Courtesy of Metropolitan Golf Association
Twenty years after his victory in the Met Junior Championship, Garett Engel of Old Westbury etched his name in history with a victory in the 119th Met Amateur Championship at Plainfield Country Club. Engel ended his match with Trevor Randolph of Arcola on the 34th hole of the match with a 3&2 victory to capture his second MGA championship.
To be honest it hasn’t sunk in yet, not even close,” said Engel. “I’m so appreciative to have won this event because of all the history and how tough of an event it is just to qualify for let alone win.”
Engel and Randolph traded blows through the first six holes of the match. Both players were slow out of the gates and par won holes regularly to start the match. That changed when Randolph dropped a long birdie on the sixth hole to kick-start the match. On the next hole, the par five seventh, Engel was short in two. He lined up his pitch and holed it to recapture the lead.
“I saw Trevor go high with his and I decided to go the opposite route,” said Engel. “I think it hopped twice and then just started tracking. I wasn’t trying to hole it but it was a great shot.”
Engel’s lead was short lived as Randolph would tie the match on eight and then take the lead on 10. Randolph would maintain that lead from hole 10 through hole 23 before Engel evened things up with a 20-foot birdie on hole 6, the 24th hole of the match.
“I was just trying to stay patient and continue to hit good shots,” said Engel. “I thought I hit some solid shots and I just didn’t make a few putts in that stretch. But it was all about staying patient.”
Engel’s patience would eventually pay off, but before that, he needed to escape trouble on the hole eight, the 26th of the match. A wayward drive left him blocked out from the green. Still, with four-iron in hand, Engel produced what Randolph said was one of the shots of the match.
“I thought that shot he hit on eight was as good a shot as there was in the match,” said Randolph. “He hit about a 30-yard cut and was able to make par out of a really tough spot.”
Shortly after, Engel dialed in another great iron, striping his approach to within a few feet on hole 10. After winning the 27th hole with a par, Engel’s birdie on the 28th hole was enough to give him his first 2-up lead in the match since the third hole.
“The tenth is another one of those greens that’s really sloped from back to front,” said Engel. “I was feeling good with my irons at that point and it’s always great when you can hit a shot like that in the match.”
A conceded birdie on 13, the 31st hole, gave Engel a 3-up advantage over Randolph. From there, three straight ties were enough to hand Engel the 119th Met Amateur title.
“Garett played great,” said Randolph. “I had a few critical mistakes out there, but he beat me. He is a great guy and deserving of this championship.”
Engel similarly complimented Randolph after the match.
“Trevor is a terrific player,” said Engel. “He’s been winning in this area for so long and it was just great to be able to compete with him all day.”
Randolph, a two-time MGA Mid-Am champion and among the winningest amateurs in the Met Area since 2013, was frustrated with the loss but optimistic with his play.
“Like I said, there were just a few holes that I made some bad mistakes on,” said Randolph. “I know I’m one of the best putters in the area and I adopted a new approach this year that has worked. I don’t think I’ve been over par in a competitive round in a while. Second is never the goal but I can take away some good things from this weekend.”
Engel closed out each one of his matches before the 17th hole, only seeing it during stroke play and the first 18-holes of the 36-hole final. He is the first champion to win without seeing the 17th or beyond since Pat Wilson did so in 2013.
This was the sixth time in the club’s history that Plainfield hosted the Met Amateur, and the club’s 18th MGA event. The championship heads to Fenway Golf Club in Scarsdale, N.Y., in 2022.View results for MAGA Amateur
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