18-Year-Old McGovern Bests Field in 24th Westchester Public Links Championship
STAMFORD, Conn. (May 24th, 2023) – A new Westchester Public Links champion was crowned Wednesday afternoon at Sterling Farms Golf Course, where MET PGA Junior Golf Club member Oliver McGovern of Greenwich, Conn., carded a 1-under 70 to ﬁnish as this year’s winner by two shots.
McGovern faced ﬁerce competition, including back-to-back champion Erik Stauderman of Casperkill and frequent competitor Eric Bleile of Sterling Farms, who tied for fourth, as well as three-time WGA Mid-Amateur champion Patrick Pierson of New York Country Club, but his consistent putting ultimately propelled him to victory.
“I think my game was in a ﬁne place," said the 18-year-old McGovern. "I wasn't hitting it particularly well, but I was chipping and putting pretty well, which is more important to me when it comes to especially a tournament like this. I don’t think I missed a single putt within six feet, just making everything inside of six [feet] just takes the pressure oﬀ everything."
One of McGovern’s best shots of the day came on No. 15, where he placed the ball about ﬁve feet from the par-3 hole location.
“I was actually quite in between clubs," recalled McGovern. "I think it was 137 [yards], but it's obviously playing ﬁve or six more uphill. I took oﬀ a little bit from a nine iron and just tried to ﬂight one in there. And I hit it straight at it. I walked up and I was really happy to see that was close.”
The junior ﬁnished with three birdies in his last four holes, including a 25-foot putt on the par-4 17th to complete his 33 on the back nine.
“I found out I won, and my dad was texting me constant updates while I was changing into my tux in the car," said McGovern, who left Sterling Farms to immediately go to prom. "I was in a mad rush. But yeah, it was it was awesome. It’s a perfect time to have a great night after something good happened in the morning."
Thomas Bennett of The Links at Union Vale and MGA eClub - NYC member Bo Blair tied for second, carding 1-over 72.
The round also served as a qualifier for the 75th MGA Public Links Championship. In all, 12 players advanced to the championship slated for June 22 on Bethpage State Park's Red Course in Farmingdale, N.Y.