Cameron Young Wins Ike Championship
RIVERHEAD, N.Y. (June 30, 2015) – Cameron Young of Sleepy Hollow claimed the MGA’s 60th Ike Championship at Friar’s Head following a bogey-free, 5-under 66 in Tuesday afternoon’s final round. The five-stroke victory, which sets Young as the youngest-ever Ike champion having just turned 18 in May, is his third career MGA championship. Young stood atop the leaderboard after being the only player to card a trio of sub-par rounds (70-70-66) en route to a 7-under 206 tournament total.
“It was definitely one of the best rounds of my life,” remarked Young on his final 18 holes of the championship. After beginning the final round one shot off the lead, Young was patient before making his move on the greens. He carded pars on the first four holes in his final round then rolled in birdies on the par-4 5th and par-5 7th holes.
“I got off to a solid start, and didn’t make too many mistakes,” the victor continued. “The big difference between the last round and the first couple of rounds was putting. I made a couple more putts today and that definitely helped a lot.”
A string of six-consecutive pars followed, but Young’s putting then earned him the extra edge late in the round, when he quickly opened up a comfortable lead coming down the stretch. The 2013 Met Junior and 2011 Carter Cup champion reeled off three-straight birdies on holes 14-16 and his lead moved to four strokes.
Young, who will attend Wake Forest in the fall, also credited his play off the tee for his tournament-low round. “I drove it a lot better this afternoon,” he stated. “I left myself a lot easier approach shots. I kept it in the fairway and gave myself a lot of birdie putts—that was the goal at the very beginning of the day.”
Even while playing high-level golf, Young took in the surrounding views at the fantastic Long Island Sound property which challenged competitors over the championship’s 54 holes. “The walk between 15 and 16 is just incredible,” he revered. “You walk out there and it doesn’t matter what you did on the hole before, you look out over the Long Island Sound and it just makes you appreciate where you are. Walking down the 18th with the clubhouse in the background and the water on the left was really special.”
Stewart Hagestad of Golf & Body NYC claimed runner-up honors with a 211 tournament total. Hagestad took a share of the lead into the final round thanks to rounds of 71-68, before recording a final round 72.
“I played steady--I hit it in the fairway and gave myself a couple looks but just didn’t make enough birdies,” said Hagestad, who is new to the New York area and was competing in his first MGA event.
“I feel lucky to be out here,” the former USC golfer continued. I feel great about the way that I played this week and hopefully we can keep it going for the rest of the summer.”
Four competitors followed in a tie for third with an even-par 213 tournament total, including Ryan Snouffer of Panther Valley, 2014 Carter Cup champion Erick Alonso of White Beeches, Evan Grenus of Sterling Farms and 2012 Carter Cup champion Jared Mactas of Paramount.
Mactas also entered the final round with a share of the lead after rounds of 70-69, wrapped up the championship with a 74.
John VanDerLaan (74-68-73) of Centennial and Trevor Randolph (71-72-73) of Arcola finished seventh and eighth, respectively, with 215 and 216 tournament totals.
Sixteen-time MGA champion George Zahringer of Deepdale led a trio which tied for ninth place at 217, rounding out the tournament’s top finishers. Matthew Lowe of Colonial Springs and MGA eClub-Westchester/Fairfield member CJ Swift also finished at 217.
The top ten finishers are exempt into this year’s Met Amateur at Baltusrol and into the 2016 Ike. Young received 250 Player of the Year Points, shooting to the top of the MGA Player of the Year points race.
The Ike Team championship, which is awarded to the two individuals representing the same club who have the lowest 54-hole combined total score, went to Sam Bernstein and Michael Savitt of Century.
Friar’s Head, which previously hosted the 2008 Met Amateur, was a fantastic host venue for the starting field of 143 players. The course played to a par 71 at 6, 873 yards and was a true test of golf for the competitive field. Friar’s Head Managing Member Ken Bakst was in the field this week and made the cut to advance to the final rounds today.
The Ike will head to New Jersey next year when the championship will be played at Essex County Country Club.