James McHugh, a junior at Rye, won the nation’s longest-running junior championship trophy, the Met Junior. He fought through two rounds of medal play and four rounds of elimination match play to defeat James Nicholas 5 and 4 in the final round at Paramount Country Club in Nyack, New York.
It’s McHugh’s first MGA title. He eliminated Ethan Ng 3 and 2 in the morning semi-finals while Nicholas, a Scarsdale graduate, beat Chris Yeom of New Hyde Park by the same score.
Ardsley standout and reigning champion Brent Ito topped the two medal play rounds with a three-over-par 143, but was eliminated in the first round of match play by Jonathan Solimano of Montvale, New Jersey, who is also the Paramount junior club champ. The recently renovated Paramount Country Club course gave up only 148 birdies and two eagles to the 67-player field in the first two rounds.
The Met Junior was first played in 1912 and has produced numerous winners now well known in local golf circles, including Butch and Bill Harmon, Marc Turnesa, and Andrew Svoboda. Mike Miller and David Pastore, both now playing on the Canadian PGA Tour, and Cameron Young, winner of this year’s Ike, also claimed the Mandeville Trophy in past years.
This was the first MGA championship played on the Tillinghast-designed Paramount course. The track was updated in 2012 in a multiple-year project led by noted architect Jim Urbina.