Cameron Young the First Am to Win the New York State Open
Who needs the money? A 64 at Bethpage Black is worth plenty to Cameron Young<br>(Amanda McKnight/LoHud.com photo)
Who needs the money? A 64 at Bethpage Black is worth plenty to Cameron Young
(Amanda McKnight/LoHud.com photo)

By Mike Zacchio of LoHud.com

FARMINGDALE, NY (July 20, 2017) - Most people would not be at ease with giving up a $17,500 check, but then again most people are not Cameron Young.

The Fordham Prep alum became the first amateur to win the Met PGA's Lenox Advisors New York State Open Championship on Thursday, beating Chris DeForest on the second playoff hole to complete the come-from-behind win at Bethpage State Park's prestigious Black Course.

Due to his amateur status, Young could not accept the first place prize money. DeForest, whose wife is expecting a baby girl at the end of the month, was awarded the $17,500 top prize.

“I don't think it's going to change anything if I do it now, or if I do it in two years, or I do it in three years — it doesn't matter,” Young, who qualified for the U.S. Amateur tournament on Monday, said in regards to turning professional. “If I'm going to be good enough to play for a living, I'm going to do it whenever I decide to do it.”

“Hopefully that check will be a lot bigger someday,” he added.

Young posted a 7-under 64 in the final round, tying the course record that was set by PGA champions Mike Weir and Padraig Harrington, among others. The rising junior at Wake Forest birdied three of his first four holes and eagled the seventh hole to surge up the leaderboard.

Young kept his championship bid alive with a sensational chip from the rough on his third shot of the first playoff hole. After a drive that landed in the fescue and an unsatisfactory second shot, Young chipped to within a foot of the hole to save par.

Even without a championship, DeForest went home happy. The 28-year-old jokingly said that he didn’t feel bad taking the prize money from Young because he expects the rising star to “end up making way more money than I ever did.”

“Congratulations to Cameron — he’s a friend of my little brother,” DeForest said during his acceptance speech. “My little brother has told me for three years (Young) is better than me, and now he’s proved it.”

Brookville’s Josh Rackley, who entered Thursday tied with DeForest for a share of the lead, finished two strokes behind the duo to take third place. No other golfer finished under par for the tournament.

Scarsdale alum James Nicholas was the third-highest amateur, finishing tied for 12th place in the field of 62 golfers. The former Journal News Westchester/Putnam golfer of the year entered Thursday tied for fifth, but bogeyed four of his first 12 holes in the final round to fall out of contention.

MGA executive director Jeff Voorheis said the day was “extra special” that two of the biggest story lines of the day – Young's win, and the father-to-be getting a check – played out, and that he looks forward to this tournament every year.

“It’s as close as we get to running a Tour-caliber event because the course is that good and the field of players is that good,” Voorheis said. “It’s just fun. It’s just fun to be part of an event that is as elite as this is.”

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ABOUT THE New York State Open

Open to professionals and amateurs who reside in the state of New York. An 18-hole qualifier is required for those who do not meet the exemption criteria. Format consists of 54-holes of stroke play with a cut to the low 60 and ties after the 2nd round.

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