MAMARONECK What’s a couple more days?
Cameron Young is wound up, eager to begin the next stage of his golfing odyssey at Wake Forest University. He started the official countdown three years ago following a campus visit, but the 18-year-old Sleepy Hollow amateur missed the first day of classes.
Something came up.
Young is leading the points race for MGA player of the year, so he got permission to compete this week in the 100th Met Open at Winged Foot.
The homework is already piling up.
“It’s kind of weird to think going away to school is going to be relaxing, but I get to stay in one place,” Young said Wednesday after shooting an even-par 70 to match the best score of the morning. “That’s going to be a real nice change. I have to do school work, but it will be nice to settle in.”
Actually, he’s already begun the process.
Young was at Olympia Fields outside Chicago last week, playing in the U.S. Amateur. He got into match play and promptly avenged last year’s quarterfinal loss to Gunn Yang.
The 3-and-2 win came with a jolt of satisfaction.
“I was happy when I saw that pairing because last year was frustrating,” the Fordham Prep alum said. “It was a match I thought I could have won and one I felt like I should have won.”
Young was sent home on Thursday, losing 7 and 6 to Jon Rahm of Spain.
“He was making everything and I was missing a bunch, so it was over quickly,” he said with a shrug.
And then it was off to the airport.
Young flew home with his parents and they squeezed into the car a few hours later for a lengthy drive to Winston-Salem, North Carolina.
“Our flight in Chicago kept getting delayed,” he said. “It seemed like every half hour we got delayed another 45 minutes. So we finally got out of there and got home at midnight. We got in the car at 3:30 in the morning and drove to Wake Forest. I was there a day and a half and got back here Sunday night. I flew back up. I wasn’t driving that again.
“I moved into the dorm Friday afternoon, then had orientation that day and the next. I got to practice a little on Sunday with the guys. That was good. It’s nice to have everything settled, I don’t have to do that when I go back down.”
Young is tied for 12th with a 4-over total of 144.
He didn’t find many greens in regulation, but the putter was on. The scorecard included four birdies and four bogeys.
“I think he’s got the distance and trajectory to play any golf course, but I was most impressed with his ability to recover from bad shots,” said Fresh Meadow head pro Matt Dobyns, a playing partner for the first two rounds who earlier this summer won the PGA Professional National Championship. “It’s what sets him apart from other juniors his age who have club head speed and hit the ball a long way. I think he’s a little ahead of the curve in terms of knowing what it takes to get the ball up and down, staying mentally strong and not falling off the edge of the cliff.”
Newly restored greens had more experienced players shaking their heads.
“This is a hard golf course,” GlenArbor director of golf Rob Labritz said after shooting a 75 to fall into a tie for 15th at 5-over.
Only two players are in the red going into the final round.
Tyler Hall, the director of instruction at Upper Montclair, shot a 70 on Wednesday and holds a two-stroke lead over New Jersey amateur Dawson Jones with a 3-under 137 total.
St. Andrew’s head pro Greg Bisconti had the best round of the day, a 2-under 68 and climbed into a tie for third at 140. Paramount head pro Steve Scott has carded back-to-back 71s and is tied for seventh and 2-over.
The conditions are expected to be even more difficult for the final round, but Winged Foot assistant Grant Sturgeon is confident a low number is possible.
“Absolutely,” said the defending champion who is tied for 12th with Young and host pro Mike Gilmore. “The best thing about the East Course is if you play aggressively, you can make birdies … but every aspect of your game has to be under control. I really think a 64 is out there for somebody.”