Courtesy of Metropolotian Amateur Golf Association
won the 31st Metropolitan Amateur Championship on Saturday at St. Louis Country Club, setting two 54-hole scoring records in the process.
The junior at Central Missouri shot 8-under 205 over the three days of competition to set new 54-hole scoring and lowest score to par records.
“What a beautiful course, just in perfect shape,” Westrich said. “You just have to keep it in the fairway out here. Keep it in the fairway and hit the greens and you’re going to make some putts. The greens are just perfect so you can get the ball rolling. Luckily, I was able to do that this week, I just kept it in the fairway pretty well and kept attacking.”
Westrich, who never played a practice round, shot par-or-better all three days (71-66-68) to best the 156-player field.
“Luckily, I had a good group in the first round, Jason Landry and Colby Sauer, they were able to show me around. They were great partners, they were helping me any way that they could, telling me where to go and where to hit it, they just helped so much. I just tried to play conservative the first day, stayed around
the top of the leaderboard hoping to make some birdies the next few days.”
Westrich shared the lead with Joe Migdal at 5-under overall heading into the final 18. He wasted no time, carding a birdie on the par 4 1st, the hardest hole of the day averaging 4.68 strokes. He would keep the lead the rest of the way. A bogey on No. 4 was his only miscue, but he erased it with a tap in birdie on the par 5 5th.
A birdie on the par 3 7th got him to 7-under overall before the turn. He would add another birdie on No. 10, and pars the rest of the way gave him the two-shot victory. His championship moment came on No. 17. After hitting it in the trench greenside bunker, he was able to save par and hold that two-shot lead with two to play. Westrich had his college teammate, Bennett Tiefenbrunn, on the bag for the final round.
“[Bennett] helped so much, I really appreciated his help. He knows the course really well, he’s a great player, one of the best short-game players I’ve ever seen, so I knew he was going to help me a lot on the greens. I couldn’t have done it without him.”
Westrich, who won the 2020 Missouri Amateur and made the cut at the World Wide Technology Metropolitan Open Championship in June, now adds the Jim Tom Blair trophy to his amateur golf accomplishments.
Curtis Brokenbrow shot the lowest round of the day, firing a 6-under 65 on Saturday to earn runner-up honors. His final round total was the lowest final round score in Metropolitan Amateur Championship history, and the second-lowest 18-hole score.
Brokenbrow shot even par the first two days and was five back of the lead at the start of his final round. Bogeys on the two long par 3s got him heading in the wrong direction, but Brokenbrow carded an incredible 8 birdies his last 15 holes to post a 6-under round.
The Missouri Baptist graduate and now assistant coach was clubhouse leader at 6-under overall, playing in the fourth-to-last pairing of the day.
“I got off to a slow start, but here at St. Louis Country Club it is a tough start with those two long par-3s opening up,” Brokenbrow said. “Once I was 2-over through three, I thought ‘If I can get something rolling here in the next couple of holes, I might have a chance going into the back 9.’ Thankfully, I birded 5 of the last 6 on the front 9 which helped a lot. Going into the back holes, I wasn’t sure how far up I was, but I just knew if I could pick up a couple more coming in I could give it a good push.”
Brokenbrow was Low Amateur at the World Wide Technology Metropolitan Open Championship and won the 2021 Missouri Amateur this year. His three-day total of 207 (71-71-65, -6) tied for the second lowest 54-hole score in the championship’s history.
Peter Weaver finished in third place alone after a final round 5-under 66. The sophomore at Villanova made bogey on his first hole of the day, and went bogey-free his last 17 holes with six birdies. Weaver had a three-day total of 208 (72-70-66, -5) for the third-lowest 54-hole score in the championship’s history.
Ryan Eckelkamp moved into a tie fourth after a final round 1-under 70. The Franklin County Country Club member shot 2-under overall, going 71-70-70–211.
The final round scoring average this year was 74.81, just under two strokes better than the last time the championship was held at St. Louis Country Club in 2011, when it was 76.75 strokes.
Westrich will defend his title at the 32nd Metropolitan Amateur Championship at Old Warson Country Club next August.View results for MAGA Amateur