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Twice as Nice for Blake

SPRINGFIELD, N.J. (August 1, 2023) – A course-record tying 8-under 64 on Baltusrol Golf Club’s Lower Course Tuesday afternoon propelled Barnes Blake of Westfield, N.J., to setting a new Carter Cup scoring record of 11-under-par as he cruised to an eight-shot victory.

Blake’s victory comes less than two weeks after winning the 106th Met Junior Championship Sponsored by MetLife, as he joins Pat Fillian as the only players to have won both the Met Junior and Carter Cup in the same year. The victories prove doubly special to Blake, who is a member at both clubs and was able to defend home turf in both events.

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Blake, the first-ever Baltusrol member to win the Carter Cup, fired a 3-under 69 on the Upper Course in the morning, using a closing birdie to post one shot better than 2022 champion Cameron Besaw of New Canaan, Conn.

“Coming off the morning round, Cameron and I were really battling,” said the Georgetown commit. “I knew in the second round I’d have to play a really solid round of golf because neither of us really made many mistakes.”

Out of the gate, the two traded birdies on the first five holes, but three consecutive birdies from Blake to close the opening nine sent him out in 6-under 30 and stretched his lead to five shots over Besaw. Blake credited a hot putter for his stellar scoring.

“I had a really good touch on the greens all day,” said the 18-year-old. “In the morning the putter was really good and then this afternoon the putter was spectacular. I’ve never putted that well in my entire life. Almost every 25-footer I had felt like it was going in, so it’s just an awesome feeling when you get the putter rolling.”

Blake knocked his tee shot on the par-3 12th to inches for his seventh birdie of the afternoon. Despite hitting his tee shot into a penalty area on the par-4 13th, Blake got up and down from around 120 yards to save par. His only blemish on the card came on the par-4 14th as he couldn’t convert a sand save. But Blake responded nicely, making birdie on the par-4 15th.

“I could have kind of coasted in and finished even or even a couple over on the holes coming in, but to make those birdies and kind of bounce back it kept the momentum that I built on the front nine,” said Blake, who added his final circle to the scorecard on the par-5 17th. A par on the last then sealed his course-record tying 64, two shots better than his previous low on Baltusrol’s Lower Course, and the win.

“To play in front of a home crowd for two weeks this summer was awesome,” said Blake, who had carded a course record 62 at Echo Lake in the stroke play portion of the Met Junior. “Today was that much more special because my family has personal ties with Michael Carter. My uncle played soccer with him growing up, so we know the Carter family well.”

The Carter Cup was first played in 2003 and is named in honor of Michael P. Carter, an accomplished junior player at Baltusrol and standout member of the golf team at New Jersey’s Delbarton School who died in a car accident in 2002. Carter had won the junior club championships at both Baltusrol and Winged Foot and at the time of his death played for Penn State.

“It’s awesome to add my name to my trophy,” said Blake. “It’s also really cool with the plaque being in the locker room, I’ll be able to walk by my name every day from now on. So that’s really special and the names on there – Cameron Young, Morgan Hoffmann – it’s just incredible to join them.”

Reed Greyserman of Short Hills, N.J., posted the second lowest score in the afternoon with a 6-under 66 to finish in solo second place. This year's Hebron Amateur champion Thomas Finn of Locust Valley, N.Y., used a pair of 71s to finish at 2-under 142, tying with Besaw who tallied scores of 70-72. TJ Betlow of Short Hills, N.J., shot 2-under 70 in the afternoon, joining Met Junior runner-up Liam Pasternak of Morristown, N.J., at 2-over on the day in a tie for fifth.

With the victory, Blake earns 225 points in the race for the MGA Player of the Year Award, Presented by Callaway. He stands atop the listing at 555 points, 180 points ahead of Finn, who was a semifinalist in the Met Junior and quarterfinalist in the Long Island Amateur in addition to his Hebron victory.

After recently restoring the Lower Course, Baltusrol will undergo a similar project on its Upper Course in 2024, leading the Carter Cup to take place at Winged Foot Golf Club next season.

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