Wednesday, June 23, 1999

Match play brings excitement to Met

Golfers pair off in round of 32

The Cincinnati Enquirer

        Ask anybody who knows, and everyone will say the same thing. At the Greater Cincinnati Golf Association Metropolitan Amateur Championships, anything can happen in match play.

        “My goal,” Taylor Metcalfe said before the tournament started, “is to get to that third day, with match play.”

        He and 31 other golfers got their wish Tuesday at Hyde Park Country Club. Today's action features 16 head-to-head matches.

        Chris Dayton, Ed Heimann and Jim Herman were medalists at 1-under-par 141.

        “No doubt about it, this is when it gets real interesting,” said five-time Met champion Jim Volpenhein. “The idea is you play the course and not the guy you're playing. But that can be very difficult. If he hits a tee shot way out of bounds, you might put your driver back in the bag, grab an iron and make par.”

        The rest of the tournament's head-to-head nature makes the Met unpredictable, exciting and sometimes heartbreaking for its competitors.

        “Absolutely, you never know what you're getting,” Jim Ebel said. “It's one on one. You just hope you don't face the guy with the hot hand.”

        The Met's pressure at times can be too much — one golfer even broke his driver after a particularly frustrating shot Tuesday — but don't expect Metcalfe, a two-time champion, to fall victim to stress.

        “I've been doing this a long time, and I love to do it,” the 49-year-old said. “I don't know how many years I have left, so I better enjoy it. If I don't play well, it's not the end of the world.”


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