Seventeen-year-old Luke Sample soundly outplayed the strongest annual field of professionals and top-drawer amateurs in the area to win the 105th Met Open Championship, the youngest player by far to ever take home the Walker L. Trammell trophy. He’s also the first amateur of to win the tournament in the last 15 years and only the eighth in the 105-year history of the event.
The teenager, who plays out of Old Oaks CC in Purchase, bested pros Ben Polland, winner of the 2015 edition of the tournament, and Paul Pastore of Fairview CC by three strokes. The championship was played at Mountain Ridge CC in West Caldwell, NJ.
Sample’s final round was a barn-burner, with a string of five birdies in a row with one more for good measure. He started with a tough double bogey on the par-three fourth hole (his only one of the tournament) before getting on the birdie train that took him to a three-under par 68 to go with the 69-68 he’d posted the first two rounds.
To say Sample is having a stellar season is an understatement. He won the Met Junior Championship at Rockaway River CC in July, then won the AJGA Junior Championship at Penn State that same month by 11 strokes. He placed second in the Met Amateur played at Bethpage’s Black Course at the beginning of August. The rising senior at Trevor Day School is verbally committed to Duke University.
The Metropolitan Open is the third oldest Open championship in this country, following the U.S. and Western Opens and was considered a “major” until WW II. Sample’s name will go on the trophy alongside legends including Byron Nelson, Gene Sarazen, and Walter Hagen.