Tyler Gerbavsits has been paying his dues this summer. The Huntington High School senior has been playing as much golf as he can as he gets ready for his final season with the Blue Devils.
One of the top young golfers in the state, Gerbavsits has played countless practice rounds, spent time practicing on driving ranges and putting greens and played in a long list of tournaments.
Highlights? Well, there’s been plenty to feel good about and lots of lessons have been learned. Gerbavsits continues to improve his game. Huntington head coach Michael Marinello is looking for the teenager to lead the Blue Devils this fall.
Participating in the Carter Cup, the Metropolitan Golf Association’s junior stroke play championship was an honor in and of itself. The invitational tournament features the best young players in the region and is played on Baltusrol Golf Club’s famed course.
The Carter Cup is named in honor of Michael Carter, a junior club champion at the Baltusrol and Winged Foot golf clubs, a standout player on the Delbarton School golf team in Morristown, N.J., and an up-and-coming member of the Penn State golf team who died in a car accident in 2002.
Gerbavsits shot a seven over par 78 to tie for 16th place in a field of 44 exceptionally talented golfers. Weather limited play to just 18 holes instead of the traditional 36 holes. But it was still a sensational experience for the Blue Devil links star.
“Playing at Baltusrol in the Carter Cup was a real privilege,” Gerbavsits said. “The facilities and the golf course conditions are amazing.” Located in Springfield, New Jersey, about 20 miles west of New York City, Baltusrol has hosted seven US Opens and the 2005 and 2016 PGA Championships.
Gerbavsits was one of four golfers to be selected for the MGA’s team that competed in the Williamson Cup, “a highly regarded junior event which pits 10 Northeast Golf Associations against each other in a 36 hole stroke play format,” according to the MGA’s website. “Four juniors represent each team and the best three scores from each round count toward each team's overall score. It was established by Fred E. Williamson in 1964, in memory of his father, one of the original founders of Winged Foot Golf Club, where it was first held and won by the Washington Metropolitan Golf Association.
“Being chosen for the Williamson Cup this year was a huge honor and an experience I will never forget,” Gerbavsits said. We traveled to Pittsburgh and stayed with a host family for four days. The tournament was at the Pittsburgh Field Club and our team finished third. It was a great golf course; tough greens. I definitely left a few strokes out there, but overall I was happy with how I hit the ball and my contribution to our MGA Team.”
The junior level competition between northeast golf associations played out over 36 holes, with three of a team’s four memberscounting toward the overall score. Gerbavsits turned in rounds of 77 and 77 to help Team MGA finished third in the standings.
“The highlight of my summer was finishing sixth at four-over par at the LIGA Michael Hebron Amateur Championship at Bethpage Black,” Gerbavsits said. After a 76 (+5) on the first day, I shot 70 (-1) on day two, tying the low round of the day. It was an unbelievable day where everything was working. Playing the Black takes tremendous focus and concentration. It’s a privilege to play where many PGA tournaments have taken place and to come in with a round under par is the best feeling ever!”
Finishing in sixth place in a field of 128 very strong junior golfers will send Gerbavsits into the fall high school season on a high note.
Gerbavsits has a full academic schedule and he’ll also be engaged in a credit bearing internship with Georgia D. McCarthy, district director of health, physical education and interscholastic athletes. The teenager will spend one period each day working on projects in the office.