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Edler, Crowley, Meet in Met Junior Final

CHATHAM, N.J. (July 14, 2011) – And then there were two. Following an exciting morning of semifinal matches in the 94th Met Junior Championship sponsored by MetLife at Fairmount Country Club, two 18-year-olds playing their last summer of junior golf will meet in the final of the nation's oldest junior championship.  Charles Edler of Fair Haven, N.J., who will compete for Dartmouth University beginning this fall, will take on Dylan Crowley of Glen Cove, N.Y., in the 18-hole final match this afternoon. Crowley is an incoming freshman at St. John's University.

Edler's victory over reigning MGA/MetLife Boys champion Matthew Lowe of Farmingdale, N.Y., in the first semifinal match was a convincing win for the 2009 NJSGA Junior Championship runner-up. Lowe, a long-hitting 15-year-old who will be competing next week in the U.S. Junior Championship outside Seattle, struggled with his accuracy and found himself 3-down to Edler through 8 holes. He wasn't able to recover, as Edler played steady and never trailed in the match.

"My short game really saved me," said Edler. "I made a couple good up and downs early, on 3 and 4, which really helped me. Then I had a couple birdies, on the par-five 11th and again on the 15th, and those were the key to the win.”

Part of the difficulty of winning the Met Junior is the prospect of winning six matches in three days. Edler is up for the challenge.

"The most I've ever played was four matches in three days, in the club championship [at Rumson Country Club]," he said. "You just have to keep thinking and not make any mental mistakes."

The other morning semifinal pitted Crowley against 16-year-old Anthony Alex of Wayne, N.J. Crowley won the par-5 first hole with a birdie but then found himself 2-down to Alex at the turn. Crowley took a moment to give himself a pep talk before the players teed off on the 10th.

"I was just trying to step away from the match for a bit and get myself ready for what I had to do on the back nine, and I did it," said Crowley. "It's match play, so 2 down is nothing. There's still a chance to get right back into it, and I birdied 11 and 12 and was able to do that." 

Crowley and Alex then halved the next five holes with pars, reaching the 18th tee all square. Both players hit good drives over the creek crossing the fairway, but missed the green with their approach shots. Alex, who came up just short, was first to play, and his chip shot ran out eight feet past the hole. Crowley hit a putt from the back fringe to two feet. After Alex missed his par attempt, Crowley sunk his putt to close out the match.

Crowley and Edler were paired together in the 2010 Carter Cup at Baltusrol Golf Club, and the matchup should provide plenty of drama at Fairmount this afternoon. Stay tuned to for live scoring for the final, which began at 1:00.