Prince qualifies for match play at Met Amateur
PARAMUS, N.J. — After playing 27 holes at the MGA Carter Cup Wednesday, Choate Rosemary Hall graduate Carter Prince had 36 holes awaiting him at the Met Amateur Championship Thursday.
Though it was certainly grueling, Prince didn’t mind it one bit.
Only 16 of 64 players advanced from Thursday’s 36-hole stroke play to match play in the 116th Met Amateur — the Metropolitan Golf Association’s oldest championship.
And Prince, who won the Carter Cup on Wednesday at Winged Foot Golf Club, is one of the 16.
Shooting a 2-under-par 142 over two rounds, Prince had the third best score in stroke play and is seeded third heading into the Round of 16 on Thursday at Arcola Country Club.
Evan Grenus, representing Sterling Farms Golf Club, Rowayton resident Connor Belcastro, Larry Haertel of Round Hill Club, Jason Denker (Sterling Farms Club), Andrew Sciarretta (Brooklawn Country Club) and Richard Hayes (Silver Spring Country Club) did not move on to Friday’s Round of 16 — though they each had their moments at Arcola Country Club.
Prince registered eight birdies on his way to shooting a 66 in the afternoon.
“The first round was tough, but the second round I felt better,” said Prince, who graduated from Choate Rosemary Hall this past spring and plays out of Huntington Crescent Club. “I am looking forward to match play, it suits my style of play. It should be a fun challenge.”
Though tired, Prince found his form in the second round of stroke play.
“I’ve played a lot of golf the past two days and but I’ve had a of fun playing at two great courses,” Prince said.
Dawson Jones (Eagle Oaks Golf Club), Ethan Wall (Manasquan River Golf Club) and Jake Meyer (Plainfield Country Club) tied Prince with a two-round score of 142.
Shooting a 76 in the opening round of stroke play and a 78 in the second round, Belcastro, a rising Brunswick School senior, carded a 10-over-par 154. He won the Connecticut Junior Amateur at Watertown Golf Club last month and also competed in the Carter Cup at Winged Foot on Wednesday
“It wasn’t my best day today, but any time you play close to 72 holes over the course of two days, it’s tough to concentrate on every shot,” Belcastro said.
As was the case at Wednesday’s MGA Carter Cup, there was a delay due to rain. A 1 hour, 40-minute rain delay resulted on some groups finishing their afternoon round as dusk settled.
Christopher Gotterup, representing Rumson Country Club, was the stroke-play medalist and is the No. 1 seed heading into match play, after carding a sizzling 12-under-par 132 over two rounds. He shot a 63 in the morning round, then posted a 69 in the afternoon.
Gotterup registered 11 birdies in the first round of stroke play. Trevor Randolph of Arcola Country Club had the second best stroke play score behind Gotterup’s medalist performance. Randolph posted a 3-under 141.
Belcastro had one birdie in the first round and two in the second.
“This is a beautiful golf course and an amazing tournament,” Belcastro said. “The MGA does a great job of of organizing everything. Going out on the course after lunch was a little tough, because I knew I had another 18 holes ahead of me after playing yesterday (Wednesday). But the course got softer after the rain delay, so you had to go at pins, because you knew it was going to stick.
Playing here today in this tournament was a great experience and a great test of strategy.”
Grenus just missed qualifying for match play. Four players will compete for three spots in a playoff on Friday, after shooting a 145 on Thursday. A Glastonbury native, Grenus shot a 2-over-par 146.
He carded a 72 in the morning and 74 in the afternoon.
Jason Denker of Sterling Farms Club in Stamford finished with a 7-over-par 151 (78-73).
“It was a long day, but a great day,” said Denker, a Stamford resident. “I had the opportunity to play alongside two great players and I was excited to be out there again.”
In his second round, Denker hold six birdie putts.
“For me, making six birdies is a good round,” Denker said. “Just getting back to tournament play is good for me, after not playing too much last year. To come out of here with a 73 in the afternoon round was a good finish.”
Denker will take part in the Connecticut Mid-Amateur and the MGA Mid-Amateur soon.
Larry Haertel, a 2004 Brunswick graduate and Greenwich native, shot a 10-over-par 144. Haertel, 32, who plays out of Round Hill Club, posted a 5-over 77 in each round.
One of Haertel’s main highlights came when he eagled the Par-4 6th hole in the morning.