Han repeats at MGA/MetLife Boys Championship

BEDFORD, N.Y. (July 29, 2016)Nathan Han of Somers, N.Y., became just the third player to claim the MGA/MetLife Boys Championship title in back-to-back years, as he defeated Stephen Sul of Old Bridge, N.J., by a 2&1 margin Friday at Bedford Golf and Tennis Club, allowing him to hoist the trophy once again.

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Han—who’s the first to repeat in the championship since Brian Soldon in 1985-86—defeated Johnny Bush of Cranford, N.J., by a 6&4 margin in the morning semifinal match. A bogey on the par-3 fourth was the 15-year-old’s only miscue on the front nine, in which he gathered a three-hole lead. He stood 1-up on the seventh tee, but a par on the difficult, uphill par-4 boosted his efforts. Han then played Nos. 9-11 in 2-under-pur, winning all three to quickly extend his lead to 5-up. He and Bush halved the next two, while a par on the 14th sealed Han’s spot in the championship match against Sul, who advanced to the championship match when fellow semifinalist Brian Li of Warren, N.J., withdrew.

Sul began the final with three birdies over the first six holes, leading to a 2-up advantage and giving Han the largest deficit he’s faced in the Boys Championship. The lead was short-lived though, as pars for Han on Nos. 7-8 returned the match to all-square. Sul reclaimed his lead with a lengthy birdie putt on the par-3 10th, but Han answered once again, this time with birdie on the par-4 11th. A par-3 on the 12th helped Han take his first lead of the match. The pair halved the next two, while a conceded birdie on the par-4 15th led Han to a 2-hole advantage. Pars halved the next to holes and clinched the repeat win for Han.

“I made the putts I needed to make,” said Han, who put on a show rolling his ball on the Bedford greens. “My putting was really solid this week. I struck the ball pretty well too, but overall I think it was my putting that set me apart.”

Bedford has served as one of three rotating host clubs for the Boys Championship since 1987, alongside Gardiner’s Bay on Long Island and Rumson in New Jersey. It serves as a stern test for the youthful talent, with its holes providing a variety of length and challenge. It is playing to 6,557 yards for the competitors.

The Boys Championship wouldn’t be possible without the support of the MGA Foundation’s longtime partner, MetLife. The championship was first played in 1969 at Westchester Country Club, and since 1987 the event has rotated around to three different sites: Gardiner’s Bay on Long Island, Bedford Golf & Tennis in Westchester County, and Rumson in New Jersey. Qualifying for boys not yet 16 years old took place throughout July to determine the top 16 players who would compete in match play at the event.

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