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U.S. Open Sectional Qualifying: Who’s in, who’s out

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Golf’s longest day, as U.S. Open Sectional Qualifying is called, is in the books. Up for grabs were 55 spots at Oakmont in two weeks. Competing: roughly 700 golfers from seasoned tour pros, to rising stars on the PGA Tour, to elite amateurs and college sensations. Here’s a look at the qualifiers and notable missers from the 10 sectional venues where play was held.

Ansley Golf Club (Settindown Creek Course): Roswell, Georgia

38 players for 3 spots

  • Medalist: Kent Bulle
  • Other qualifiers: Ryan Stachler (a), Frank Adams III
  • Notable missers: Ollie Schniederjans, Blake Adams (WD)

Web.com Tour member Kent Bulle carded a second-round 64. University of South Carolina star Ryan Stachler finished at 8-under par, three strokes behind Bulle. Frank Adams III, who turned pro in 2003 and currently plays on the Web.com Tour, finished at 7-under.

Woodmont Country Club (North Course): Rockville, Maryland

55 players for 3 spots 

  • Medalist: Billy Hurley III
  • Other qualifiers: Chase Parker, Dennis McCarthy
  • Notable misser: Steve Wheatcroft

Billy Hurley III lit it up, finishing at 9-under for his two rounds at Woodmont. McCarthy got in with a 10-footer to save par on his final hole. Both Parker and McCarthy carded second-round 67s. McCarthy plays on the Web.com Tour.

Canoe Brook (North and South Courses): Summit, New Jersey

98 players for 6 spots

  • Co-medalists: Jim Herman, Rob Oppenheim
  • Other qualifiers: Justin Hicks, Michael Miller, Andy Pope, Christopher Crawford
  • Notable missers: Johnson Wagner, Andrew Svoboda, Lee Janzen

Chris Crawford, who just finished college at Drexel University, canned a 40-footer on his final hole after playing his approach shot from the wrong fairway to secure the sixth and final spot.

Leading the way among the other five: Jim Herman and Rob Oppenheim. Herman carded rounds of 67-70 and will be competing in his fourth U.S. Open. Oppenheim is a rookie on the PGA Tour and has played in our national championship one time.

Springfield Country Club: Springfield, Ohio

59 players for 4 spots

  • Medalist: Nick Hardy (a)
  • Other qualifiers: Kyle Mueller (a), Patrick Wilkes-Krier, Charlie Danielson (a)
  • Notable missers: Tony Finau, Brian Stuard, Zac Blair, Sammy Schmitz (a), Jamie Sadlowski, Matt Jones

Illinois junior Nick Hardy tallied a 6-under total for his two rounds at Springfield Country Club, a venue where only five golfers carded under-par scores after 36 holes. After eight years of little success on mini-tours, Patrick Wilkes-Krier is a full-time golf instructor now. He finished just a stroke behind the medalist.

University of Illinois alum Charlie Danielson impressively took down Tony Finau in a playoff for the final spot, capitalizing when the second-year Tour pro’s drive went wayward.

Germantown Country Club/Ridgeway Country Club: Memphis, Tennessee

121 players for 10 spots 

  • Co-medalists: D.J. Trahan, Andres Gonzales
  • Other qualifiers: Derek Fathauer, Andrew Landry, Dicky Pride, J.J. Henry, David Toms, Sam Burns (a), Sunghoon Kang
  • Notable missers: Whee Kim, Brian Gay, Robert Garrigus, Ryan Palmer, Scott Langley, Steve Stricker, Blayne Barber, Henrik Norlander, Robert Allenby, Andrew Loupe, Casey Wittenberg, Brian Harman, Ben Crane, Mark Hubbard, Jhonny Vegas, Kelly Kraft, Jeff Overton, Derek Ernst, Tyrone Van Aswegen, Seung Yul Noh, Kyle Stanley

Emerging from a field packed with more talent than any other qualifier, D.J. Trahan and Andres Gonzales locked up medalist honors at 11-under par. A 6-for-2 playoff put Sunghoon Kang and LSU freshman Sam Burns through. Also of note: Trahan, who has competed in the U.S. Open three times, carded a blistering second-round 62.

Lakeside Country Club: Houston, Texas

51 players for 3 spots

  • Co-medalists: Kevin Tway, Derek Chang, Austin Jordan
  • Notable missers: James Driscoll, Beau Hossler (a) (WD), Edward Loar

Tway, Chang, and Jordan all finished at 7-under for their two-round work at Lakeside. Tway, who won the 2005 U.S. Junior, will be teeing it up in his third U.S. Open. Chang plied his trade on the PGA Tour Latinoamerica last year and fired two sub-70 rounds. Austin Jordan missed the cut in a pair of Adams Tour events last year.  

Royal Oaks Country Club: Vancouver, Washington

54 players for 3 spots 

  • Medalist: Aaron Wise (a)
  • Other qualifiers: Travis Howe, Matt Marshall

Finishing at 9-under, University of Oregon sophomore Aaron Wise continues his inspired run, a week after he was part of the NCAA championship-winning squad. Matt Marshall is a 31-year-old assistant pro in Portland. Travis Howe played college golf at Penn State. The trio will all be making their first starts in the U.S. Open.  

Lake Merced Golf Club/The Olympic Club (Ocean Course): Daly City, California

100 players for 6 spots

  • Medalist: Miguel Luis Tabuena
  • Other qualifiers: Justin Suh (a), Gregor Main, Mark Anguiano, Tyler Raber, Brandon Harkins
  • Notable missers: Gunn Yang (a)

Tabuena is a 21-year-old Philippine pro with nine professional victories under his belt. He took medalist honors by two strokes at 11-under. Main was a three-time All-American at UCLA and presently has conditional status on the Mackenzie Tour (and is a member at the Olympic Club).

Wedgewood Golf & Country Club/Kinsale Golf & Fitness Club: Powell, Ohio

103 players for 13 spots

  • Medalist: Carlos Ortiz
  • Other qualifiers: Bryson DeChambeau, Ethan Tracy, Brendan Steele, Spencer Levin, Wes Short, Kevin Streelman, Jason Kokrak, Luke Donald, Jason Allred, Patrick Rodgers, Scottie Scheffler (a), Richard Schembechler II
  • Notable missers: Daniel Summerhays, Adam Hadwin, Erik Compton, Ken Duke, Alex Cejka, Bud Cauley, Kyle Reifers, Aaron Baddeley, David Hearn, Camilo Villegas, John Senden, Shawn Stefani, K.J. Choi, Luke List, Peter Malnati, Si Woo Kim, Gary Woodland, Jamie Lovemark, Stuart Appleby, George McNeill

A 6-for-5 playoff saw six golfers return to the course Tuesday morning for the the final five spots of the 13 available. Already punching tickets were medalist Carlos Ortiz, who carded a pair of 66s to lead the way. Bryson DeChambeau and Ethan Tracy both finished at 9-under, with several other notable PGA Tour names filing in behind them.

Timuquana Country Club: Jacksonville, Florida

63 players for 4 spots

  • Medalist: Aron Price
  • Other qualifiers: Tim Wilkinson, Matthew Borchert, Sam Horsfield (a)
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8 Comments

8 Comments

  1. Steve

    Jun 8, 2016 at 8:24 am

    Agreed, Puerto Rico Open should count for something. Didn’t get invite to Masters either.

  2. OH

    Jun 7, 2016 at 3:36 pm

    Amazing scores! Just goes to show you the level at which these guys are playing at that the other 99% of us can only dream of.

  3. BeerandGolf

    Jun 7, 2016 at 12:45 pm

    Congrats to my friend’s hubby Matt Marshall!!!

  4. steve

    Jun 7, 2016 at 12:22 pm

    That kid Aaron Wise looks like the real deal…………….maybe, maybe not

    • Jay

      Jun 7, 2016 at 4:53 pm

      Way to hedge your bet. The point of this post would be….????????????????????

  5. Tom

    Jun 7, 2016 at 11:15 am

    Outstanding group of guys. Hard fought competition, many good players didn’t make the grade.

  6. Brad

    Jun 7, 2016 at 10:49 am

    Shoutout to 2 Illini amateurs qualifying for the US Open for the 2nd consecutive season!

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Tour News

Tour Rundown: Magical stuff on three tours

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Something happened this weekend. Something quite large in the world of professional sport. An athlete with a hearing impediment claimed victory on the world’s stage. Diksha Dagar, former world deaf championship winner and silver medalist in Deaflympics golf, chased down a victory on the Ladies European Tour. In this writer’s mind, the winners of the Players Championship and the Kenya Open, while deserving of praise, take a rightful backseat to a standard bearer.

Ladies European Tour – South African Open goes to Indonesia’s Diksha Dagar

Diksha began the week with a double bogey, and closed it with a trophy in hand. Not the traditional manner of claiming a first, major professional victory, but certainly one for a unique record book. The young Indonesian golfer totaled 76 that first day, but dropped 10 strokes on day two with 66, sitting just two behind the leader. Her only trouble was, the leader was home-country pro Lee-Anne Pace, in search of a 10th Euro Tour win, and first in five years.

On day three, Pace looked every bit a champion, and Dagar, equal parts runner-up. Scotland’s Michele Thomson and Germany’s Esther Henseleit were in the mix as well, ultimately tying for thrid spot at 3 under. As for the challengers? Pace stumbled with bogeys at 13 and 17, to finish at 4 under on the week. Dagar, in Pace’s words, played flawless golf and closed with birdies at 15 and 16, the later on a holed chip shot, to reach 5 under and claim victory. On this occasion, flawless was the diamond.

PGA Tour – The Players Championship has fitting champion on St. Patrick’s Day

At 2:20 EST, 18 golfers were within 2 shots of the lead at TPC Sawgrass. The leaders were in the throes of McIlrahmoid Fever, that wretched illness that strikes most golfers when much is on the line. Even thought it’s not an official major, the Players has every trapping of that august status: a course waiting to bite you on every shot, money, exempt status, peer respect, and P-R-E-S-S-U-R-E. In the end, only four golfers were within two shots of the lead, and two of them didn’t figure until late. Confused? Understandable.

In a nutshell: Jim Furyk made a run for the old guys, but came up one stroke shy. Jon Rahm hoped to claim that first big win of his professional career, but a wretched closing stretch did him in. Tommy Fleetwood, Jason Day, Brian Harman and others all tap-danced their way into, then out, of contention. In the end, it was the leprechaun himself, Rory McIlroy, who recovered from an early double bogey with 33 on the inward half, to raise the trophy of many faces. McIlroy, birdied 11, 12, 15 and 16 on his way to 16-under par. The title certainly cements him as a potential favorite to finish the career grand slam next month at Augusta.

European Tour – Magical Kenya Open ends up in the hands of Migliozzi

Don’t think that others didn’t try to claim the 2019 Magical Kenya Open trophy. The statue of the strutting rhinoceros would make other baubles pale in comparison. The final nine holes of this year’s event were as compelling as the majestic beast whose visage went home with Guido Migliozzi. The first-time champion on the European Tour took the lead early on Sunday, lost it, then found it again with a run of six pars to the finish. His birdies on 10 and 12 were enough to reclaim the top spot, and pars held his space atop the podium.

Last week’s winner, Justin Harding of South Africa, made four birdies and an eagle from holes 10 to 18. It was his unfortunate bogey at lucky No. 13 that kept him one shot behind the Italian. Countryman Louis De Jager also reached 15 under, closing with seven frustrating pars, while in search of the elusive bird to reach 16 under or better. Spaniard Adri Arnaus jumped into the lead with three mid-round birdies, but gave it back with bogey at the par-5 12th. One more birdie coming home was just enough to join the tie for second with the South Africans.

 

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Tour News

Tiger Woods working with putting coach Matt Killen at The Players

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Tiger Woods says he is fit and healthy ahead of this week’s Players Championship, and the 14-time major champion has putting coach Matt Killen alongside him at TPC Sawgrass as he seeks his third title at the event.

Golf Channel’s Tim Rosaforte broke the news on social media, and the move represents the first time Woods has had an instructor of any type since his split with Chris Como in 2017.

Woods struggled with the flat-stick at his last outing at the WGC-Mexico, where he three-putted six times. That event represented the first time that Woods has lost strokes to the field on the greens at a tournament since the Northern Trust back in August, and over his previous 24 rounds, the 43-year-old ranks 42nd in this week’s field for strokes gained putting.

Killen currently works with Justin Thomas, J.B. Holmes, Bud Cauley and Blayne Barber, and speaking to Golf Digest, the putting instructor stated on Monday that he likes what he sees in Woods’ stroke.

“His stroke looked good. His putting is better. I like what I see.”

Woods tees off on Thursday at 1.27 pm ET alongside Webb Simpson and Patrick Reed.

 

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Francesco Molinari joins Callaway tour staff; WITB details

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Callaway Golf has announced that the 2018 Open Champion, Francesco Molinari, has joined its tour professional staff.

Molinari will make his debut on the PGA Tour as a Callaway staffer this week at the Arnold Palmer Invitational at Bay Hill, where he will game Callaway woods, irons, wedges, an Odyssey Putter, and a Chrome Soft Golf Ball, as well as a Callaway Staff Bag.

Regarding the announcement, the Italian had this to say

“I am joining Callaway because I’m so impressed by their equipment. More than anything, I’m looking forward to playing the new Epic Flash Driver and the Chrome Soft X Golf Ball. The ball speed gains that I’m getting from the driver are unbelievable. And this golf ball is the best one that I’ve ever played. The performance from tee-to-green, especially the feel and control, is exactly what I want.”

Speaking on the announcement, Callaway Senior VP of Global Sports marketing, Tim Reed stated

“We’re proud to welcome Francesco as our newest Callaway Staff Professional. We’re confident that he will play at an even higher level and enjoy many more great wins with Callaway equipment. He’s added ball speed off the driver with Flash Face Technology, and his performance on approach shots and around the greens has been spectacular with his new Callaway irons, wedges, and our Chrome Soft Ball.”

Currently in the Italian’s bag is an Odyssey Toulon Madison Putter which features a new Stroke Lab Shaft. Speaking on the putter which Molinari is presently using, Sean Toulon, SVP, Callaway Golf & GM, Odyssey Brand, said

“Francesco is a tremendous putter, and he really likes the milled performance he’s seeing from the Madison. And with the Stroke Lab Shaft he’s getting more consistency in the rhythm and the tempo of his stroke. It’s a combination that’s going to help him have a lot of success and make of a lot of big putts.”

Francesco Molinari WITB 2019

Driver: Callaway Epic Flash Sub Zero (9 degrees)
Shaft: Mitsubishi Tensei White 60 TX

Fairway wood: Callaway Epic Flash Sub Zero (13.5 degrees)
Shaft: Mitsubishi Tensei White 70 TX

Irons: Callaway Apex 19 (4-iron), Apex MB 18 Irons (5-PW)
Shafts: True Temper Dynamic Gold X 100

Wedges: Callaway Mack Daddy 4 (50, 56, 60 degrees)
Shafts: True Temper Dynamic Gold X 100

Putter: Odyssey Toulon Madison Stroke Lab

Ball: Callaway Chrome Soft X

 

 

 

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