LAKE SUCCESS, N.Y. (June 27, 2006) -- Baltusrol’s Roger Hoit saved par from greenside rough on the 18th hole to beat Andrew Giuliani by two strokes and win the 51st Ike MGA Stroke Play Championship presented by Canon, USA, at Fresh Meadow Country Club in Lake Success, N.Y. Giuliani finished in a tie for second with Joseph Saladino of Huntington.
Hoit was tied for second after the first round and tied for the lead going into the final round after firing a second-round 75. Hoit, a 43-year-old Managing Director at Morgan Stanley, was able to recover from bogeys on 15 and 16 with a birdie on the 17th hole that gave him a one-stroke lead. Hoit then put his tee shot into a fairway bunker on 18 and his second shot into the rough short and right of the green. Giuliani put his drive into the trees on the right side, but his second shot ricocheted off a tree and twenty yards to his left in the fairway. He went on to make bogey and Hoit got up and down from the greenside rough to save par and take the title.
The afternoon winds wreaked havoc on the players and the greens firmed up, adding to the difficulty of a one-club wind. The final score of eight-over-par is the highest winning score in relation to par in Ike history. Hoit was able to stay in contention with solid ball striking and timely pars. He admits to being slightly nervous playing in the final group and with the defending champion, Andrew Giuliani. “Andrew is terrific and was hitting the ball really well. I was surprised I shot eight-over-par and he didn’t beat me,” said Hoit.
Hoit, who during the mid-1990’s played very little competitive golf, restarted his career by making it to match play in the 2004 U.S. Amateur at Winged Foot Golf Club and the 2004 U.S. Mid-Amateur at Sea Island Golf Club in Sea Island, Georgia. Hoit came to the realization that he was in the same league as the nation’s top amateurs, “After the Mid-Am in 2004 I knew I could play with these guys.”
Hoit receives an exemption into the Met Amateur at Baltusrol Golf Club, where he is an four-time club champion and winner of the 1996 Baltusrol Invitational. The top ten finishers at the Ike are also exempt into the Met Amateur. The Montclair Golf Club team of Michael Deo and Gregg Angelillo won the Ike Team Championship, which is the total score of a team of two players from the same club who make the cut.
For complete results, click on the tournament link above.