Met Area Team Rallies at Quaker Ridge
SCARSDALE, N.Y. (October 26, 2022) – The Met Area team faced a 6.5 – 3.5 deficit to the Ligue de Golf Paris Il-de-France entering Wednesday’s closing singles matches in the 20th French-American Challenge, but the team showed its resilience by winning an incredible seven of 10 points en route to the thrilling come-from-behind win at Quaker Ridge Golf Club. The victory was a breakthrough win for the Met Area side, standing as its second win in the history of the event and its first since 1991.
Christian Cavaliere of Mahopac secured the clinching point, making par on the par-4 17th to defeat Nicolas Foschia by a 2-and-1 margin.
“The downhill 20-footer was definitely nerve racking,” said Cavaliere, who had two putts to win the hole and secure the win. “I picked a spot and just kind of got it going and it trickled out to a couple feet up the hill. It’s one thing if it’s just you, but you have the team kind of at your back and you have to show up for your team. That’s exactly what I did, and I was very happy with it.”
Cavaliere, the seventh match out of the 10, pointed to those in front of him for providing some inspiration for the afternoon as the Met Area women won three of their four matches at the start of the lineup.
“The girls went off first and they got it done and got it going,” said Cavaliere, who was competing on his first international team. “That just led the team to be inspired to really show up in the afternoon. We all stayed focused, hit good shots, and grinded it out toward the end, so amazing finish and amazing week.”
While Chloe Salort earned the lead point for the French over Anina Ku, Ina Kim-Schaad of Deepdale put the first point on the board for the Met Area team, defeating Pauline Stein, 3 and 2. Noelle Maertz came through next, knocking her approach on the par-4 18th inside a couple feet to earn a conceded birdie. Perrine Gouin missed her own look at birdie, earning Maertz a 1-up win to help build momentum.
Jennifer Rosenberg of Glen Oaks tallied the next point in what was a back-and-forth match most of the day. While her opponent Alexandra Farret won four holes, Rosenberg immediately answered with a win on each occasion, tying the match for the fourth time on the par-4 12th. Rosenberg came through down the stretch though, making par on the par-4 16th and then birdie on the par-4 17th to trim the Met Area team’s deficit to just one at 7.5 – 6.5.
“It was a fight back and forth,” said Rosenberg, also making her first international team appearance. “But I was pretty calm, and I was pretty confident that it would finish on my side and it did. For me, I was focusing on myself and making sure if I can contribute to this team, that it would do well and it did. It was a great fight back and it was just a ton of fun.”
While Brad Tilley of Sleepy Hollow fell by a 3-and-2 margin in the lead men's match to Hugo Rouillon, convincing wins followed, with Darin Goldstein of Deepdale defeating Marin d’Harcourt, 5 and 3; Chris DeJohn of Arcola taking down Hugo Legoff, 4 and 2; and Mark Costanza outdueling Oscar Couilleau, 5 and 4. Costanza, who paired with Tilley to win two points on Tuesday, finished with a 3-0 record over the two days. DeJohn also went undefeated, going 2-0-1 to secure 2.5 points.
“I was just happy to play well in the back there,” said Costanza of his anchor match position. “It was just so exciting. It’s a special event and a special thing to share with everybody.”
Those three victories lifted the Met Area team to a 9.5 – 8.5 lead, setting up Cavaliere, who scrambled well down the stretch to grind out the victory. Cavaliere had quality up-and-downs on Nos. 13, 15 and 16. The first two were ties sandwiched between a French win that tied the match, but No. 16 regained Cavaliere his lead and helped lead to him closing out the match on the following hole.
Christophe de Grancey added the final French point, defeating Matt Mattare, 2 and 1.
Players shared similar sentiments about playing alongside their fellow Met Area competitors and the all-around experience, and of course the victory that brought a long drought to a close in the French-American Challenge.
“The camaraderie on this team is just so good,” said Rosenberg. “I think we all enjoy each other and respect each other as players and friends. It’s just awesome to be able to cheer on your team. I’m just so happy I got to experience this moment and the win.”
The French-American Challenge was introduced as “Fred’s Cup” in 1990, named after sponsor and international jeweler Fred Joaillier. It was conducted annually from 1990-1998, and since 2000 has been played every other year while alternating between the Met Area and sites in France. The Ligue de Paris has had a stronghold on the trophy, with the Met Area’s team now winning in 1991 and 2022. Ties have also occurred in 1995 and 2004.
The win also marks a standout moment for international competitions, as both the Carey Cup and French-American Challenge trophies are stateside. This also occurred following the Met Area win in the French-American Challenge in 1991, as it followed up a 1990 victory in the Governor Hugh L. Carey Challenge Cup against Golf Ireland.
Quaker Ridge Golf Club served as an outstanding host and venue for the return of the French-American Challenge, which was supposed to take place in 2020 but was postponed due to covid-19.
By hosting the event, Quaker Ridge becomes the first club to have hosted both the Governor Hugh L. Carey Challenge Cup (2003) and French-American Challenge. The club already had a strong history of hosting both MGA championships and international team competitions, serving as host of the Walker Cup and Curtis Cup in 1997 and 2018, respectively.