David Pastore Wins Met Am at The Creek
LOCUST VALLEY, N.Y. (August 3, 2014) - David Pastore won the 112th Met Amateur Championship in exciting fashion when he made a hole-in-one on the 35th hole of the final match against Matt Lowe of Farmingdale, N.Y. Pastore was 2 up with two holes left to play when he teed off on the par 3, 135 yard 17th hole, and he claimed the title after watching his ball trickle slowly back towards the pin to secure the win with a 3 & 1 victory. Pastore, 22 and from Greenwich, Conn., now joins a small and elite group of players that have won the Ike Championship and Met Amateur in the same year. In June, he won the Ike at Montclair with a five stroke margin of victory. The last player to accomplish this feat was now PGA Tour member Johnson Wagner back in 2002.
The final 36-hole match was close throughout the day, but Lowe couldn’t catch the early lead that Pastore took in the afternoon round. In the rainy morning 18, both competitors played consistently and routinely made pars to halve holes. Lowe held a slight advantage throughout the round after making a birdie on the par 3 4th hole, but that was the largest lead he held throughout the round. On the back nine, Pastore won the 17th hole to regain a 1 up lead, and after he and Lowe halved the 18th hole, the morning 18 finished with Pastore holding onto that 1 up lead.
“I really felt that getting 1 up on the early 18 was pretty important. Even though it was just one hole, I felt that mentally that was important for me, and him, starting the second 18,” the champion said.
Pastore got off to a good start in the afternoon round, beginning with his win on the 21st hole (The Creek’s 3rd), where he made a birdie on the par 4. Lowe was about to also birdie the hole, but incurred a one stroke penalty after his ball moved while at rest on the green. Pastore went on to win the next hole, which made him 3 up. After a few holes of back and forth wins, he started to really turn it on after they made the turn to the back nine.
“I made a few clutch shots, I had a nice birdie on the 10th hole to win that hole and get the momentum a little on my side,” he claimed. Lowe didn’t catch Pastore’s lead throughout the second round, even though he kept his game under control and still played well, and that helped Pastore stay calm and composed even when faced with tough shots on The Creek’s challenging layout.
The excitement came as the players approached the 35th hole of the match, Pastore was 2 up with two holes left to play. With a gallery of about 50 spectators, he watched Lowe’s tee shot get to a few mere feet from the pin, and knew he had a challenge ahead of him. “Matt is a great iron player and on the tee before I hit, I knew I would give him a two, and I knew I just wanted to hit it up there close and make my putt,” David said. He didn’t even have to make any more putts in the championship, as the hole-in-one won him that hole and the final match.
Making his win ever sweeter was the fact that he had a gallery of supportive fans walking the matches with him today. His brother Paul caddied for him, and his mother, his uncle, his high-school coach, and a few of his closest friends also came out to watch. Grinning ear to ear about his win and about his new place in MGA records, David said, “It’s very special. I know the players who have done it [win the Met Am and Ike in the same year] and what they’ve gone on to do. Really just to win the Met Am in general is a great feeling, I have high expectations for myself and I was under a lot of pressure coming into this week, so it feels really nice to win.”
Pastore is having the best season of his young career after graduating from University of Virginia earlier this summer. In addition to winning the Ike, he qualified for the U.S. Open Sectional, the U.S. Amateur Public Links, and won the Westchester Open at Metropolis in early July. Just earlier last week, he finished tied for third in the Connecticut State Open. Next on his schedule is the Met Open, and if he wins that, he will add his name to even more MGA records. Pastore has plans to turn professional later this year.
Lowe, who also finished as the runner-up at last week’s Carter Cup and was a semifinalist at this year’s Met Junior, was still pleased with the way he played throughout the tournament. “My short game was really good, I was still putting well,” the 18-year-old said. A top Met Area player since his early junior golf days, Matt is about to start a collegiate career at Richmond this fall.
Both Pastore and Lowe’s finishes will earn them MGA Player of the Year points, sending both of them even higher in the current standings. Pastore is currently first on the MGA Player of the Year points list, with Lowe holding court in second.
The Creek was an outstanding host venue for this championship. With rain, wind, and fast greens to challenge the players at different points throughout the event, the 6,412 yard course was a true test to the amateurs’ abilities.
The Met Amateur is one of the nation’s oldest and most prestigious amateur championships, rivaled only by the U.S. Amateur and the Western Amateur. The demanding test of championship golf features 36-holes of on-site stroke play qualifying before the low 16 scorers move on to match play to determine the ultimate champion. The 113th Met Amateur will be played on Baltusrol Golf Club’s Upper Course in 2015.
Watch below for coverage on the Golf Channel's Morning Drive, Game Ball segment.