Christian Cavaliere and Josh German (Met GA photo)
Sunday’s 36-hole final in the 121st Met Amateur Championship at Friar’s Head will feature Christian Cavaliere of Hudson National and Josh German of The Seawane Club.
Cavaliere, the 2016 Met Junior champion, defeated William O’Neill of Spring Brook by a 4-and-3 margin, while German earned a 5-and-4 victory over William Knauth of Inwood.
Cavaliere, 25, didn’t drop a hole the entire day, continuing his steady play.
“It was more of the same from this week, just being patient knowing I’m playing really well and trying to let things happen naturally, not forcing anything,” said Cavaliere, who competed in the U.S. Open at Los Angeles Country Club in June.
Cavaliere took a 1-up lead with birdie on the par-5 second.
“I feel like sometimes I’ll take the first few holes too lightly in match play, but you really have to come out of the gate firing,” said Cavaliere. “It’s always better to have an early lead to try to set the momentum, so I’ve really tried to focus on that this week.”
O’Neill conceded an eagle on the par-5 seventh after struggling on the green to place Cavaliere 2-up. The par-4 ninth was tied with birdies, while Cavaliere made a long birdie putt on the par-3 10th to stretch his lead to three.
“My putting has definitely come around this week,” said Cavaliere, who is returning to the final of the Met Amateur after dropping a 2-and-1 match to Ryan Davis at Arcola in 2018. “I worked on a couple things to be more feel-based and less technical, so it’s really nice to see that come to fruition.”
Cavaliere received a conceded birdie on the par-4 13th after knocking his approach to six feel and O’Neill failed to get up and down from the greenside bunker. After ties with birdie fours on No. 14 and par fours on No. 15, Cavaliere locked in his spot in the final, which he is returning to for the first time since 2018, when he dropped a 2-and-1 match to Ryan Davis at Arcola.
While that memory may be in mind for Cavaliere, he’s also thinking back to June’s Ike, where he came up short in a playoff to Melan Dhaubhadel.
“I kind of have a chip on my shoulder from that playoff loss,” said Cavaliere. “So, I’ll keep that fire going and just try to grind it out tomorrow and stay focused.”
Meanwhile, German also used a win on the par-5 second to take an early lead. While Knauth won the par-3 fourth, German won Nos. 5-8 to to take a commanding 4-up lead.
“I got off to a solid start,” said German, a Texas native who’s a PGM Program intern at The Seawane Club. “I made some smart decisions and really took advantage of some opportunities on five through nine and kind of took what he gave me and kind of ran with it. I’m really proud of the situational golf I played today and put myself in the right spots to give myself the best chance to win holes.
While Knauth won the par-5 11th with birdie, German won both Nos. 12-13 with pars to move to 5-up. Pars on the 14th led German to the victory.
German, like the entire field, has enjoyed his time at Friar’s Head this week and is looking forward to Sunday’s opportunity.
“This is a great match play course,” said German. “There’s so much you can do out here and there’s so many shots you can hit and so many different things you can try. I’m really excited to play 36 tomorrow and see what happens.”
The morning 18 between Cavaliere and German will begin at 7:30 a.m., Sunday.
The semifinal matchups are set at Friar’s Head in the 121st Met Amateur Championship following two rounds of match play, Friday, with William Knauth, Josh German, William O’Neill and Christian Cavaliere all looking to capture the MGA’s oldest championship.
THE SEMIFINAL FILES
Player: William Knauth
How he got here: 69-71 in stroke play qualifying, T9; def. Jack Simon, 4 and 3; def. Mark Costanza, 2 and 1.
Key to the quarterfinal match: Knauth and Costanza went back and forth, but Knauth had two stretches where he won two holes in a three-hole stretch (Nos. 1 and 3, 11 and 13). Knauth won by a 2-and-1 margin, and stood at 4-under through 17 holes.
What they said: “Honestly, it’s just a pleasant surprise to come out here and play really good golf for a couple days. I’ve been hitting it really well.”
Player: Josh German
Affiliation: The Seawane Club
How he got here: 67-70 in stroke play qualifying, T4; def. Stephen Nicholas, 5 and 3; def. Luke Sample, 20 holes.
Key to the quarterfinal match: While German stood one down on the 18th tee, a Sample three-putt and a German par from a fairway bunker sent the match to extras. German then holed a long putt for birdie on the par-5 second to advance.
What they said: “It was a very good match and a lot of fun to play. I thought I hit it right down the middle on 18, and I got down and it was all the way in the bunker, but I managed to make par and he kind of gave me a break on 18, but that’s golf and you have to take it when you can.
Player: William O’Neill
Affiliation: Spring Brook
How he got here: 70-70 in stroke play qualifying, T9; def. Charlie Berridge, 8 and 6; def. Ethan Ng, 3 and 2.
Key to the quarterfinal match: O’Neill has had success in making pars, and won the par-3 fourth with a three, but he followed that with an eagle on the par-4 fifth to quickly flip a one-hole deficit to a one-hole advantage against Ng.
What they said: “I haven’t made a lot of bogeys which has been the key. I’ve just been making a ton of pars and in match play I think that puts a lot of pressure on your opponent when you’re not giving any holes away.
Player: Christian Cavaliere
Affiliation: Hudson National
How he got here: 69-67 in stroke play qualifying, T2; def. Peicheng Chen, 2 and 1; def. Will Lodge, 5 and 4.
Key to the quarterfinal match: Cavaliere took control of the match early, winning Nos. 3, and 5-7 to earn a 3-up lead from which he never looked back.
What they said: “My short game’s been really solid, so I’ve been leaning on that a little bit. I feel like I’m in a good spot mentally too. My putter feels pretty solid this week as well which is kind of a change, I’ve been struggling with that this year.”View results for MET Amateur