SCARSDALE, N.Y. (August 1, 2010) -- The 36-hole final match of the 108th Met Amateur at Quaker Ridge Golf Club was a battle between the defending champion and a player who has been on a hot streak all summer. In the end, Evan Beirne, the 22-year-old Connecticut native and St. John’s University senior who plays out of Bethpage, put on a dazzling display of golf and defeated Cameron Wilson of Shorehaven by a 7 & 6 margin to win the 108th Met Amateur for his first MGA title.
“To win the Met Amateur on this golf course with this caliber of players in the field, and especially to beat Cameron, who’s got a great future ahead of him in golf, I’d rank this right at the top of my wins,” said Beirne, who also won the Hochster Memorial tournament in June at Quaker Ridge. “I love this place,” he added. “It sets up very well for me, and today I had a really good feel on the greens and was able to make a lot of putts.”
Putting was the difference in the final match. During the morning 18, Beirne and Wilson approached the tee of the par-four 16th hole all square, but Wilson three-putted to fall to 1-down. On the par-four 17th, Beirne converted his eight-foot birdie putt after Wilson missed his from 10 feet, and Beirne had a 2-up lead heading to 18. Another three-putt by Wilson on the 18th green meant that Beirne enjoyed a 3-up lead at the midway break.
While Wilson’s strong record in match play, and in this championship in particular, suggested the match was far from over, Beirne only turned up the heat during the early going of the second 18. After the players halved the first four holes, Beirne sunk a 35-foot birdie putt on the par-three fifth hole, much to the delight of the large gallery following the match. When Wilson didn’t convert his own birdie try, Beirne increased his lead to 4-up.
The sixth hole (the 24th of the match) was halved, and as the players reached the tee of the difficult, dogleg-right 7th hole, Beirne’s lead remained at 4-up and the match was still within reach for Wilson. However, the next four holes would change that. Beirne made four birdie putts, all between 10 and 18 feet, on the seventh through 10th holes to seize control of the match and hold a dominating dormie-eight (eight up with eight holes to play) lead, all but sealing Wilson’s fate.
“I just tried to make as many putts as I could, and I was fortunate they were falling,” said Beirne. “The putt I made on 10 was almost exactly the same as the one on 9. It was just a little outside right, and I had the speed and it dropped. At that point, I felt pretty good.”
The match ended on the green of the par-four 12th hole, the 30th of the match, when Wilson missed his birdie putt and conceded Beirne’s par effort. The two talented young guns exchanged a warm handshake as the gallery applauded both players for their efforts.
Wilson was disappointed in the result but showed the gracious sportsmanship he has always displayed. “I played pretty consistent golf all week and I was medalist, so I played well despite not playing as well as Evan today,” said Wilson. “It’s always good to have experiences in the bag, and I know going forward that if I play well, I’ll be all right.”
Beirne’s victory caps a very successful summer. In addition to his victory at the Hochster Memorial at Quaker Ridge, he won the CSGA Russell Palmer Cup and was low amateur and finished second at the Connecticut Open immediately prior to the Met Amateur. At the end of the collegiate season, Beirne finished in second place at the Big East Championship. He looks to use the Met Amateur victory to continue his strong play in U.S. Amateur qualifying next week and in his final year of college eligibility at St. John’s.
The 7 & 6 victory was the largest winning margin since Jerry Courville Jr. in 1995. With the win, Beirne becomes exempt into the 95th Met Open Championship sponsored by MetLife, which will take place August 24-26 at Bethpage Black, and also into the 2011 Ike Championship and Met Amateur.
View results for Metropolitan Golf Association Amateur Golf Championship