bogeys on his final 11 holes, he was still able to post another under-par score.
“The plan was just be patient, this is a really hard golf course,” he said. “Just trying to hit spots we mapped out. And basically par is a great score. If birdies drop, they drop, but I really didn’t want to press too hard.”
Seventy-one players (of them are 16 amateurs) made the cut of 10-over 152 on the challenging Woods and Overlook nines at Old Westbury, which is hosting its third Met Open and first since 2005.
Nipping at Bisconti’s heels is a slew of accomplished players, including six-time MGA champion (including the last two Ike Championships) Cameron Wilson of Shorehaven and 1999 Met Open champ Mark Brown of Tam O’Shanter. Wilson, who’s entering his senior year at Stanford University, fired an impressive bogey-free 3-under 68 to race up the leaderboard after opening with a 1-over 72.
“I felt like my game wasn’t that different from what it was yesterday,” Wilson said “I think my game was really comfortable and there were just a couple more putts that went my way.”
Wilson is looking to become only the third player ever to capture the Ike and Met Open in the same year (PGA Tour pro Johnson Wagner was the last to do it in 2002).
“I’m feeling good about my chances,” Wilson added.
Brown, who recently competed in the PGA Championship at Oak Hill, matched his first round 1-under 70 with another 70. He’s seeking to join a short list of two-time champions when he tees it up on Thursday.
“I was pretty steady today, hit a lot of greens, made a couple nice par saves similar to yesterday,” Brown said.
Three players are tied for fourth with totals of 144, including 2013 Met Junior and 2011 Carter Cup champ Cameron Young of Sleepy Hollow, Tim Hegarty of Sleepy Hollow (who owns the Met Open record for lowest 18-hole score with a 62 in 2008), and former NJSGA Open winner Brett Jones of Mountain Ridge.
1987 Met Open winner Jim McGovern of White Beeches, Abbie Valentine of Bethpage, 2013 NJSGA Open winner Frank Esposito Jr. of Brooklake, and 2004 MGA/MetLife Boys winner (now professional) Sunny Kim of Bethpage share seventh place with totals of 145.
2012 champion Dan Balin of Burning Tree and ’11 winner Tyler Hall of Packanack both safely made the cut with totals of 147 and 146, respectively. John Stoltz of Concord Monster, who won the Open as an amateur the last time it was at Old Westbury in ’05, also made the cut with a 146.
Notable players who failed to make the cut include 12-time MGA champion Jerry Courville Jr. of Shorehaven (153); 1991 champ Mike Diffley of Pelham (153); 2000 Met Open winner Mike Gilmore of Winged Foot (157); and ’96 Open winner Bruce Zabriski of Westchester (159).
Old Westbury, a beautiful 27-hole private facility in the heart of Nassau County, provided a stern test for the entire field. Players on Thursday will go out in groups of two beginning at 6:45 a.m.
View results for Metropolitan Golf Association Open Golf Championship