Category: USGA Qualifiers

Seven advance from U.S. Amateur Local Qualifier at Glen Oaks CC

Glen Oaks Country Club, in West Des Moines, was the host of this year’s U.S. Amateur Local Qualifying and it proved to be a challenge. As the day went on the wind picked up and firmed up the course that much more. Luke Honner (right), this year’s medalist, shooting a well deserved 67 (-4) and one of seven qualifiers into Final Qualifying on the day, demonstrated having patience and hitting fairways was key to success in today’s round.

“Off the tee was really well, again no bogeys, and just stayed patient,” Honner said following his round. “I putted solid, but again just making minimal mistakes.”

Charlie Zielinski, who shot a very respectable 68 (-3), proved finding the fairways as often as possible was the key to success on the day.

“Hitting the fairway does help a lot, I hit seven fairways today,” Zielinski said. “I was looking through my stats at the end of the round. Even if I was in the rough, I was never really out of position. But, as the day went on and the wind picked up, being in the fairway was definitely a premium.”

Also qualifying, with never giving up even after a slow start, was Christopher Atkinson shooting 69 (-2).

“Got off to a slow start, I hit it right off 10 and made a good bogey after getting up and down,” Atkinson said. “I collected myself after the first few holes and started playing solid. Hitting fairways is key out here, I do not need a driver out here a lot. I started hitting a lot of two irons down the middle, I was able to hit it on the green and make some putts which lead to birdies.”

Also qualifying in at 70 (-1) was Connor McCall, Radley Mauney, Reed Malleck and Dennis Bull.

In a thrilling five hole playoff Grant Greazel secured the first alternate spot and Wade Pettitt was awarded the second alternate spot.  

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Two sides advance from U.S. Amateur Four-Ball Qualifier hosted by CRCC

Birdies were to be had at U.S. Amateur Four-Ball Qualifying hosted by Cedar Rapids Country Club. This is turn led to a packed leaderboard.

The side of Matt Meuret / Sam Meuret (right) earned medalist honors, posting 64 (-8), one shot clear of four sides that would playoff for the final qualifying spot.

“We got off to a shaky start but each of us scratched out a well-timed par to keep us on track until we made quite a few birdies in the middle of the round,” Sam said. “Matt can putt circles around me, so it was fun to have his putter on my side for a change and he bailed us out a couple times late in the to put up a good score.”

Sam, who raddled off six birdies in a row at one point, commented that it will be a treat to play at the national championship with his brother.

“Playing in any USGA championship is a great experience but being able to do it with my brother will make it extra special,” Sam said.

As mentioned, a total of four sides finished the day at 65 (-7) and a playoff was needed to identify the final qualifier.

The side of Charlie Jacobson / Ryan Trasamar (right) wasted little time and made birdie on the first hole of the playoff to punch their ticket the the 2024 championship. Marc Gladson / Nate Dunn earned first alternate and Ethan Mechling / JD Anderson earned second alternate.

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Three advance from U.S. Senior Women’s Amateur hosted by DMGCC

The course didn’t let up.

That was the story at the U.S. Senior Women’s Amateur qualifier contested at Des Moines Golf & Country Club.

With winds swirling and pars coming at a premium, three players advanced to the national championship – Leeann Fairlie (78), Claudia Pilot (79) and Rose Kubesheski (80).

Oklahoma City’s Fairlie, who stayed away from the double bogey or worse all day earned medalist, while Rio Verde’s Pilot admitted she played 17 ‘good’ holes of golf, with only one disaster coming on the 14th hole.

Dubuque’s Kubesheski looked to be sailing smooth through 12 holes before the bogey train arrived, but a birdie on the 17th hole helped ease the pain of her finish, with a double bogey on 18, and left her one shot clear of fourth place and good enough for the last qualifying spot.

Elizabeth Wanek earned 1st Alternate position in a playoff, while Robin Webb earned 2nd Alternate.

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Leeann Fairlie (left) and Claudia Pilot


Rose Kubesheski

Three move on to U.S. Mid-Amateur in New York

From left – Ben Greve, Charlie Hoyle and Jon Olson.

Eden Prairie’s (MN) Ben Greve (-7) missed one green and still made birdie to go along with six others during U.S. Mid-Amateur Qualifying at Cedar Falls’ Beaver Hills Country Club. Greve admitted it was a boring day, yet rewarding.

“I hit it really well,” Greve said of his medalist performance. “I was in control all day and putted pretty well. It was a low stress round really. There are some tee shots you have to hit it in spots. It’s always sweet (to qualify). I am excited to play in the U.S. Mid-Amateur.”

Ankeny’s Jon Olson and Coralville’s Charlie Hoyle earned the other two qualifying spots at Beaver Hills CC, both posted in rounds of 68 (-4).

The 2023 U.S. Mid-Amateur will be played at Sleepy Hollow Country Club and Fenway Golf Club, in Scarsdale, N.Y., Sept. 9-14, 2023.

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Smith, Bull advance to U.S. Amateur following long day at Coldwater Golf Links

West Des Moines’ Grant Smith (right) and Norwalk’s Dennis Bull qualified for the 123rd U.S. Amateur to be contested at Cherry Hills Country Club, Colorado. Smith was medalist outright at (-3) 139, while Bull (-2) qualified after a four-way playoff which took three holes to be decided.

The qualifier, contested at Coldwater Golf Links, Ames, featured golfers from numerous states. Whippy morning winds and firm conditions made for some of the most difficult play Coldwater has seen, evoking comparisons by a player to the Scottish links, and the grueling 36 holes tested competitors’ stamina.

Smith carded a first round (-1) 70 to keep himself in the mix. Most importantly, he felt comfortable with his shot selections going into the afternoon, despite the strong winds.

“I hit the right shots the first round, just didn’t make as many putts,” Smith said, explaining how he hit an 8 iron when 210 yards out on Hole 7 before subsequently hitting an 8 iron when 120 yards out on Hole 8. “Strategy was a big part [of my success]. I kept the ball in front of me and kept shots around the green going into the wind.”

In the afternoon, strong putting helped Smith to a superb 4-under first nine, helping him to finish -2 on the round and -3 on the day.

Smith commented he is excited to head to Colorado to compete in his first U.S. Amateur.

On the other hand, this was not Dennis Bull’s (right) first rodeo. Having qualified for the U.S. Amateur the previous two years, his experience showed when the second qualifying spot came down to a four person playoff. Ottumwa’s Cale Leonard, West Des Moines’ Braeden Nelson, and Clive’s Ryan Horner joined Bull in the four-for-one playoff, as if 36 holes wasn’t enough for the day. After Nelson and Horner were eliminated on the first playoff hole, Bull and Leonard tied on the second playoff hole, but Bull won decisively with a birdie on the third hole.

While happy to advance, Bull was more than ready to call it a day.

“Don’t make me walk too far,” he warned as we headed to take his photograph.

Bull will join Smith at Cherry Hills for his third straight U.S. Amateur.

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Kent, Blomme qualify for U.S. Junior at Ames Golf & CC

The U.S. Junior Amateur Qualifier on June 12, at Ames Golf and Country Club ended in a three-way shootout for the two entries into the U.S. Junior Amateur. Noah Kent (right), of Naples, FL, and Ethan Blomme, of Bettendorf, qualified for the U.S. Junior Amateur, to be contested July 24-29 at Daniel Island Club in Charleston, SC.

Kent, Blomme, and Oak Grove’s Peyton Savageau all finished the single-round tournament 3-under, navigating heavy late-morning winds. The three way playoff began on hole 7, and University of Iowa commit Kent wasted no time. A strong drive and an approach to within a few feet gave Kent a tap-in birdie. With pars from Blomme and Savageau, Kent punched his golden ticket to the Junior Amateur. Blomme, a rising junior at Pleasant Valley High School, took home the second ticket after a par on the second playoff hole, #8.

Kent and Blomme (left), who both started the day on hole 10, capitalized on calmer first nine conditions. Kent scored birdies on 16, 17, and 18 and Blomme birdied 15, 16, 17, 18. After an unsatisfactory start, Blomme got his putter rolling.

“I made a really good 30-footer for par on #14 and then rolled four straight in,” Blomme said. “The back nine started playing really tough just with the wind. [. . .] Just grinded it out, you know, when I made a bogey I got it back with a birdie.”

Blomme knew he had to go low if he wanted a shot at qualifying, but believed the wind worked in his favor.

“Scores will be higher with this wind,” he said. “I feel like I’m a good wind player, being from Iowa, so the more and more it becomes windy I feel like the better shot I’ve got.”

Kent and Blomme look forward to one of junior golf’s biggest tournaments, where names like Tiger Woods and Jordan Spieth have left their legacy.

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Former Hawkeye Schaake punches ticket to 2023 U.S. Open

University of Iowa alumnus Alex Schaake qualified for the U.S. Open after a nerve wracking 8-hole playoff at the U.S. Open Final Qualifying at Springfield Country Club in Springfield, Ohio. Monday, coined “Golf’s Longest Day” by the USGA, featured numerous 36-hole Final Qualifiers around the country, where some of the best amateur and professional golfers looked to secure their spot in the U.S. Open to be held at Los Angeles Country Club later this summer.

Schaake (right), an Omaha, Nebraska native, had a prolific amateur and collegiate career. In high school Schaake was a two-time Nebraska Junior Amateur Champion, continuing in college to win four-straight Nebraska Amateur titles, and holds the second-most wins in Nebraska Golf Association tournaments ever. He was the only Hawkeye to be voted Big Ten Player of the Year twice, only Hawkeye to be all-conference all four years, holds the lowest season scoring average yet, and holds three of the top four lowest 54-hole totals in university history.

The road to the U.S. Open wasn’t easy for Schaake. Before yesterday’s 44-hole marathon, he scraped his way through local qualifiers by birdieing his final three holes last month at Omaha Country Club. A 2-under first round at Springfield Country Club kept Schaake in contention, but it was a stellar second round that propelled Schaake to his playoff berth. One eagle and five birdies, four of which in the back nine alone, rounded out a 5-under 65 and a three-way tie for fourth in the standings.

He joined Dylan Wu and The Ohio State University’s Maxwell Moldovan in search of one of the two remaining spots. Wu clinched the first spot after birdieing the first playoff hole, but the battle between Schaake and Moldovan was only beginning. Matching scores for seven holes, Schaake finally broke away with a short birdie putt on the eighth hole to Moldovan’s par. It was a joyous scene as Schaake celebrated, clearly elated, in the dying evening light.

Schaake has earned his place at the 123rd U.S. Open at Los Angeles Country Club (June 15-18) and the opportunity to compete with some of the best players in the world.

Handful with Iowa ties chase 2023 U.S. Open today

The challenge of qualifying for the U.S. Open awaits several players as they compete in the final U.S. Open qualifying round. The players named below are attempting to qualify for the 123rd U.S. Open to be played at Los Angeles Country Club, June 15-18. Final qualifying results and links are listed below.

Lambton Golf & Country Club – Toronto, Ontario

Hillcrest Country Club – Los Angeles, Calif.

Pine Tree Golf Club – Boynton Beach, Fla.

Hawks Ridge Golf Club – Ball Ground, Ga.

Woodmont C.C. (North Course) – Rockville, Md.

Canoe Brook Country Club – Summit, N.J.
– Lucas Scherf, Drake University / Pleasant Hill

Lakes Golf & Country Club/Brookside Golf & C.C. – Columbus, Ohio
– Nick Voke – Iowa State University
– Zach Johnson – Cedar Rapids / Drake University

Springfield C.C. – Springfield, Ohio
– Mac McClear – University of Iowa
– Alex Schaake – University of Iowa
– Jack Dumas – Drake University / LeClaire
– Troy Merritt – Osage

Old Chatham Golf Club – Durham, N.C.

Tacoma Country & Golf Club – Lakewood, Wash.

NOTE – Clinton’s Josh Bousman participated in Final Qualfying at Northwood Club and Bent Tree Country Club – Dallas, Texas, on May 22nd and did not advance

Four advance from U.S. Open Local Qualifying at Glen Oaks CC

(From left) Josh Bousman (73), Brandon Bauman (73), Lucas Scherf (74) & Jack Dumas (74) advance from U.S. Open Championship Local Qualifying hosted by Glen Oaks Country Club on May 1.


To put it lightly Glen Oaks Country Club played tough for the field on Monday, during U.S. Open Local Qualifying. Strong, gusting winds (30-40+ mph), cooler temperatures and championship course conditions left many scratching their head after their round and several just glad to have ‘weathered’ the day.

Professionals Josh Bousman (Clinton) and Brandon Bauman (Las Vegas) fared the best, posting 73 (+2) to share medalist honors and advance to Final Qualifying. Both players were successful in keeping the big number off the scorecard, as each had only one score higher than double bogey and added five birdies to the mix, on a day that sent scores sailing.

“This was one of the hardest rounds of golf I have ever played,” Bauman said. “I tried to pick a spot on the driving range to get a feel for the wind. No matter what direction the wind was, you had to take it flat out one shot at a time. I practically had to start it out of bounds on #12, in order to hit the fairway. You had to make a few birdies to have a chance on Monday. There’s no way you could par all 18 holes, you were going to make a bogey here and there.”

Bousman closed out his day with three straight birdies (on holes #7-9), which he commented were holes he thought he could attack.

“It was a grind out there,” Bousman said. “There weren’t any holes you could just put it in neutral. I switched golf balls (on Monday) to keep my spin down into the greens. I knew #7, #8 and #9 were my best chances to make birdie, so I was just trying to get to that stretch with a chance. I wasn’t trying to think too far ahead. I actually left my eagle putt on my last hole just short. I had a lot of birdie opportunities and tried to stay below the hole as much as I could, so I could be aggressive on the greens. I didn’t have any three-putts on the day.”

Rounding out the final two of four qualifying spots included a pair of Drake University golfers, Lucas Scherf and Jack Dumas, who both posted 74 (+3). Scherf collected four birdies in his round, while Dumas found pars to be his friend – making 10 total on the day.

Earning 1st Alternate on Monday was Tracy Vest (Iowa City) by way of a four-hole playoff that began with five total players who posted 75 (+4). Sam Meuret (Waukee) earned 2nd Alternate. 

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USGA Announces Amateur Championship Qualifying Modifications

Changes to U.S. Amateur, U.S. Women’s Amateur, U.S. Junior Amateur and U.S. Girls’ Junior qualifying will be introduced in 2024

In an effort to continuously enhance and evolve the competitor experience, the USGA is announcing significant modifications to its amateur championship qualifying model for the first time in more than 20 years. These changes, which will take effect for the organization’s four premier amateur championships beginning in 2024, will allow the events to retain their openness while ensuring that high-caliber players are provided ample opportunity to earn a spot in the field and that qualifying can be conducted at the highest level among growing entries and field sizes.

“The openness and aspirational nature of our championships is a defining characteristic of USGA championships,” said Brent Paladino, senior director, Championship Administration. “As the number of entries and qualifying sites have continued to increase on a yearly basis, we looked at ways to evolve our structure to ensure the long-term sustainability of qualifying without excessively burdening Allied Golf Associations (AGAs) and host clubs. These revisions will provide players with additional pathways to our championships through traditional qualifying, expanded exemption categories and performance in state, AGA, regional and national amateur championships.”

In 2022, the USGA accepted 44,737 total entries and collaborated with AGAs to conduct a combined 678 qualifiers across 15 championships.

The most significant revisions for 2024 are to the U.S. Amateur, which will move from a one-stage, 36-hole qualifying format to a two-stage qualifying format with 45 18-hole local qualifying sites and 19 18-hole final qualifying sites. Other adjustments include:

  • Exemptions for state, AGA, regional and national amateur champions based on established criteria and historical WAGR event power rankings;
  • Expansion of World Amateur Golf Ranking® (WAGR) exemption category to top 100 ranked players (previously 50);
  • Establishment of local exemptions, which include top finishers in USGA championships, state/AGA amateur championships and top 600 WAGR players.

Changes to the other championships’ qualifying structures are outlined below:

U.S. Women’s Amateur 

  • Modest reduction in qualifying sites through the establishment of geographic rotations;
  • Exemptions for state, AGA, regional and national amateur champions based on established criteria and historical WAGR event power rankings;
  • Expansion of WAGR exemption category to top 50 players (previously 25).


U.S. Junior Amateur / U.S. Girls’ Junior 

  • Alignment of qualifying structure to encourage AGAs to conduct joint or concurrent qualifying;
  • Exemptions for state, AGA, regional and national junior amateur champions based on established criteria and historical WAGR event power rankings;
  • U.S. Junior Am expansion of WAGR age-filtered exemption category to top 100 (previously 85);
  • U.S. Girls’ Junior expansion of WAGR age-filtered exemption category to top 50 (previously 40).

There will also be a lowering of Handicap Index® limits across all four championships and modifications to the performance policy that will be announced later. Determinations on the individual state, AGA, regional and national championships that will be part of the 2024 exemption criteria will be published prior to the release of entries for the respective championship.

The modifications will result in a net reduction of 94 qualifying sites, while providing more opportunities for players to earn a spot in a USGA championship through expanded exemptions, state/AGA amateur championships and traditional qualifying.

Entries for 2024 USGA amateur championships will open next spring. The 2024 U.S. Amateur will be held at Hazeltine National Golf Club in Chaska, Minn.; the 2024 U.S. Women’s Amateur will be held at Southern Hills Country Club in Tulsa, Okla.; while the 2024 Junior Amateur will be held at Oakland Hills Country Club in Bloomfield Hills, Mich.; and the 2024 Girls’ Junior will be played at El Caballero Country Club in Tarzana, Calif.

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