Buckley Birdies Way to Victory at Carter Cup
SPRINGFIELD, N.J. (August 1, 2007) – It was a red-number day at Baltusrol Golf Club for Max Buckley of Rye, N.Y. The 17-year-old followed up his even-par morning round on the Upper Course with a four-under 68 on the Lower Course to win the 5th Carter Cup-MGA Junior Stroke Play Championship by three strokes over Cameron Wilson of Rowayton, Conn.
Over the course of his 36 holes, Buckley made nine birdies, which was tops in the field of 42 elite junior players. “The greens were perfect. They held, and they were quick. I got used to the speed and then I just started taking dead aim at the hole. I hit my wedges so well and was able to hit a lot of them close. I stayed out of trouble today, and when you do that you have the chance to make a lot of birdies.”
This win, which Buckley called “by far the biggest of my career,” continues what has been a very successful season for the recent graduate of Rye High School. Buckley won the 2007 Section I boys’ golf title, finished tied for fourth at the 2007 New York State High School Golf Championship and was a quarterfinalist at last month’s Met Junior Championship. He will tee it up in the 105th Met Amateur, which begins Thursday, August 2 at Wykagyl Country Club. With this victory, Buckley also receives an exemption into the 2008 Ike Championship at Mountain Ridge Country Club. Buckley will enter Southern Methodist University on a golf scholarship in the fall of 2008 after spending a year in South Carolina at the International Junior Golf Academy.
Wilson, the reigning MGA/MetLife Boys champion, fought hard to stay close to Buckley. His round of 71 included a hole-in-one at the 173-yard 12th hole, after which he pulled to within two strokes of the lead. However, his final total of one-under 143 was three strokes behind Buckley. Wilson’s was one of four sub-par rounds in today’s Carter Cup.
Finishing alone in third place with a total of one-over 145 was Curtis Loop of New Canaan, Conn., runner-up in last year’s MGA/MetLife Boys Championship and the 2007 Connecticut State Junior champion. Loop had a second-round 69 on the Lower Course, the second-lowest round of the championship. Behind him in fourth place was Michael Miller of Brewster, N.Y., the son of Knollwood Country Club professional Bobby Miller, at three-over 147. Also in the field and finishing in the top 15 were 2006 Met Junior champion David Pastore of Greenwich, Conn., and 2005 Met Junior champion Gene Yang of East Brunswick, N.J.
The Carter Cup is named in honor of Michael P. Carter, former Baltusrol Junior Club Champion and a standout member of the Delbarton School golf team and later the Penn State golf team, who died in an automobile accident in 2002. The MGA wishes to recognize the Carter family for their continued courage and support, which help make the Carter Cup one of the most coveted titles in the Met Area.