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PARAMUS, N.J. -- Rising Nittany Lion junior Ryan Davis claimed the 116th annual MET Amateur championship 2&1 at Arcola Country Club Sunday. Davis never relinquished the lead in the 36-hole final, moving to 1-up on the fifth hole and going 3-up with seven birdies in morning’s 18.
“It absolutely means the world to me right now, this is my last tournament before I go back to school, it is nice to end on a good note,” Davis said after winning the 116th MET amateur championship. “This is such a prestigious championship, to get my name on here (the trophy), is something pretty special.”
From Berkeley Heights, New Jersey, Davis credited his putting to help him get off to a fast start. He registered 27 birdies for the event and “kept things level” which helped him establish a 5-up lead through 12 holes in the morning 18.
The afternoon round, however, witnessed Christian Cavaliere of Boston College cut into the Davis lead with a birdie on the 2nd hole, the 20th of the match. The two collegiate golfers then halved the next seven holes before Cavaliere trimmed his deficit to one, draining a 60-foot putt on the 28th hole. Davis’ lead remained 1-up as the two reached the 35th hole.
After finding the fairway, Ryan took dead aim at the flag looking to end the tournament on his terms. His second shot came to rest just 10 feet away for birdie. With his opponent failing to find the green in regulation, a mistake that led to bogey, Ryan Davis became the 116th MET Amateur Champion.
“Coming down 17, I started to feel it a little bit…and I saw how close my put was, so I thought I had a really good chance,” Davis said. “There is so much golf out here, you have to stay level, you can’t get too high or too low, he (Cavaliere) wound up fighting back actually, so I had to re-evaluate and it worked out.”
Inclement weather played a factor during the four-day tournament, delaying play at times and even shifting competition to the following days.
“There was a ton of late nights and early mornings, you have to keep your head down and keep your nose to the grindstone,” Davis said concerning the weather delays. “It’s a long week and you know that coming in. I just expected it.”
In the round of 16, Davis won 7&6 and then 5&4 to defeat a two-time MET Golf Association champion in the Quarter Final.
Both Davis and Cavaliere finished stroke play tied for seventh with a 1-under 143 for a spot in the match play bracket.
The Penn State men’s golf team will begin its fall competition at the Rod Myers Invitational at the Duke University Golf Club Saturday-Sunday, Sept. 8-9.