Strong Field set for 99th Met Junior Championship
James McHugh has a chance to repeat
at the Met Junior Championship
ELMSFORD, N.Y. (July 8, 2016) – An impressive field of junior golfers is set to take on The Patterson Club in Fairfield, Conn., at the 99th Met Junior Championship sponsored by MetLife, July 12-14. A total of 62 competitors will be vying for the title at the nation’s oldest junior championship, whose winner hoists the historic Mandeville Trophy.
Reigning champion James McHugh of Rye, N.Y., has his eyes on becoming the championship’s first repeat winner since Adam Spring in 1986-87. The rising high school senior cruised to victory last year at Paramount Country Club in New City, N.Y., never trailing in match play. He has continued strong play this season, finishing tied for fifth in the New York State High School Boys Championship in June, and recently tying for seventh in the MGA Ike Championship.
The last three MGA/MetLife Boys champions will look to add another MGA title to their resume, as Nathan Han (2015) of Somers, N.Y., Michigan commit Brent Ito (2014) of Ardsley, N.Y., and Ryan Rodriguez (2013) of Highland Mills, N.Y., are all in the field. Ito and Han both advanced to match play in last year’s championship and have registered top finishes as of late, tying for second in the state tournament and finishing 1-2 at the Metropolitan Junior PGA Championship.
Ethan Ng (pictured below) of New York City will seek another deep run in this year’s championship, having advanced to the semifinals in 2015 before falling to McHugh. Others returning to the field after advancing to match play last year also include Ryle Heraghty of Mendham, N.J., and Christian Oakley of Southampton, N.Y.
Villanova commit and 2016 New York State High School Boys Championship winner Connor Daly of Bronxville, N.Y., leads a strong contingent of college-bound competitors facing their final year of eligibility for the Junior. Others to watch include Christian Cavaliere of Katonah, N.Y., who tied for seventh at the Ike and is headed to Boston College this fall, Notre Dame signee John Felitto of Mountainside, N.J., and St. John’s University commits Gerry Mackedon of South Setauket, N.Y., and James Smoot, Jr., of Huntington, N.Y.
The Met Junior Championship sponsored by MetLife is conducted by the MGA Foundation with the support of MetLife and was first played in 1912. Over the years the event has produced a number of winners who have gone on to outstanding achievements on both the regional and national levels. Past winners of the Mandeville Trophy include Butch and Bill Harmon, Marc Turnesa, Andrew Svoboda, Mike Miller, David Pastore, and Cameron Young.
The MGA conducted five sectional qualifying rounds throughout the Met Area to determine the final field of 62 players who will compete at The Patterson Club. The juniors will play in 36-holes of on-site stroke play qualifying on Tuesday, July 12 to determine the low 16 scorers who will advance to match play for the remainder of the event. The Round of 16 and Quarterfinal matches will be played on Wednesday the 13th, followed by the Semifinal and Final on Thursday, July 14.
The Patterson Club, whose roots come from a dining and social club for General Electric employees, will provide a spectacular setting for the 99th Met Junior sponsored by MetLife. The Robert Trent Jones Sr., designed course opened in 1947 and received renovations from 2007-10 from Rees Jones. Tee complexes and bunkering stood as a main focus for the work, with new uniquely shaped bunkers flanking every green.
This year’s championship will mark the return of the Pro-Junior, which will precede the tournament on July 11. Following golf, Paramount head professional will address the participants in a championship-opening dinner.
The championship is open to juniors who have not started attending college, are not yet 19 by August 3 and who reside in the MGA territory. Players who advance to match play receive an invitation to the Carter Cup, the MGA’s Junior Stroke Play event, which will be played at Winged Foot Golf Club on August 3.
The MGA will provide 9 and 18 hole scoring for the stroke-play qualifying, followed by live hole-by-hole scoring of each match. Visit mgagolf.org throughout the championship for recaps, photos, and interviews, while additional coverage will be found on the MGA’s social media, including Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram.