By Mike Dougherty
BEDMINSTER, N.J. – Cameron Young is relishing the opportunity to sleep in his own bed after spending three weeks on the road.
He’s also pretty happy about the chance to play on familiar turf.
Young shot a 5-under 67 Wednesday on the Old Course at Trump National Golf Club Bedminster in the second round of the 99th Met Open, climbing into a tie for second place with a 5-under total of 139. The 17-year-old amateur is going into the final round one shot off the lead.
“I’ve been away so long and I’m finally starting to feel at home again on the grass,” said Young, who last week played on Atlanta Athletic Club’s lightning-fast Bermuda greens during the U.S. Amateur.
Young started his lengthy road trip in Texas where he played in the U.S. Junior Amateur and the Junior PGA Championship. He was able to be aggressive on the greens on Wednesday, and closed with a 31 that included three birdies from at least 20 feet away. Young tied for fifth in last year’s championship.
“I’m happy now,” said the Wake Forest commit who has one more year at Fordham Prep. “I played myself back into this one. I was a little worried yesterday that I might have played myself out of it.”
Winged Foot will be well represented in the final groups.
Grant Sturgeon, a 36-year-old assistant pro who captured the Westchester PGA earlier this season, shot a tidy 68 and is tied for the lead at 6-under
“I hit all but one or two fairways … and gave myself quite a few chances,” he said.
Sturgeon is tied with Mike Ballo Jr., a mini-tour player from Stamford, Connecticut, at 138.
Mike Gilmore, the 49-year-old head pro at the Mamaroneck club, shot a tournament-low 66 and is tied for second with Young at 5-under.
“I was a little more relaxed today, knowing the golf course a little better,” he said. “It’s my kind of golf course. You can pretty much drive away on most of the holes.”
Quaker Ridge head pro Brian Gaffney was impressive early and got to 6-under, but lost three strokes over his last seven holes and is three shots back in sixth place at 141.
“I’m still in it,” he said. “I’d like to be further up, so would everybody, but I have a chance.”
Weather could be an issue Thursday, so the MGA has changed the format of the final round. Both tees will be utilized with the leaders starting before 10 a.m.
99th Met Open Championship
At Trump National Bedminster, Old Course – par 72
1. Mike J Ballo Jr., Woodway Country Club, 71-67—138
1. Grant Sturgeon, Winged Foot Golf Club, 70-68—138
3. Mike Gilmore, Winged Foot Golf Club, 73-66—139
3. (a) Cameron Young, Sleepy Hollow Country Club, 72-67—139
5. John Guyton, Wheatley Hills Golf Club, 71-69—140
6. Brian Gaffney, Quaker Ridge Golf Club, 71-70—141
6. Anthony Aruta, Staten Island Golf Practice Center, 71-70—141
6. Cameron Wilson, Shorehaven Golf Club, 69-72—141
9. (a) Dylan Newman, Hollow Brook Golf Club, 72-70—142
9. Brian Lamberti, Richter Park Golf, 71-71—142
9. Rob Labritz, GlenArbor Golf Club, 68-74—142
12. Colin Dolph, North Hempstead Country Club, 74-69—143
12. Frank Bensel, Century Country Club, 73-70—143
12. Timothy Puetz, Huntington Country Club, 72-71—143
12. Abbie Valentine, Bethpage State Park Golf Club, 72-71—143
12. Chris Scialo, Paramount Country Club, 72-71—143
12. Sunny Kim, Bethpage Golf Club, 70-73—143
12. (a) Harrison Shih, Alpine Country Club, 69-74—143