MGA Wins 2023 Carey Cup at Winged Foot
MAMARONECK, N.Y. (October 20, 2023) – The MGA claimed the 17th Governor Hugh L. Carey Challenge Cup by a final score of 11.5 - 1.5 over Golf Ireland after rain cancelled several singles matches on Friday.
With the win, the MGA extends its grasp on the Carey Cup, having possessed the trophy since its 2019 victory at Arcola, and collects its largest-ever margin of victory in the event. Though Ireland still owns the 8-6-3 edge in the overall record, the MGA has held the upper hand as of late, going 4-1-2 since 2011.
On Friday morning, team captains decided that singles matches – already scheduled as a split-tee start on the West Course – would be shortened to nine-hole contests due to the forecasted weather. Even still, just three of the 10 singles matches finished before heavy rains fell and saturated course conditions led to the suspension of play at 9:45 a.m.
After taking a 9-1 lead into Friday's play, Brad Tilley of Sleepy Hollow beat Rob Moran 4 and 2 to earn the MGA its 10th point. Ina Kim-Schaad of Deepdale then won by a 2-up margin over Kate Lanigan to seal the MGA's outright victory with its 11th point. Kaitlyn Lee of Winged Foot tied her match with Emma Fleming for the final margin.
Kim-Schaad won the first two holes, using a birdie on the par-4 second to grab a quick 2-up lead. Lanigan got back within one with a birdie on the par-4 fourth, but Kim-Schaad collected the whole point with birdie on the par-5 ninth.
Tilley led 1 up after four holes before winning the fifth, sixth, and seventh holes to grab his third win of the event. The match finished when Tilley's birdie putt on the par-3 seventh was conceded.
Lee and Fleming, whose match began on the par-3 10th, each won three holes. Lee led by one heading into 18, but Fleming recorded a par on the challenging par-4 finishing hole to get a half point for Golf Ireland.
"This was an amazing team to be a part of, top to bottom," said Darin Goldstien of Deepdale, an eight-time MGA International Team member. "We were so deep. Our team had so much talent and great players. The Irish team was also very strong, so we knew we had to play our best golf, but the golf course is sort of the test of MGA golf. It doesn't get much more real than this. So, I think we had a level of confidence knowing that we play these golf courses. The Met section has some of the toughest golf in the world."
Matthew Lowe of Bethpage, making his first MGA International Team appearance this week, talked about the team atmosphere afterward, too, saying, "What's fortunate is that there's not one person on this team that doesn't love the next person just as much, which is awesome. We have such a good time together and revere each other's games. There's a lot of respect."
The Carey Cup – which originated as the Metedeconk International Challenge Cup – was first played in 1990. The teams played again in Ireland in 1992 but did not meet in 1994. In 1996, the matches were conducted again thanks to an effort spearheaded by the late Governor Hugh L. Carey, who envisioned the matches as an opportunity to foster sportsmanship and goodwill between the countries ever since the matches have been played in his honor with a spirit of camaraderie and competition
Winged Foot was hosting its seventh different MGA event with the Carey Cup, and becomes the eighth MGA club to have hosted all three MGA majors – the Ike, Met Amateur, and Met Open – and an international match. The MGA team certainly used its knowledge and experience on the property to its advantage, not losing a single match and only trailing in one singles match at the time play was suspended. As always, players were treated to outstanding conditions and a challenge from tee to green.