Qualifying: 75th MGA Public Links Championship
ELMSFORD, N.Y. (May 16, 2023) -- The 75th playing of the MGA Public Links Championship returns to familiar grounds at Bethpage State Park in Farmingdale, N.Y., on June 22, but for the first time, the Red Course will serve as the test for the Met Area's top public players.
Related: MGA Public Links History | MGA Public Links Records
Bethpage's famed Black Course has hosted the championship eight times, matching Spook Rock Golf Course in Suffern, N.Y., as the venue that has hosted the championship the most times. The Red Course, however, will still stand as a stern test for the region's players that don't have access to a private club.
Five qualifying rounds will take place between May 16 and June 1 to complete the field for the championship.
May 16 - Bethpage State Park (Green), Farmingdale, N.Y.
Gerard Ciofalo of Nassau Players Club, MGA eClub - Long Island member Mark Sommerfield and 16-year-old MGA Youth On Course member Matthew Difiore all carded rounds of 1-under 70 to lead 21 qualifiers to the championship proper. Difiore had the most steady round, recording three birdies to two bogeys for his 70 on the Green Course. Nassau Players Club, who predominantly play at Bethpage, had seven qualifiers, while three more of the players advancing play out of Bethpage State Park Golf Club. Overall, the 21 qualifiers carded rounds of 4-over 74 or better to advance.
May 17 - Darlington Golf Course, Mahwah, N.J.
Five competitors qualified from the Darlington site, led by Harrison Blech of Spook Rock Men's Club with a 2-over 73. Matthew Herr of Young Benefactors Golf Club was a stroke behind with a 3-over 74. Peter Byrne of Rock Spring (75), Brian Bardach of USGA/MGA Golf Club (76) and Gavin Rau of Neshanic Valley (79) also advanced to the championship in June.
May 24 - Soldier Hill Golf Course, Emerson, N.J.
Rhys Burgess of Darlington posted an even-par 71 to lead the field, using four birdies and an eagle to offset six bogeys on the day. In all, seven competitors earned their spots for the championship Bethpage's Red Course with scores of 5-over 76 or better.
May 24 - Sterling Farms Golf Course, Stamford, Conn. (WGA Public Links Championship)
Met PGA Junior Golf Club member Oliver McGovern notched the day's lone sub-par score with a 1-under 70. The 18-year-old closed strong down the stretch, making birdies on Nos. 15, 17 and 18 to climb the leaderboard, capture the WGA Public Links Championship and finish as the top qualifier. Thomas Bennett of The Links at Union Vale and MGA eClub - NYC member Bo Blair finished two shots back at 1-over 73. Overall, 14 players advanced behind scores of 5-over 76 or better.
June 1 - Spring Lake Golf Club, Middle Island, N.Y.
MGA eClub member Ethan Myers carded the low score of the day, even-par 72. An eagle on hole 11 helped him solidify his spot at Bethpage. Following Myers, Chris Vience of Long Island Golf Junkies and Isaiah Marseille of YOC- MGA Club advanced with scores of 3-over 75. In total, 10 players advanced with scores of 5-over 77 or lower.