14 players break par in round 1 at MGA Amateur

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LOCUST VALLEY, N.Y. (August 4, 2011) – The 109th Met Amateur Championship at the Piping Rock Club in Locust Valley, N.Y., is off to an exciting start. With near-ideal conditions on the classic C.B. Macdonald layout, the 63 competitors who began today’s 36 holes of stroke play qualifying showcased their talents, with 14 players shooting par or better in the first round.  

Leading the way after the morning round is 2010 Carter Cup Champion David Pastore  of Griff Harris, who jumped to the top of the leaderboard with a round of five-under- par 66, highlighted by five birdies on his back- nine 31.

Allan Small“I figured that if I could get my driver under control I’d have a lot of chances at birdies,” said Pastore. “I actually started off well [2- under through 7] and then 4-putted on the 8th hole. I was able to come back and make five birdies on the back and really felt under control with my driver.”

Pastore has held the early lead in several championships recently, including his first-round 66 at the Connecticut Open in July, and hopes to continue his solid play and make an impact in match play.

Coming in just behind Pastore with a first-round of three- under-par 68 is fellow Carter Cup champion (2007) Max Buckleyof Westchester Country Club. Buckley, who won the 2011 Hochster Memorial Tournament and recently took medalist honors at a qualifier for the U.S. Amateur, used his significant knowledge of the course and improved confidence to fire an impressive morning round.

“I love this course. My godfather is a member out here and I’ve played here probably 10-15 times,” said Buckley. “I feel like college golf [at Southern Methodist University] has really toughened me up and made my nerves that much better.” Those nerves will be tested this week if Buckley continues to play well and make match play.

Alex Edfort of Neshanic Valley, a semifinalist in this event last year at Quaker Ridge, joins Buckley in a tie for second at 68. Dan Abbondandolo  of Brookville and  Michael Furci of St. George’s also posted below-par rounds of 69. Other notable names after the morning 18 include: Ed Gibstein of Engineers and Sam Bernstein of Century at two- under-par 70; former MGA President  Allan Small of Fairmount, who won the New Jersey Senior Amateur on August 3 and played in last week’s U.S. Senior Open, who fired an even-par 71, and 2010 MGA/MetLife Boys champion Matthew Lowe, who also shot a 71. Small isn’t the only MGA official to have a strong first round as current MGA Vice President Jeff Holzschuh of Stanwich shot a 76.

Stayed tuned to the MGA website for live scoring, a live chat, updated images, interviews, and the latest stories as we follow the second-round action on day one of the 109th Met Amateur Championship.

ABOUT THE Metropolitan Amateur

The competition is open to male Amateur members of MGA Member Clubs who have a current USGA Handicap Index of 5.0 or less and to those exempted by the MGA Committee. All entrants are subject to the MGA Rules and Regulations. Format of play: 18 hole sectional qualifying round. Qualifiers play 36 hole on-site qualifying round, determining 16 players for match play.

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