Peter Kim (left) and Ryan Snouffer (MGA photo)
SPRINGFIELD, N.J. — Peter Kim of Royce Brook will face Ryan Snouffer of Essex County in the final match of the Met Amateur at Baltusrol on Sunday after both players won their semifnal matches today.
It took 19 holes, but Kim defeated Joe Saldaino of Huntington to advance to the finals. Kim and Saladino were neck and neck throughout the match – the biggest lead was held by Kim when he went 2 up after the 2nd hole, but Saladino, who also finished as a semifinalist in this event in 2014, quickly fought back and from there neither of them went more than 1 up. Coming down the stretch, Kim made a move on the 16th hole to get to 1 up, but Saladino quickly answered with a win on the 17th hole. On 18, both players found themselves just over the green, but Saladino and Kim managed to save par, forcing the match to extra holes.
“Not a lot of scoring today, it was just all about pars,” Kim, a junior at West Point, said. “It was tough overall. He was a really good player and I had to hit a lot of good shots and good putts. It’s going to be a marathon tomorrow, I just have to take it one hole at a time and one shot at a time and remind myself there’s a lot of holes left,” he said.
Kim closed the match out on the 19th hole to secure a spot in the final match. He’ll face Ryan Snouffer of Essex County, who also had to battle it out through a very close match. Snouffer defeated Stewart Hagestad of Deepdale 1 up.
Hagestad held a 1 up lead as the players made the turn, but Snouffer won the 12th and 13th holes to take a 1-up lead which he held for the remainder of the match. A clutch long putt on 17 kept him at 1 up headed into the 18th hole where he was able to close out the match.
“On the back nine it got really interesting, we were making putts right on top of each other. I made a 30 footer on 15 and he knocked in a 25 footer on top of me to keep the match going,” he said. “My putter on the back 9 heated up, I probably had only 12 putts.”
Snouffer’s mentality for tomorrow’s 36 hole match is to do more of what he did today, “What I’ve been doing has been working, so I’m just going to try to keep grinding it out.”
Sunday’s final 36 hole match begins at 7:30 am on Baltusrol’s Upper Course.
View results for Metropolitan Golf Association Amateur Golf Championship