Met Open Heads to Hollywood
ELMSFORD, N.Y. (August 18, 2017) – August 22-24, the Met Open Presented by Callaway returns to classic Hollywood Golf Club in Deal, N.J., for the 102nd edition. The field—149 competitors in all—is once again packed with the Met Area’s top professionals and amateurs looking to etch their name in the prestigious Walker L. Trammell trophy as winner of the nation’s third-oldest open championship.
The Met Open last visited Hollywood in 1991. In the championship’s return, competitors will face off on a polished Walter Travis gem, which was restored in 2014 by Tom Doak’s Renaissance Golf Design and lead design consultant Brian Schneider. The work rejuvenated Travis’ spectacular rough-edged bunkers, which along with Travis’ outstanding green complexes look to test the region’s top players.
The field consists of 149 competitors: 105 professionals and 44 amateurs.
A total of 16 past champions are in the field looking to repeat history, including reigning Met Open champion Mark Brown of Tam O’Shanter, who won the title for the third time in his career last season at Glen Oaks. Brown has continued strong play in 2017, competing in both the U.S. Senior Open and Senior PGA Championship. Additional past champions in the field include Grant Sturgeon of Arcola (2014), Danny Balin of Westchester (‘12), Tyler Hall of Upper Montclair (‘11), Bob Rittberger of Garden City (‘10), Frank Bensel of Century (’07), John Guyton of Rockville Links (’06), John Stoltz of Essex Learning Center (‘05), Mike Gilmore of Winged Foot (‘00), Mike Burke of Montammy (1997), Darrell Kestner of Deepdale (‘82, ‘83, ‘95), Mike Diffley of Pelham (‘91 at Hollywood), Bobby Heins of Old Oaks (‘88, ‘89), Jim McGovern of White Beeches (‘87), David Glenz of Black Oak (‘78, ‘86), and Bill Britton of Trump National – Colts Neck.
Winners Keep Winning
Several past champions have added to their winning ways this season, including Sturgeon (NJPGA Charity Clambake), Balin (Westchester Open and Met PGA Professional Championship), Britton (NJ Senior PGA Professional Championship), Hall (NJPGA Asst. Championship), and Kestner (Met PGA Senior Championship).
Fresh off the PGA Championship
Alex Beach of Baltusrol, Matt Dobyns of Fresh Meadow and Adam Rainaud of Winged Foot all competed in the year’s final major at Quail Hollow after top finishes in the PGA Professional Championship earlier this summer and are among the many professionals capable of capturing the title for the first time. This will be Rainaud’s first Met Open start.
The 2012 Met Amateur was held at Hollywood, with Ryan McCormick of Suburban and Matt Mattare of Darlington meeting in the final. Now, with McCormick as a professional and Mattare fresh off a redemptive win in the Met Amateur at Laurel Links, both aim to channel their past success on the grounds.
Several decorated amateurs now with professional tour experience are returning to the Met Area with the Met Open title in mind, especially after strong finishes in the championship last year. Mike Miller of Knollwood, Mike Ballo of Winged Foot, David Pastore of Fairview, and McCormick all finished inside the top-10 at last year’s Met Open and look to challenge for the title again this year. Kevin Foley of Neshanic Valley, Max Buckley of Westchester, and Pat Wilson of Hamilton Farm are also in the field once again this year, after tying 11th, 22nd, and 29th respectively, last year at Glen Oaks.
After graduating from Cornell and logging several top finishes this summer, including a win in the New Jersey State Open at Metedeconk, Luke Graboyes of Watchung Valley will make his professional debut at Hollywood.
Year of the Amateur?
Amateurs have had a good year in open championships, with Graboyes’ aforementioned victory in New Jersey, Cameron Young’s incredible win at Bethpage Black in the New York State Open, Mattare claiming the GAP Open, and Max Theodorakis competing in a playoff in Connecticut. Seven amateurs have claimed the Met Open title through the years and many are capable of making such a run this year, including Young of Sleepy Hollow, 2016 Met Amateur champion and Masters low amateur Stewart Hagestad of Deepdale, Peter Kim of Royce Brook, 2017 New Jersey Amateur champion Dawson Jones of Jumping Brook, and two-time Carter Cup champion Ethan Ng of Fiddler’s Elbow.
Making the Cut
Several competitors have been stalwarts for 54 holes in the Met Open, with 2005 Met Open winner Stoltz holding the longest active streak of made cuts at 13. Three other players have made 13 cuts in the last 14 years: Brown, Bensel, and Mark Mielke, who is not in the field this year. Brown and Bensel both missed the cut in 2015.
Even though Cameron Young is entering his junior year at Wake Forest, he’s already left his mark at the Met Open. Young is one of 11 players to make the cut at the Met Open in each of the last three years, with his cumulative stroke to par (+2) being nine strokes better than any other player. The next closest are Sunny Kim (+11), Sturgeon (+12), and Rob Labritz of GlenArbor (+15). Young has finished as low amateur each of the last two years, and no one on record (dating back to 2003) has been low amateur three consecutive times.
- Three days, 54 holes of stroke play
- Field cut to low 54 scores & ties after 36 holes
- 9 and 18-hole updates for the first two rounds (Tuesday, Wednesday)
- Live hole-by-hole scores during the final round for the majority of groups (Thursday)
- Social Media: @MGA1897 on Twitter for updates through the day; additional content on Facebook and Instagram
- Scoring, recaps, interviews, and photos on mgagolf.org