RUMSEN, NJ (August 13, 2005) -– After two days of grueling match play golf, Gene Yang became the 37th winner of the MGA/MetLife Boys Championship, and just the first player in MGA history to hold both the MGA Boys and MGA Junior titles in the same year.
In morning action, Gene Yang of East Brunswick, NJ faced a strong opponent in his match with fourteen year old Brian Murphy of Wilton, CT, a match that would see many lead changes. However, a late charge by the 2005 MGA Junior Champion Gene Yang would prove too much for Murphy, who would lose to Yang 4 & 2. In an even tighter match, Rand Araskog of Locust Valley, NJ, a late entry due to an earlier withdrawal, would face fifteen year old Max Bichsel of Cranbury, NJ, who attends the Peddie School. Araskog would go 3up through ten holes only to see Bichsel bring the match back to all square on the 16th hole. Bichsel would make a 25 foot par putt on the 18th hole to carry the match into extra holes. Bichsel would make par on the first extra hole to win the match 1up.
“I was down by three after 10, but I still felt like I was in the match,” said Bichsel. “And when I made the long putt on 18 I thought I had a good shot to win. I hit it really close on the first extra hole and was able to make par to win.”
The all New Jersey final began with Peddie School sophomore Max Bichsel taking an early 1up lead on the first hole of the match. Yang and Bichsel would halve the next five holes. However, Gene Yang would go on to win 7, 8 and 9 to go 2up. They would go on to halve 10, 11 but Yang would take a commanding 3up lead on 12 with only six to play. After halving 13, Yang would go 4up on the par-3 14th hole and secured his amazing victory by halving the 15th.
“I was knocking a lot of shots stiff,” said a relieved Yang. “My putts really started to fall and that’s what did it for me.
This event is a match play championship for boys not yet 16 years of age on August 12, and who are members of an MGA member club or enrolled in accredited schools in the Metropolitan Golf Association’s district.
Contestants in the Boys Championship qualified concurrently during the qualifying for the 2005 MGA Junior Championship, which was held at Hempstead Country Club in Hempstead, NY, on July 19-21.
Yang earns an exemption into the 2006 MGA Junior Championship scheduled for The Apawamis Club in Rye, NY on July 18-20.