Cavaliere leads field into match play at 99th Met Junior Championship
FAIRFIELD, Conn. (July 12, 2016) – Christian Cavaliere of Katonah, N.Y., will lead 16 competitors into the match play portion of the 99th Met Junior Championship sponsored by MetLife following a stellar 36-hole total of 5-under 137 at The Patterson Club on Tuesday. Cavaliere led the 62-player field containing the Met Area’s best junior players, taking medalist honors by an impressive eight strokes and being the only player in red numbers.
Cavaliere, who recently tied for seventh at the MGA’s Ike Championship, opened the 36-hole day with a 3-under 68. The Boston College signee was even-par through eight holes before reeling off four birdies in a six-hole stretch. After a bogey on the par-4 17th, Cavaliere tallied a par on the challenging 18th for his 68.
“Mostly, I just didn’t make many mistakes,” reported Cavaliere at the end of the day. “I didn’t have anything over a bogey, so I eliminated the big mistakes. I was very consistent.”
While the wind picked up lightly during the afternoon’s play, Cavaliere stuck to a game plan which relied on ball placement. “It was more just managing where to leave the ball because you could get some crazy spots on the greens,” Cavaliere remarked. “I tried my best to leave myself in the best spots, and when I was close I made the putts, which was nice.” Cavaliere now has his sights on match play, saying, “It’s anyone’s game in match play, and I’m happy to make it through.”
John Felitto of Mountainside, N.J., Justin Lane of Woodstock, N.Y., and Max Theodorakis of Danbury, Conn., tallied matching 145 totals over the 36 holes. Felitto carded an opening round 75 before bouncing back with a 1-under 71 after lunch.
“Today, the putter was pretty hot,” said Felitto. “I knew coming in that the short game was going to be pretty key. In the second round I really got it rolling with the putter and made a few on the back.” Felitto is now looking forward to being part of match play, saying he’s had limited opportunities to compete in the format.
Theodorakis matched Cavaliere in the opening round before carding an afternoon 77, but will still take one of the top match play spots. Lane played consistently through the day, carding rounds of 74-71 en route to his 145.
Reigning champion James McHugh of Rye, N.Y., is well within the mix as well, finishing fifth with rounds of 76-70. Brent Ito of Ardsley, N.Y., last year’s stroke-play medalist at the Met Junior, recorded rounds of 70-77 to finish sixth, while Ethan Ng of New York City and Justin Clark of New Canaan, Conn., tallied 148 totals.
Also advancing to match play are Johnny Anthony Bush of Cranford, N.J., Sean Taylor of Westfield, N.J., Stephen Sul of Old Bridge, N.J., Ben Pirro of Bayport, N.Y., Christian Oakley of Southampton, N.Y., Connor Daly of Bronxville, N.Y., William Rand of New York City and Nathan Han of Somers, N.Y. Han secured the 16th and final spot in a four-for-one playoff, birdieing the par-4 first hole with a 20-foot putt.
The Patterson Club played to a par 71 at 6,824 yards for the competitors.
The championship continues on Wednesday, and the remainder of competition will be conducted through match play. The top 16 players advancing are seeded into a bracket based on their stroke play totals from Tuesday. The Round of 16 and Quarterfinals will be played on Wednesday, with the Semifinals and Championship matches to be played on Thursday.