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Semifinals Set at 50th MGA/MetLife Boys

A junior golfer swinging a golf club

SHELTER ISLAND, N.Y. (August 9, 2018) – Following two round of match play at Gardiner’s Bay Country Club, Friday morning’s semifinal round is set in the 50th MGA/MetLife Boys Championship.

Related: Match Play Bracket | Photos

Here’s a closer look at the four players that punched their tickets to the semifinals.

Luke Sample, New York, N.Y.
Round of 16: Def. Matt Durnan, Jr., 7&5
Quarterfinals: Def. Paul, Ulanich, Jr., 1-up
Winning Performance: Sample stood all-square with Durnan through four holes, but turned it on to win five consecutive holes—the first three of which came with birdies—and cruise to the 7-and-5 win.
Turning Point: Facing a 2-hole deficit through eight, Sample found his groove on the inward nine, dropping just one hole the remainder of the way as he battled against a Ulanich’s hot putter. Wins on Nos. 14-15 earned him the 1-up win and even though Ulanich pulled even with a birdie on the par-4 16th, Sample’s par-four on the 18th clinched his second-consecutive trip to the semifinals in the Boys Championship.
In their Words:  “I learned something today. I kind of realized mid-way through the round that match play is super fun, but it can be frustrating and anything can happen at one time. So, it’s really hard and really important to stay mentally tough because those putts go in more often and you have to go with the flow.”

Charlie Cummings, Wyckoff, N.J.
Round of 16: Def. Zachary Shallot, 2&1
Quarterfinals: Def. Barnes Blake, 3&1
Winning Performance: In a pair of close matches, Cummings rose to the challenge down the stretch of both, winning the 17th hole both times to clinch his victories. Against Shallat, Cummings won both Nos. 16-17 en route to victory. In the afternoon, he bounced back from a loss on the 16th, winning 17 to close out, 3-and-1.
Turning Point: In the morning, Shallat won four consecutive holes to claim a 1-up lead on the 11th, but Cummings remained poised, winning Nos. 12-13 with a birdie-par sequence.
In their Words: “It’s fun to be aggressive in these match play tournaments, because there’s nothing to lose. You’re either down one or up one on the hole.”

James Alden, East Northport, N.Y.
Round of 16: Def. Harrison Blech, 1-up
Quarterfinals: Def. Nathan Drogin, 1-up
Winning Performance: Alden came through in crunch time of both matches. He and Drogin traded wins on the final five holes, with Alden claiming the 18th for a 1-up victory. Meanwhile, he faced a 1-hole deficit against Blech in the morning, but won on Nos. 15-16 with par to earn his own 1-up advantage. Pars on the final two holes earned him the won.
Turning Point: Against Drogin, Alden faced a 2-hole deficit through five, but despite losing back-to-back holes, Alden responded with a pair of wins of his own behind a birdie-par sequence.
In their Words: I was hitting the ball well with my driver. When I hit it in the fairway it was going far, and I could cut some corners on some holes to have wedges in.”

Garrett Kessler, North Caldwell, N.J.
Round of 16: Advanced by Default – opponent DNS
Quarterfinals: Advanced by Default – opponent withdrew due to illness

Friday’s semifinal matches take place at 8:00 a.m. and 8:10 a.m., with the championship match following after a brief break between rounds.

Live scoring will be available for all matches, Friday, plus additional coverage on the MGA’s social media accounts.

The MGA/MetLife Boys Championship was first played in 1969 at Westchester Country Club. Since 1987, the event has rotated between Gardiner’s Bay, Rumson in New Jersey and Bedford Golf & Tennis in Westchester County. While Gardiner’s Bay’s original architect is unknown, the layout—which was founded in 1896—was redesigned by Seth Raynor. The layout winds its way over rolling topography on Shelter Island, and includes multiple water views.

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