23 Aug Andy Svoboda closes out a productive summer with a Met Open win
NEW ROCHELLE – Andy Svoboda vaguely remembers his last Met Open victory.
The 38-year-old from Larchmont was putting an exclamation point on a successful amateur career when he won by five shots at Metedeconk National in 2003. He picked up a $500 pro shop credit.
“I probably bought some golf shoes, two pars of Foot Joys,” Svoboda joked.
He carded five birdies early in the final round on Thursday and hung on, closing with a 68 at Wykagyl Country Club to lock down his third local championship of the summer with an 11-under total of 205. The former Web.com Tour winner left this time with a personalized check for $27,500.
“I’m really happy to get that check,” added Svoboda, who’s teaching at Engineers Country Club on Long Island.
Jack Wall landed in second place one stroke behind.
The Manasquan River (N.J.) amateur will be heading for the University of South Carolina after he completes one more year Christian Brothers Academy. He was leading by a shot coming into the final round, but closed with a flurry to get close at the end.
Wall made birdies at Nos. 15, 16 and 18.
“I had an idea where I was and what I needed to do,” he said. “I knew Andrew was having a good round and taking it deep. My brother, Ethan, was on the bag and he told me, ‘Let’s go get a few.’ It felt good to get a couple putts to go in.”
Wall had a 50-foot eagle look on the last, but came up short.
After getting to 12-under six holes into the round, Svoboda was leading by four. Two bogeys created drama later in the round.
Westchester Country Club amateur James Nicholas got up and down for birdie from behind the 18th green to get to 9-under for the championship.
The Yale senior closed with a 66 and wound up in third place.
“Once you’re 2-under a couple of holes in, you can kind of let loose and swing free and hit putts a little harder,” Nicholas said. “And then at No. 6, I had a 30-footer up the hill with a lot of break to it, so I hit the putt firm and it went. That’s where I started to feel the mojo, I guess.”
Three groups behind him, Svoboda was making an important birdie at No. 15.
It’s been an ideal summer for the former Met Player of the Year. He only had past-champion status on the Web.com Tour when he signed on at Engineers. He won the Long Island Open and the New York State Open ahead of this victory.
Time will tell what’s next.
“It was definitely a dream summer,” said Svoboda, who plans to complete the coursework and testing to become a PGA Class A club professional over the winter. “I’m probably going to Web.com Tour Q school and we’ll see how that plays out. I definitely would like to come back and play in the section again.”
Mill River head pro Jason Caron finished in fourth at 8-under and Greenwich, Conn. mini-tour player David Pastore was fifth at 6-under. Sleepy Hollow amateur Cameron Young, who came into the final round a stroke off the lead, struggled and shot a 76 to finish tied for eighth at 3-under.
Article by: Mike Dougherty, Rockland/Westchester Journal News