Hook paces morning wave at 101st Met Open
OLD WESTBURY, N.Y. (August 22, 2016) – Steady winds across Glen Oaks Club have added challenge to the already demanding layout, as play is well underway at the 101st Met Open Championship. Through the morning wave of play, Knickerbocker’s Bill Hook holds the lead with an even-par round of 72.
“It was a great morning,” said Hook following play. “If you were able to hit it where you wanted to, you could take advantage of it,” he remarked, referencing the assistance provided from two inches of rain in the area over a 48-hour period.
Even with the rain, Glen Oaks is in pristine condition. Steady 15 mile-per-hour winds have added even more defense to the 7,055-yard, par-70 setup, which is a composite course of Glen Oaks’ 27-hole facility and utilizes Nos. 1-3 and 6-9 on the White Course, Nos. 4 and 5 on the Red Course and the entire Blue Course nine.
Hook, who won New Jersey PGA’s Charity Clambake back in June, began his day with a bogey on the first, but bounced back nicely with a birdie-two on the second. After six consecutive pars, Hook closed the outward nine with a birdie-three. “It definitely helped to make the turn in under,” he remarked. I” just kept thinking if we could get it to even through those last four holes, which are brutal, we could hold on and have a decent score,” explained Hook.
A 30-foot putt served as an important par-save for Hook on the 10th, keeping his momentum going to begin his final nine. While Hook had a bogey on the par-4 16th, he once again bounced back with a birdie on a par three, as he tallied a two on the challenging 17th, which featured a well-guarded hole location on the left portion of the green.
Several decorated competitors are close behind, including 2014 Met Open champion Grant Sturgeon of Winged Foot who carded a 1-over 71. Sturgeon stood at even-par with two birdies and two bogies through 16 holes, but added another bogey on the 17th en route to the 71.
Meanwhile, LIGA Open champion Jimmy Hazen of St. George’s, two-time Ike champion Mike Ballo Jr., of Woodway, recent PGA Championship competitor Brian Gaffney of Quaker Ridge and amateur Tyler Cline of Tuxedo all registered rounds of 2-over 72.
Reigning MGA Senior Open champion Mark Mielke, 2015 Met Open runner-up Tyler Hall of Upper Montclair, Met Am runner-up Ethan Ng of Fiddler’s Elbow, Peter Ballo of Old Oaks and Patrick Clark of Wee Burn all came in at 3-over 73. Ballo’s 73 may be the most impressive of the group, as he battled back from a 10 on his second hole of the day—the par-4 11th—by registering five birdies in the round.
The afternoon wave is on the course as the wind continues to blow at Glen Oaks Club. Scoring feature 9 and 18-hole updates, while additional coverage is available on the MGA’s social media outlets.