Cole-ecting a Metropolitan Open Championship Title

St. Albans, MO - After two wet days at the Country Club of St. Albans, we finally got a beautiful day of sunny skies for the Final Round of the 19th Metropolitan Open Championship. The field started out with 148 players representing 29 different states. At the conclusion of the second round, the field was cut to the low 40 and ties, which resulted in 40 players making the cut at one-under (-1) par. Ryan Cole came into the Final Round with a five stroke lead at thirteen-under (-13) par. Will Grimmer was in second at eight-under (-8) par, and Wesley Hunter and Matt Echelmeier were tied for third at seven-under (-7) par. By the end of the day, one player would hoist the trophy and receive a payout of $25,000. Play began at 7:15am with the final pairing starting their day at 8:45am on Hole 1. 

It was another eventful day on the course with 24 rounds under par, and the win coming down to the very last putt. Dylan Meyer of Evansville, IN brought in a score of five-under (-5) par to move up the leaderboard today. With six birdies on the day, Meyer doubled his score to finish the tournament in solo fourth at ten-under (-10) par. Will Grimmer of Cincinnati, OH put together a third round under par to get to eleven-under (-11) par for the tournament. This put Grimmer in solo third at the conclusion of the day. David Perkins of East Peoria, IL came out firing today to put the pressure on the leaders. Perkins started the day at six-under (-6) par, seven strokes off the lead. Ready to make a run for it, Perkins birdied the first three holes and then made five more birdies across the round. This seven-under (-7) final round pushed him into solo second at thirteen-under (-13) par. 

Perkins was definitely putting the heat behind Cole all day. Ryan Cole of Midlothian, VA was the leader throughout the championship. Coming in with a five-stroke lead, it seemed as though all Cole would need to do is continue his streak of great play to bag the win. As the day went on, Cole made it through seven holes without a single birdie by parring every hole. On Hole 8, he finally found that first birdie and hoped this would be the turning point for the round. Cole would continue on to not make another birdie until Hole 14, but this would get negated by a bogey on Hole 15. At this point Perkins was hot on his trail, sitting just a stroke or two back. A birdie on Hole 17 for Perkins meant that Cole would have no room for error on the last two holes. Perkins finished his round and had to anxiously wait by the 18th green to see if Cole could hold on to his one-shot lead. Cole made his way up 18 as a small gallery began to form around the green. He stuffed his shot from the fairway in close enough that he was looking at a putt for birdie. Hitting his putt with just the right speed, it narrowly missed falling in and he would end the day with a yet another par. Cole was disappointed in his putting for the day, but it was still good enough to finish the round at one-under (-1) par. This would secure the victory for Cole at fourteen-under (-14) par. 

Only three local amateurs made the cut this year. John Bubba Chapman of St. Louis started the day at one-under par and would have an up-and-down round to finish at one-over par. Tyler Linenbroker of Chesterfield, MO also started the day at one-under par and pulled out a final round of even par to stay at one-under (-1). Blake Skornia of St. Louis, MO began today at two-under par, but after a consecutive round of one-over, he finished at one-under (-1) par. Tied on the board, this gave Linenbroker and Skornia co-low amateur honors. 

Cole was the runner-up in this championship last year and is glad to have won it this year. He finished last year with a final round of seven-under (-7) par and began this year with a first round of seven-under (-7) par. He picked back up right where he had left off a year ago. Over the course of the three days, Cole continued to mention that he loves this course, and it showed through the rounds he was able to produce. It was a long stretch of days, battling the weather and the conditions, but Cole was able to get the job done in an impressive fashion. Ryan Cole was finally able to lift the James S. Manion Trophy as the 19th Metropolitan Open Champion.

Final Results

Round 1 Recap
Round 2 Recap

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