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Qualifying: 69th Ike MGA Stroke Play Championship

ELMSFORD, N.Y. (May 20, 2024) -- For the first time in five years, the Ike MGA Stroke Play Championship returns to a familiar site in a past host. Nassau Country Club is preparing to host the 69th edition of the region’s premier stroke play event, the third time it has welcomed the championship. Nassau Country Club is one of the oldest clubs in the U.S. with a rich history dating back to 1896. The club is one of the MGA’s 26 founding members, with its challenging layout producing MGA champions such as Met Amateur winners Jerry D. Travers and Walter J. Travis, Met Amateur and U.S. Mid-Amateur winner Ken Bakst, and Ike champions Mike Ballo Jr. and Ken MacDonald. Nassau last welcomed the MGA with the Mid-Amateur championship in 2015, won by Trevor Randolph.

In 1953 Daily News sportswriter Dana Mozley founded the Ike Stroke Play Championship. The stroke play event was well regarded and quite popular, however struggles began in the 70s and 80s when the Daily News dropped its sponsorship. With the financial assistance of MetLife, the MGA bought the rights to the event. The MGA restored the Ike and within a few years the event's reputation returned as it once again became one of the top events in the Metropolitan area.

The region’s premier stroke play championship has produced excellent moments over the past few years, such as Melan Dhaubhadel’s playoff victory in 2023, Cameron Young’s 2016 playoff victory that secured his championship repeat, and Luke Sample’s 2022 victory at Baltusrol for a fourth MGA win in his young career. The rigorous competition brings the MGA’s best players forward – always delivering unforgettable memories.

Ike qualifiers take place at six sites between May 20 and June 10.

May 20 - The Vineyards Golf & Country Club, Riverhead, N.Y.
Thomas Finn of Nassau  led 19 qualifiers at the first Ike qualifier, posting an impressive 6-under 64, including nine well-placed birdies to secure his spot atop the leaderboard. Those advancing scored 1-under 69 or better to earn their spot at Nassau Country Club James Alden III of Indian Hills Country Club carded a 4-under 66 to place second. Among the noteworthy performances was Colby Anderson of Nassau who clinched his place by delivering an extraordinary finish with four consecutive birdies on the final four holes.

May 21 - The Summit Club, Armonk, N.Y.
Jud Langille of Trump National GC Westchester and Eric Terminello of Knollwood led 15 qualifiers from the Summit Club, posting an impressive 4-under 67. Langille carded four birdies on the back nine, while Terminello got off to a hot start shooting a 32 on the front. Those advancing scored 1-over 72 or better to earn their spot at Nassau Country Club. Colin Coogan of Wykagyl, Cameron Besaw of GlenArbor, Luke Wells of Fiddler’s Elbow and MGA eClub - Long Island member Marcelo Mexsen Murra all tied for second shooting 2-under 69. Another noteworthy performance was from MGA eClub - Long Island member Arjun Singh Bhatia who recorded two eagles, one of those on hole 18 solidifying his place in the Ike. 

May 23 - Timber Point Golf Course, Great River, N.Y.
Zachary Munno of Stanwich led 15 qualifiers at the third Ike qualifier, carding an impressive 6-under 66 with eight birdies. Despite an early suspension of play due to rain and lightning, the competition resumed, showcasing exceptional talent. Padruig Douglas of Crab Meadow followed closely behind with a 4-under 68, highlighted by six birdies. MGA eClub - Long Island member Andre Ulvenes Klepoe shot 2-under 70, featuring four birdies and two eagles. Those advancing shot 1-under 71 or better.

May 28 - New Jersey National Golf Club, Basking Ridge, N.J.
Jose Ramirez of MGA eClub New Jersey topped a competitive field that saw over 20 golfers punch their ticket to Nassau. Ramirez fired a 3-under 69 after carding five birdies. Finishing just one-shot back was John Meyers of MGA eClub New Jersey with a 2-under 70. Rounding out the podium finishers was Tyler Lee of Ridgewood Country Club & Anthony Guerrera of Watertown Golf Club who both finished at 1-under-par. Overall 24 golfers are moving on after shooting a 76 or better.

May 28 - The Powelton Club, Newburgh N.Y.
Andrew Osofsky of Huntington Country Club, William Celiberti of Arcola Country Club and Johnny Solari of Warwick Valley Country Club all shot 2-under at 68, tying for the top qualifying spot. Solari’s day  was up, down and then back up. A double bogey plus three bogies were counteracted by the day's high of seven birdies. Tim Murphy of The Stanwich Club and Russell Giglio of Knollwood Country Club rounded out the top five shooting 1-under. In total, 18 golfers earned qualifying spots.

June 10 - Mendham Golf & Tennis Club, Mendham Township, N.J.
Alex Patel secured his spot at the top of the leaderboard at his home course punching in a 6- under 72. Throughout the round, Patel carded seven birdies, effortlessly ascending to the top of the rankings. Cormack Meldrum, who was also competing on his home course, was trailing by one stroke and logged in a 5- under 72. Cormack's performance was notable as he solidified seven birdies during the round, showcasing his skill on the course. A standout performance by both players on their familiar turf. Five players claimed the third position by knotting at one stroke under par, each carding a score of 71. Altogether, 22 individuals are advancing to the championship at Nassau Country Club, all having recorded a score of +1 over par.

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