Heins Claims Second Met Open Played at Baltusrol
ELMSFORD, N.Y. (March 31, 2015) - Both the Metropolitan Golf Association and Winged Foot Golf Club have storied histories that will meet again this summer for an MGA record seventh time when the 100th playing of the Met Open will take place on the club's East Course. We continue to celebrate the milestone with our series of Met Open Moments, with this week's great photo coming from the 1988 Met Open, when it was played at Baltusrol for the second and most recent time in the championship's history. The moment features some star power, with champion Bobby Heins and MGA president at the time Arthur P. Weber together posing with the trophy.
The victory catapulted the Old Oaks head professional to an incredible stretch of golf in the years after, including defending his title the following year at Bethpage Black, making him one of only seven players to do it in Met Open history. Also in that group is one of Heins' students, three-time PGA TOUR winner Johnson Wagner.
As it still does today, the Lower Course at Baltusrol proved to be an incredibly difficult test, and Heins' even par 54-hole total earned him his first Met Open win. A 25-foot birdie putt clinched the title on the final hole and gave Heins the one shot edge he needed over Tom Joyce of Glen Oaks. The final round 2-under 68 was enough to fend off a host of legendary Met Area names, including Jim Albus, who finished third, as well as Rick Vershure and amateur George Zahringer III, who both finished a few shots back of Heins. Heins recaptured the back-to-back magic a few years ago, winning the 2008 and 2009 MGA Senior Opens.
While Heins went on to continue his winning ways, Weber was a pretty accomplished man himself. He passed away in November of 2008 at the age of 88, leaving behind a legacy that will not be forgotten, as evidenced by the MGA's Arthur P. Weber MGA Club Environmental Leaders in Golf Award, which was presented to Neshanic Valley at last week's MGA Green Chairman Seminar. Among Weber's many achievements include co-founding Old Westbury Golf and Country Club in 1961, completing degrees in both chemical and nuclear engineering, and being a part of the small team of experts assembled by the U.S. Government during World War II that worked on the Manhattan Project. His "Code of Environmental Conduct" for golf course maintenance was adopted by the USGA, and is still used by many Met Area Clubs as a model. Needless to say, the Met Open not only showcases the area's best golfers, but perhaps the best minds as well.