From winning the title at the Met Amateur Championship, to finishing first at the Ike Championship to claiming two Met Junior trophies, David Pastore has experienced a wealth of success in Metropolitan Golf Association events.
Now the Greenwich native has put himself in prime position to capture the one MGA tournament title that’s eluded him – the Met Open Championship.
Shooting a 4-under-par 66 Wednesday, Pastore is in second place after the second round of the 54-hole 106th Met Open Championship at Hudson National Golf Club at Croton on Hudson, N.Y. A 2010 Greenwich High School graduate, Pastore carded a 3-under 67 in Tuesday’s opening round and is at 7-under-par 133 for the tournament.
Andrew Svoboda, representing Engineers Country Club, is atop the leaderboard at 8-under-par 132 – one stroke ahead of Pastore. Svoboda is no stranger to success at the Met Open. He won the Met Open title at Wykagyl in New Rochelle in 2018.
Pastore and Svoboda are the final twosome that will tee off in Thursday’s third and final round at Hudson National Golf Club. They will tee off on the course’s first hole at 11:58 a.m.
“I always look forward to competing in MGA events, that’s for sure,” said Pastore, who played golf at the University of Virginia and has competed in five PGA Tour events. “This is the tournament I want to win the most, because this is the MGA tournament I haven’t won. I haven’t really contended for it. It’s one of my favorite tournaments and one of my favorite courses.”
Following an impressive round of 3-under-par 67 on Tuesday, Pastore kept the momentum going on Wednesday. He posted five birdies, the first of which came on the par-4 second hole. He also holed birdie putts on Nos. 5 (par-4), 6 (par-5), 15 (par-4) and 16 (par-3).
“I made some long putts on the front nine, I made two 25-30 footers, which are kind of bonuses and I played solid and hit a great 4-iron on the 16th hole for 230 yards, it’s their signature hole,” Pastore said. “It landed about a foot from the cup. I birdied 16 and it was the turning point for me.”
Pastore’s friend David Gordon, is caddying for him. Gordon has caddied many of Pastore’s events during his professional career.
“He’s traveled with me on tour and caddied for me in a bunch of big tournaments,” said Pastore, who has played on the Mackenzie Tour (PGA Tour Canada). “He’s helping me on the course and I really feel like we’re a team out there.”
Hudson National Golf Club is familiar territory for Pastore, who has displayed great consistency the first two rounds.
“I’ve played the course 15-20 times, I always look forward to it,” said Pastore, the 2014 MGA Player of the Year. “The beautiful views, conditions, layout – it’s a great course. In the final round, I have to keep doing what I’ve been doing and at the same time I know I’m going to have to shoot another really good round. I love it here and I have a good game plan for most of the holes.”
Del Ponchock of Hudson National Golf Club and Tom Lovelady (Silo Ridge Field Club) are tied for third at 4-under 136 following two rounds, while Jack Wall (Manasquan River Golf Club) and 2019 Met Open champion Matt Dobyns (Meadow Brook Club) are in a fifth-place tie (3-under-137).
Sixty one players made the cut and advanced to the final round of action. More than 130 players competed in the first two rounds and the cut was made at 6-over-par.
Paul Pastore, a 2014 Greenwich High graduate representing Fairview Country Club in Greenwich, is tied for 19th place at 1-over 141 over two rounds. Pastore shot a 2-under 68 in the first round, then carded a 3-over 73 in the second round.
The second round saw Paul Pastore record two birdies on his way to his round of 73. He tees off at 10:28 a.m. on Thursday.
Stamford native Peter Ballo, who recently garnered the winner’s trophy at the Connecticut Open Championship is tied for seventh at 2-under 138 (66-72). Ballo represents Silvermine Golf Club.
Jackson Fretty (Greenwich Country Club) and Shaun Powers (Fairview Country Club) each made the cut with a two-round score of 5-over-par 145. Fretty graduated from Greenwich High School in 2019 and after excelling for the Cardinals’ golf team plays at Princeton University. He’s heading into his sophomore year at Princeton.
Fretty finished at 2-under 68 in the opening round and shot a 77 in the second.
“Today was tough, I did not have the stuff today, it was a struggle for the start,” said Fretty, who like the Pastore brothers, was part of several Greenwich High championship teams. “I just tried to hang in there, but I didn’t make birdie all day. You have those days though.”
Fretty, who competed at Hudson National Golf Club in 2019 at the MGA Met Amateur Championship, appreciates his second opportunity to test his skills at the course.
“The course puts a premium on ball-striking,” Fretty said. “Also the challenge today was the greens got pretty quick and I know they can get quicker too. It will be interesting to see if this course softens up from today to tomorrow. When you’re struggling, it’s nice to look at the view of the Hudson River.”
The opening round featured six birdies for Fretty.
“It was one of those rounds where I hit a lot of things close,” Fretty said. “I had a couple of tap-in birdies, which was nice and it was really hot and I was sort of focused on getting through the round physically. The birdies were falling.”
Categories: Summer Sports
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