Bernstein and Miller to battle for MGA Amateur in 36-hole final

LOCUST VALLEY, N.Y. (August 6, 2011)– The stage is set for the finals of the 109th Met Amateur at Piping Rock, as two 19-year-old stars will square off for the coveted silvery trophy on the spectacular Long Island course. Sam Bernstein of Century and Mike Miller of Knollwood will play the 36-hole finale on Sunday, August 7, beginning at 7:30 a.m. This is the first trip to the finals of the MGA’s oldest championship for both competitors.

Sam BernsteinIn the first semifinal match of the day, Bernstein knocked off overall #1 seed Alex Edfort of Neshanic Valley 6&5. Edfort, who won both his Round of 16 and Quarterfinal matches in convincing fashion, could not keep up with Bernstein, who won holes 6 through 10 to take a commanding 6-up lead through ten holes. Both players are rising juniors in college; Edfort is a member of the University of the Pacific golf team while Bernstein is a standout on the Yale University team. Bernstein won this year’s Arcola Cup and also was the low amateur at the 2009 Met Open.

“I got off to a good start with a birdie on one, and had a good up-and- down par save on the fifth hole from behind the green,” Bernstein said after the match. “My game feels good, I’m hitting and putting it well, but my chipping hasn’t been my best this week. The course is very similar to the Yale course, having been designed by the same person [C.B. Macdonald], so I feel really comfortable out here.” As far as the gameplan for tomorrow, Bernstein will stick to what has been working all week, keeping his lines and relying on his length and putting stroke.

The second semifinal match featured two former MGA junior event winners as the 2010 Met Junior champion Miller took on the 2010 MGA/MetLife Boys winner Matt Lowe of Colonial Springs. Lowe, 15, was the youngest player to advance to the semifinals and as hard as he fought, Miller’s consistent play—along with a strong contingent of family cheering him on—propelled him into his very first Met Amateur final. Miller was a semifinalist in this event last year, losing to eventual runner-up Cameron Wilson of Shorehaven.

Like Bernstein, Miller got up in the match early with a birdie on the first hole. After Lowe found the fescue and failed to get out of the trouble with his second shot, Miller safely found the green and rolled in a 20-footer to win the hole. Miller went on to win the 5th, 7th and 10th holes before Lowe won the 13th to move into striking distance. However, the match ended when both players made par on the par-3 17th hole, punching Miller’s ticket to the finale.

“Going into tomorrow, it should be fun. I am going to go and have a great night sleep tonight and we’ll see what happens. It was great having my whole family out here watching,” Miller said following his round. Miller and Bernstein are no strangers as both have played with, and against each other, numerous times. “Sam is a good player, he played today at 4-under. He’s one of my good buddies so tomorrow should be fun.”

Bernstein and Miller will tee off tomorrow morning at 7:30 a.m., and will break for lunch between the first and second rounds. The second round will commence at 11:30 a.m. and live scoring and updates can be found on www.m gagolf.org.

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