Sleepy Hollow Country Club to Host Metropolitan Golf Open

Sleepy Hollow Country Club in Scarborough, N.Y., will host the Metropolitan Golf Open Championship on August 23-25. More than 150 top amateur and professional golfers from the metropolitan New York area will compete for the title on Sleepy Hollow's centennial celebration.

The club was founded in 1911 by some of the nation's most prominent business leaders at the pinnacle of America's "Gilded Age." The founders included members of the Vanderbilt and Rockefeller families.

One of the first decisions was to engage Charles Blair Macdonald, considered the father of American golf course architecture, to design the golf course. He was assisted by engineer, Seth Raynor, who is also one of the nation's seminal golf architects. In the 1920s, another giant of golf course design, A.W. Tillinghast, was brought in increase the size of the course to 27 holes. More recently, Sleepy Hollow completed a comprehensive restoration that returned Macdonald's original design elements.

John Cooney, Jr., president of Sleepy Hollow, said: "We are honored to have been selected to host the Met Open during our club's centennial year. Competing golfers will enjoy our unique and challenging course that is in keeping with the Met Open standards and tradition."

For the first time, many players and visitors at the Met Open will get to see Sleepy Hollow Country Club, which contains the Woodlea mansion. McKim, Mead and White, designed and built the structure in 1895; it still serves as the clubhouse as well as a classic European-style stable.

Sleepy Hollow is renowned for its 16th hole, with its dramatic tees, green and unparalleled views of the Hudson Valley.

Over the decades, Sleepy Hollow has hosted numerous tournaments, including the Met Amateur in 1944, 1965 and 1983; the 1993 French-American Challenge; and the 2003 Metropolitan Golf Association Ike Championship. From 1986 to 1993, the club held the "Legends of Golf" Senior PGA Tour event and, in 2002, played host to the U.S. Women's Amateur.

From its inception in 1905 through 1940, the Met Open was considered one of the most prestigious events in golf. Past champions include Gene Sarazen, Johnny Farrell, Tommy Armour, Paul Runyan, Byron Nelson and Craig Wood as well as brothers Alex and Macdonald Smith (who together captured seven Met Opens, with Alex winning a record four times).

After an eight-year hiatus overlapping World War II, the Met Open became a regional tournament and was won by many of the top local club professionals, including Claude Harmon, Jimmy Wright, Jim Albus, David Glenz and Darrell Kestner, as well as such storied amateurs as Chet Sanok, Jerry Courville Sr., George Zahringer III, Jim McGovern, Johnson Wagner and Andrew Svoboda. Wagner, now a member of the PGA Tour who won the Met Open as an amateur in 2001, won the title again in '02 for his first victory as a professional.

Among the top golfers who will compete in this year's Met Open are Bob Rittberger, 2010 Met Open champion; Andrew Giuliani, 2009 Met Open champion; Kevin Foley, 2011 New Jersey State Open champion; Rob Labritz, 2011 New York State Open champion; and Frank Bensel, 2011 Connecticut Open champion..

"The strong fields and world-class venues that characterize the Met Open have made it one of the nation's most sought-after regional titles," added Cooney. "Sleepy Hollow County Club is proud to join the Met Open's distinguished list of host sites."

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