Jeter Wins MGA Public Links in Record Fashion
GREENWICH, Conn. (June 13, 2018) – In recent years, the MGA Public Links Championship has fallen just out of reach for Jonathan Jeter, but on Wednesday, the Nassau Players Club member emphatically claimed the title behind a record nine-shot victory at Griffith E. Harris Golf Course.
Jeter fired the only two sub-par rounds of the day (68-70) en route to his 4-under 138 total, besting fellow Nassau Players member Rob Pepi by nine shots to smash the previous win margin record by four strokes.
“I just hit it really well today,” said Jeter, who had logged a trio of top-four finishes in the championship in the last three years. “The driver, the irons, from tee to green everything was going really well.”
The 40-year-old opened with a smooth 3-under 68, carding back-to-back birdies on Nos. 11-12 after beginning on the 10th. After a small blip on the par-4 1st, he strung together four consecutive pars then tacked on consecutive birdies again on Nos. 6-7.
“I felt pretty good all the way along,” said Jeter. “I stayed really patient today and really focused today. As the old cliché goes, one shot at a time. But, I just concentrated really well today.”
Despite a couple of early bogeys in his afternoon round, Jeter carded four birdies in a five-hole stretch to all but put away the title. He added two more bogeys on Nos. 13-14, but closed in fashion, draining a 20-footer for his afternoon 70.
About the putt, Jeter said, “My putter had been a little suspect the rest of the day. But it felt great to cap off a good day—that made it even better.”
Jeter is certainly a decorated competitor in the Met Area, having already won the Havemeyer Invitational earlier this spring, but the MGA Public Links Championship—the nation’s oldest public links championship—is one he’s been aiming for for years.
“This one means a lot—for all the public golfers around, this is a big-time event,” he said. “We have a lot of great events around, but this one holds a special place in my heart as a public golfer, so it means a whole lot to win it.”
Pepi, who qualified for the 2017 U.S. Mid-Am, rolled in three birdies over his last nine holes to card a final-round 72 and earn second-place honors.
Met PGA Junior member Chris Lee, MGA eClub – Wch/Ct member Ryan Garrity, and Frank Meizoso III and Mike Sporton of Bethpage tied for third with 6-over 148s.
Griffith E. Harris served as a superb host for the 71st playing of the MGA Public Links Championship as it welcomed the event for the second time (2004). The course played to approximately 6,300 yards as a par-71 for a starting field of 66 competitors.
The Public Links next year takes place at Harbor Links Golf Course in Port Jefferson, N.Y.