The championship is the largest amateur match-play golf tournament in the United States. It’s second behind Canada for the largest globally.
Medford community leader Chuck Mettler first participated in the tournament back in 1968. His two sons, Rich and Dave, played golf for several years where Chuck was a caddy for them up until two years ago.
The family had lunch at the Rogue Valley Country Club, a day before they face off in the qualifying round Wednesday.
“This is a great time for us to all get back together,” Dave Mettler, son of Chuck told NBC5. “[Chuck] just turned 89 this year, and he’s kept the tradition alive. He’s just been a big part of our lives and manages to stay connected with everybody.”
Rich’s three children, Scott, Jensen, and Molly are in the tournament, along with Dave’s daughter Genna Mettler.
Scott says his motivation is to always come back to the event, and improve in his qualifying section.
“It’s kind of like the Super Bowl of our season, and we just love to come out and play some match play,” said Scott.
The event is Jensen’s first tournament and says he’s more than ready.
Molly is entering her second year in the tournament and is aiming to beat her qualifying score from last year.
“I may have had the highest qualifying score last year, so I’m hoping to get a little under that,” Molly said. “Anything would be better than that. Even if it’s just a stroke I’m happy with it.”
Their cousin Genna is gearing up for her 7th year at the match. She used to play at Oregon State University, before her coaching stint at a school in Corvallis.
The smoke blanketed the Rogue Valley Tuesday, but Genna said she’s ready to compete and keep the tradition alive, despite the bad air quality.
“It won’t stop the fun and the good times, so we’re excited,” said Genna.
The Mettler family is looking forward to competing as a whole this week and keeping the tradition alive, as their grandfather cheers from the sideline.
“Grandpa Chuck I think is the world’s best cheerleader,” Genna said. “He’s definitely our inspiration and our team mascot.”
Anthony Carter is a reporter for NBC5 News. He grew up in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania and graduated from Elizabethtown College in 2019. Anthony started his career as a print journalist, covering New York sports and the NBA Draft. He then started his own sports podcast and website covering the Arena Football League. Anthony moved to the Rogue Valley in 2019 as a news producer before joining the NBC5 News family. Anthony likes to workout at the gym, play basketball, and root for his Atlanta Hawks and New York Jets. Want to connect with Anthony? send him an email: [email protected]