By Mike Dougherty
GREENWICH, CONN. — After failing to advance to match play each of the last four years, Dylan Newman is now knee deep in the Met Amateur bracket.
The 22-year-old from New Rochelle dispatched defending champion Ryan McCormick on Friday with a flurry of birdies that lead to a 1-up win at The Stanwich Club. He came back after lunch and sent Dylan Crowley home with a 5-and-3 quarterfinal victory.
Newman is going into the semifinals with his confidence level nearing a career high.
“I didn’t win more than one hole with a par this morning,” said the recent Iona College graduate and Bonnie Briar member who kept the heat on McCormick by rolling in five birdies. “We both were playing pretty solid. Ryan is a very good player. He was never out of a hole, making 4s from places you would never think of making 4s from. I don’t think Dylan played as solid as he can play. I made a 30-footer on No. 1 for a birdie, so I started that match out pretty strong.”
The momentum that’s propelling this run began to build a week ago when Newman made enough swings under pressure at Bethpage to finish tied for 26th at the New York State Open. He was even more impressive on Monday while qualifying at Rockrimmon for the U.S. Amateur.
“At the start of the summer, I was in Barcelona, studying abroad, so I took a month off, which I guess was a good thing,” he said. “I got back and started with the Westchester Open, played pretty solid there (with a tie for seventh) and I’ve kept the ball rolling. I’m going to try to keep it going into the U.S. Am, too.”
It’s worth noting that McCormick and Crowley both played for St. John’s in the spring. Newman is facing Pat Wilson, another member of that Red Storm team, in the semifinals.
They are due on the first tee Saturday at 11:30 a.m.
Stu Kaufman, a 21-year-old Armonk resident who plays out of Westchester Country Club, also went deeper than he’s ever been in this championship. The senior at Elon University will be playing Trevor Randolph in the semifinals. He posted a 7-and-5 win against Matt Mattare, then dismissed John Jackopsic with a 5-and-4 victory.
“I didn’t miss any putts inside 10 feet,” said Kaufman, whose deepest run at the Met Am was a loss in the Round of 16 two years ago at Piping Rock. “That’s critical in match play because those are momentum stealers.”
Despite the heavy rain overnight, the course was not yielding a lot of birdies.
“The drainage at Stanwich must be incredible,” Kaufman said. “We were all impressed. The greens were fast. The course is playing firm and hard.”
After winning medalist honors in stroke play, Century member Sam Bernstein came out and beat Matthew Lowe 3 and 2, but was knocked out in the afternoon by Wilson. It was a difficult morning for MGA player of the year points leader Max Buckley, who let a lead get away before falling in 21 holes to Randolph.