Stewart Hagestad on Tuesday at the MET Open
NEW ROCHELLE, NY (August 21, 2018) - Following Tuesday’s opening round of the 103rd Met Open Championship Presented by Callaway, six amateurs stand inside the top-11, with 2016 MGA Player of the Year Stewart Hagestad of Deepdale leading the way with a 6-under 66 at Wykagyl Country Club.
Two past champions also made their way toward the top of the leaderboard, as Ben Polland of Deepdale (2015) and Andrew Svoboda of Engineers (2003) both carded matching 4-under 68s.
“I think I’m just in a good frame of mind,” said Hagestad, who advanced to the Round of 16 in last week’s U.S. Amateur at Pebble Beach. “I think I was just able to stay patient, play my game and hit a lot of fairways,” continued Hagestad. “That made it a little bit stress free.”
Hagestad registered his lone bogey of on the par-three 7th, but bounced back quickly with birdies on Nos. 9-11 to move to 4-under. He closed with birdies on Nos. 15 and 18, as he birdied four of Wykagyl’s par-fives on the day.
Even with the low round, Hagestad knows that with the strength of the field, he’ll need to continue to go low. “I’m going to try to avoid scoreboard watching and all that,” he said. “The guys out here are so good, they’re going to be able to hit fairways and greens and get plenty of birdie putts, so we’re going to have to go out and shoot another low one tomorrow and if nothing else, give ourselves a bunch of birdie looks.”
Danny Lewis of Hollywood sits second following a 5-under 67. Lewis posted six birdies to just one bogey, registering three birdies on the par-fives.
Polland, making his first appearance in the Met Open since his 2015 win, first saw the course on Monday in the Pro-Am. Despite posting a 1-over 36 over his opening nine on Tuesday, Polland tallied five birdies on the way in en route to his 4-under 68.
“The short game was working and I was putting,” said Polland, who is making his first appearance in the Met Open since his 2015 win at Winged Foot. “I was close to getting into trouble a few times and just was on the edge all day. It worked out for me and I scored really well.”
Also at 4-under, Svoboda—who’s looking to become the first player to win the Long Island Open, New York State Open and Met Open in the same year—had a steady day, tallying five birdies in his round to just one bogey on the par-four 9th, his finishing hole.
Amateur Cameron Young of Sleepy Hollow and Max Greyserman of Crestmont also posted 4-under. Young went low early, shooting 6-under 31 on his opening nine, starting on the 10th. Young, low amateur each of the last three years at the Met Open, faltered down the stretch though, making three bogeys in his final six holes while also adding another birdie.
Jason Caron of Mill River Club and a quartet of impressive amateurs finished the day at 3-under, as reigning MGA Player of the Year James Nicholas of Westchester, reigning MGA Mid-Amateur champion Darin Goldstein of Noyac, 2017 Met Amateur champion Matt Mattare of Darlington, and University of South Carolina commit Jack Wall of Manasquan River all registered quality starts.
Wykagyl played to 6,713 yards as a par-72, with players taking advantage of softened conditions due to recent rainfall. The classic layout traverses the property’s hills, valleys, and rock outcroppings to provoke thoughtful play the entire round. The club owns a rich championship history and with Nancy Lopez and Annika Sorenstam having won LPGA events at the club and Alex Smith and Johnny Farrell claiming previous Met Opens at Wykagyl.
A 36-hole cut will be made to the low 54 scores and ties following Wednesday’s second round of play. Scoring will once again include multiple station updates throughout the round, with additional coverage on the MGA’s social media outlets.
ABOUT THE MET Open
1. Past MGA Open Champions.
2. Male PGA Members in good standing in
Metropolitan or New Jersey sections. (A-3
members must have their principle place of
residence in the MGA district.)
3. Male professionals, employed at a golf
facility in the MGA District, who are
the PGA’s GPTP.
4. Male head & assistant professionals
MGA Member Clubs.
5. Male professionals who are bonafide
members with full golfing privileges at MGA
Member Clubs, have a residence in the
District and a current USGA Handicap
4.0 or less at that member club.
6. Amateur members & applicants for
re-instatement at MGA Member Clubs with
current USGA Handicap Index at that club
4.0 or less.
7. Male amateur golfers, 21 & under, in
immediate family of the Head Professional,
Manager, & Superintendent at MGA
Clubs with a current USGA Handicap Index
4.0 or less.
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