Six Iowans set to make a run at 38th U.S. Mid-Amateur
A total of six Iowans will be in the field at the 38th U.S. Mid-Amateur Championship being held in Charlotte, N.C. Iowa’s Gene Elliott (Top 400 World Amateur Golf Ranking) and Mike McCoy (2013 Mid-Amateur champion; 2015 Walker Cup competitor), who are both exempt into the field, will join Joe Palmer, JD Anderson, Nate Dunn and Kyle Davies. This will be the first U.S. Mid-Amateur contested in the state of North Carolina.
Players will play both Charlotte Country Club (CCC) and Carolina Golf Club (CGC) during the stroke play portion of the event. The field, which begins with 264 players, will be cut to 64, after stroke play rounds are complete, that will advance into match play. A total of 4,709 entries were accepted by the USGA this year for the event, the most since 1997. The U.S. Mid-Amateur is open to any golfer who turns 25 as of Sept. 22 and whose Handicap Index does not exceed 3.4.
Stroke play will begin on Saturday, Sept. 22, with the following tee times (listed in CDT) for those from Iowa:
-Nate Dunn, Cedar Rapids 7:30 a.m. – CGC
-Mike McCoy, Norwalk 6:42 a.m. – CCC
-Kyle Davies, Iowa City 8:20 a.m. – CGC
-Gene Elliott. West Des Moines 11:37 a.m. – CCC
-Joe Palmer, West Des Moines 11:59 a.m. – CCC
-J.D. Anderson, Johnston 12:32 p.m. – CGC
Tropical Storm Florence Spares U.S. Mid-Amateur Courses in Charlotte
By David Shefter, USGA
Like many residents of the Carolinas, John Szklinski anxiously watched as Hurricane Florence made landfall late last week. The longtime superintendent of Charlotte Country Club (pictured at the top of the page), the host site for the 38th U.S. Mid-Amateur Championship, had every reason to be concerned a week ahead of the competition.
Fortunately, Charlotte Country Club and stroke-play co-host Carolina Golf Club were mostly spared from the nearly 8 inches of rain that fell over a two-day period. Two trees came down at Charlotte C.C., one of which landed on the sixth green, but remarkably didn’t affect the putting surface. The course’s two creeks never overflowed and its bunkers did not wash out, bringing smiles to the maintenance staff, because as Szklinski noted, “Nobody likes shoveling wet sand.”
“We were very fortunate,” said Szklinski. “When a creek overflows its banks, you can have a real mess.”
The club’s 29 full-time staffers spent two days clearing the two fallen trees, branches and other debris from the course. By Wednesday, the course was ready for the 264 competitors – the USGA’s second-largest championship in terms of field size – to start their practice rounds on Thursday. Because it has fewer trees, there was less debris to clean up at Carolina Golf Club.
“The beauty is the rain didn’t come down all at once,” said Szklinski, who has been at Charlotte Country Club for 11 years. “It was over a two-, two-and-a-half-day period. That’s not really all that bad.”
Added Bill McCarthy, the USGA’s director of the U.S. Mid-Amateur Championship: “John and [Carolina Golf Club superintendent] Matthew [Wharton], along with their teams, did an incredible job recovering from Florence. This was no surprise as they are the best in the business.”
Thanks to that cleanup effort, the stage is now set for a world-class field of amateurs age 25 and older to begin their quest for the Robert T. Jones Jr. Memorial Trophy. Following two rounds of stroke play this weekend (one on each course), the low 64 scorers advance to match play, starting on Monday. FS1 will have live coverage of the semifinals and 36-hole final match on Wednesday, Sept. 26 and Thursday, Sept. 27 from 4-6 p.m. EDT. Fans are encouraged to come out and watch the action.