Ireland leading after day one of Carey Cup
Trevor Randolph
Trevor Randolph

JACKSON, N.J. — After nearly one full day of competition at the 13th Carey Cup at Metedeconk National Golf Club, the Golfing Union of Ireland (GUI) leads the MGA 3-2. One four-ball match was unable to finish due to darkness, and stands all-square on the 18th tee.

The GUI took a 2-1 lead after morning foursomes. Alex Gleeson and Stuart Grehan took charge in the lead match, claiming a 5&3 victory over Joe Saladino of Huntington and Brian Komline of Black Oak. Back-to-back wins on Nos. 8 and 9 earned the visiting duo a 3-up advantage, while two more wins on Nos. 13 and 15 secured GUI the opening point.

Recent MGA Mid-Amateur champion Trevor Randolph of Arcola and Stewart Hagestad of Golf & Body NYC won the opening hole, but John Ross Galbraith and Colm Campbell won the next to quickly square the match. Galbraith and Campbell then won three of the next five holes for a 3-up lead through seven holes. Randolph and Hagestad won the par-3 11th, but wins from the Irish on Nos. 12 and 15 earned GUI a 2-0 lead behind a 4&3 win.

Meanwhile, in the No. 2 match, 2015 Nassau Invitational champion Darin Goldstein of Noyac and Luke Feehan of Mahopac mounted a late rally to secure the MGA its lone point of the morning. Goldstein and Feehan took a 1-up advantage three times in the first nine holes, but Colin Fairweather and Rowan Lester followed each loss with a win of their own. Fairweather and Lester took their first lead with a win on the par-4 13th, but this time the MGA duo had an answer. Goldstein and Feehan birdied both the par-5 14th and par-3 15th to quickly claim a 1-up advantage. After a halve on the 16th, a par on the 17th sealed the match for Goldstein and Feehan, 2&1, and put the MGA on the board.

In the afternoon, the MGA shook up its pairings while the GUI stuck with its same lineup.

Komline and Randolph turned to the inward nine trailing by two, but the duo notched wins on Nos. 11, 15 and 16. Pars halved the 18th to secure MGA the first point in four-ball, and pulled the overall score to 2-2.

Saladino drained a long eagle putt on the opening hole as he paired with Goldstein in four-ball, but GUI's Fairweather and Lester won the next two holes to take a 1-up lead. Saladino and Goldstein won Nos. 6 and 9, the lead once again changing hands. But, the GUI squad quickly bounced back and squared the match with a win on the 10th. After four-straight halves, the GUI duo won the 15th to go 1-up. Three more halves placed GUI back on top, 3-2 overall.

Five halves opened the Feehan and Hagestad vs. Galbraith and Campbell match, before the GUI tandem won back-to-back holes. Feehan and Hagestad came back with wins on Nos. 9 and 10 to pull all square once again, but GUI won the par-4 13th which was drivable in the afternoon round at just under 300 yards. The MGA had a pair of chances for wins on both the 15th and 16th holes, but came through in the unlikely situation on the 17th as darkness began to settle in. Hagestad's drive found trees to the right of the fairway, but an outstanding recovery shot landed short of the green and bounded to within a couple of feet. The putt was conceded to square the match, but it could not be finished due to darkness.

The final four-ball match will begin at 7:45 a.m., while the closing singles matches will begin at 8:15 a.m.

ABOUT THE Carey Challenge Cup

In the fall of 1990, a team of amateurs from the Golfing Union of Ireland came to compete against the MGA. Known then as the first Metedeconk International Challenge Cup, the concept can be credited to Metedeconk National Golf Club founders Richard and Herbert Sambol and perennial club champion and international golfer Finbarr Kiely. The MGA won its first encounter with the GUI, but were not so fortunate when invited to Waterville, Ireland in 1992.

The competition resumed in its present form in 1996 after former New York Governor Hugh L. Carey spearheaded the revival of the matches. Carey donated a silver claret jug which serves as the official trophy to foster commerce between the two countries and to promote sportsmanship and goodwill through friendly competition. Named the Carey Cup, the first installment was held at the spectacular Hudson National Golf Club, where the MGA won back the title. The matches have continued biennially, with six-man teams playing a Walker Cup-style competition featuring Four-ball, Foursomes, and Singles matches at some of the best courses in Ireland and the Met Area. A spot on this prestigious team is one of the most sought-after accomplishments for Met Area competitors.

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