The 2013 U.S. Open Local Qualifying being hosted at Aberdeen Golf Club on Wednesday, May 15th marks the beginning for 7 players in the 120 player field. Players advancing out of local qualifying will play June 2nd in Sectional Qualifying with many of the contestants staying in St. Louis competing at Old Warson Country Club in what has been labeled “Golf’s Longest Day”.
The 120 player field teeing it up at Aberdeen represents the diversity being currently enjoyed in the game of golf. Public golfers and Members of Private Clubs. High School players and veteran golf professionals. College stars of today and college stars of 5 years ago. All with the same shot at claiming one of the coveted 7 qualifying positions as play gets underway at 7:30am.
A favorite to grab one of those 7 spots tees it up in the opening group at 7:30am off the 1st tee. Bob Gaus of Tower Tee will be playing in next week’s Sr. PGA Championship presented by KitchenAid, but on Wednesday his attention is on advancing to Sectional Qualifying for the U.S. Open.
Several St. Louis natives who now find themselves traveling the developmental tours are returning to take their shot. Players like Ben Wood, Jason Chun, Colin Neeman, Jack Ehlers, Chris Brant, Adam Long, Matt Rau, Justin Bryant, Zach Barlow and Adam Betz have experienced varied levels of success in professional golf. It’s safe to say, a trip to Merion to participate in the U.S. Open will be the highlight of their young professional careers.
Also in the field are several players who competed in the recent Metropolitan Amateur Match Play Championship. Joe Migdal, Phil Caravia, Alex Cusumano, Ted Moloney and Skip Berkmeyer lead a strong group of amateur players.
Past champions of state and regional amateur tournaments are well represented. Carr Vernon of Poplar Bluff is a past Ozark Amateur champion and will tee off in the final group at 1:30pm off the 10th tee. John Anderson just recently captured the 2013 Bob Cochran Mid Amateur Championship. Michael Wellington, now a professional, is a past winner of the St. Louis District Amateur Championship. Kyle Weldon, a member of the Kansas State University golf team, is the reigning Metropolitan Amateur Champion.
Several members of the NCAA Division II National Championship qualifying UMSL Tritons will be represented at Aberdeen Golf Club. Colby Yates (1:30pm), Chase Smith (8:20am) and David Abolt (8:00am) will be looking to build on the momentum they have from a 3rd place team finish at the recent Division II Midwest/Central Regional Tournament. Ted Jones, a Eureka High School graduate, and current member of the Central Missouri State Mules golf program will also be headed to Hershey, PA for the NCAA Division II National Championship. Jones is paired with Ted Moloney and Zach Barlow at 12:20pm.
If a 14 year old can make the cut at the Masters and last year Beau Hossler played the weekend in the 2012 U.S. Open, it shouldn’t be surprising if a high school player advances from Aberdeen. Especially given the talented crop of high school players teeing it up. Zachary Gollwitzer is fresh off a 15th place finish in the Class 4 State Tournament. Seth Smith of Ladue finished 6th. Mark Stahlhuth of Washington High School tees off at 9:00am. Stephen Wilson of Chaminade begins his round on the 10th hole at 12:10pm. Crimson Callahan, a 14 year old attending Chaminade is off the 1st tee at 1:00pm.
It’s arguably the strongest and deepest field St. Louis has seen in a U.S. Open Local Qualifying and Aberdeen is set to provide a worthy test. Follow all the action online at the Metropolitan Amateur Golf Association website.