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Semifinals Set for Met Amateur

SPRINGFIELD, N.J., (July 31, 2015) -  Four players are on their way to the semifinal matches at the 113th Met Amateur Championship after advancing through the Round of 16 and quarterfinal matches today at Baltusrol Golf Club in Springfield, N.J.

Peter Kim of Royce Brook, a former MGA/MetLife Boys Champion and a student at West Point, was on a hot streak today. Kim first survived through seven playoff holes this morning to claim the 16th seed for match play, and then went out to win both of his matches 6 & 5. Kim defeated yesterday’s co-medalist and number 1 seeded Luke Feehan of Mahopac in the Round of 16, and then went on to again dominate his quarterfinal match against Kyle Brey of Bethpage.

“It was all about putting today. I made some great up and downs and with my putter being hot I got the momentum going so I overall I was really satisfied with how I played.” Kim will battle it out tomorrow against Joe Saladino of Huntington, who also held the lead in both of his matches today.

Saladino, a two-time MGA Player of the Year, finds himself in some familiar territory heading into the semifinals.  He advanced to the same round in last year’s Met Amateur at the Creek and is using his match play experience to his advantage this week.

“I just made a lot of pars and dropped in some birdies on the par 5s early on, but you really have to be patient on this golf course and I think I really plotted myself along well out there. You really just have to take it a hole at a time [in match play], each day I’m learning how to play this golf course better,” Saladino said. 

On the other side of the match play bracket, Stewart Hagestad of Deepdale won both of his matches, defeating Jeremy Wall of Manasquan River in the Round of 16 before also defeating stroke play co-medalist Luke Graboyes of Twin Brooks in the quarterfinals. Hagestad, runner-up in the 2015 Ike Championship, won his afternoon match 4 & 3.

“I hit a lot of fairways, that’s key, with the greens rolling as quickly as they are …my speed control throughout the day got better and better, I just got into a nice little rhythm this afternoon. I feel comfortable out here, I’ve got a friend on the bag that knows the course really well and I just felt good.

Hagestad will face Ryan Snouffer of Essex County in the semifinal match. It took Snouffer 19 holes to defeat Sam Bernstein of Century. Snouffer and Bernstein’s match was close throughout, the biggest lead was when Snouffer took a 1 up lead on 11, but Bernstein fought back immediately. Snouffer got back to 1 up on 16, but Bernstein answered that with a birdie on 17. Just last year at the Creek, it was Bernstein who defeated Snouffer in 19 holes in the quarterfinals.

“He [Bernstein] is a very good player and is playing very well this summer too, so we were just really battling back and forth. He was making some really clutch par putts and I was making some good putts too we were just battling back and forth all round, it was a really good battle,” the eventual winner said.

Both of Bernstein’s matches went to extra holes today. Players who advanced to the quarterfinals today are exempt now into both next year’s Ike and Met Amateur.

Before today’s matches began, a seven man playoff was needed to determine the final three players who advanced to match play. Peter Kim survived seven playoff holes to advance to match play. Trevor Randolph of Arcola and Matt Lowe of Colonial Springs also advanced through the playoff, but fell in the Round of 16.

Saturday’s semifinal matches begin at 12 noon on Baltusrol’s Upper Course. Live scoring for both matches will be on and the My MGA app.

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