Monday Morning Golf Report
June 22, 2009
Cortland Lowe, a 2003 graduate, represented Wake Forest as the only former Deacon in the field at the 109th US Open this week at Bethpage State Park. Despite the wet conditions and weird starting times, Lowe managed rounds of 75-71 but missed the cut which fell at 4-over par, one of the lowest cuts in recent US Open history.
Lowe started his first major championship on Friday with a bogey at the very first hole but regrouped and parred the next five holes before a bogey at the long par-4 16th dropped him to 2-over.
He stood 2-over at the turn but made his first birdie of the tournament at No. 1 to get back to 1-over par. After four pars on Nos. two through five, the round hit a snag as he closed with four-straight bogeys and finished with a 75.
Lowe's long day would get even longer as he had to start his second round at 6:52 pm local time. He made par on the first five holes and suffered a bogey at No. 6 as darkness set in.
He resumed his round Saturday morning at the longest hole on the course, the 525-yard par-4 seventh. He went on to make par on seven, eight and nine to close the front nine at 1-over. On the tenth, he made his only double-bogey of the championship and fell to 8-over par.
However, the Charlotte, N.C., native bounced-back with a birdie at No. 11 and a nice birdie at the par-3 14th to close his round at 1-over 71. Despite the good finish, Lowe was 6-over par and would miss the cut but two shots.
The Nationwide Tour was the only other major tour in action this week at the Fort Smith Classic in Arkansas.
Len Mattiace opened with a round of 1-under 69 and made three birdies and no bogeys in his second round of 67 on Friday to head into the weekend at 4-under par and tied for 17th.
But the good karma wouldn't last on the weekend as he posted rounds of 70-71 to slip back to a tie for 39th at 3-under par.
Ron Whittaker made the cut for the second-straight week after a pair of even-par 70s on Thursday and Friday. On Saturday, he carded a third-straight 70 before closing with three birdies in his final nine holes on Sunday to finish with a round of 1-under 69 and a tie for 52nd.
Kyle Reifers was the third former Deacon in the field this week but he had a tough opening two days, shooting 74-72 and missed his third-straight cut.
Rising senior Brendan Gielow continued his summer schedule at the 69th Monroe Invitational last week at Monroe Country Club in Pittsford, N.Y.
He started with an opening round 1-under 69 on Wednesday and was tied for fifth through 18 holes. The same rains that washed out the first day of play at the US Open also made things difficult in Pittsford on Thursdat as Gielow slogged his was to a 73 and fell to a tie for 11th at 2-over par.
In the third round, the Muskegon, Mich., native made bogeys at Nos. six and eight to slip back to 4-over for the tournament but birdies on the par five ninth and 12th got him back to even for the day and that is where he would finish. Gielow was 2-over through 54-holes and was tied for tenth heading into the final round.
The fourth round didn't start out as well as Gielow had wished as he made bogies at Nos. one and six but a birdie at No. 9 allowed him to make the turn at 1-over 36. Back-to-back bogies at Nos. 13 and 14 again derailed his round but he finished strong with birdies at the final two holes to card a 1-over 71. He finished in 12th-place at 3-over par.
Ohio State's Bo Hoag closed with rounds of 67-69 to overtake Clemson's Phillip Mollica, who had led through each of the first three rounds after three-straight 68s. Hoag finished at 3-under par and Mollica was a shot back at 2-under.
Gielow will now shift his focus on defending his Northeast Amateur Championship at Wannamoisett Country Club in Rumford, R.I., this week.
Last year, Gielow won the tournament and set a new scoring record, finishing at 9-under par. The previous record of 8-under was shared by PGA Tour stars John Cook (set in 1979) and Luke Donald (2000) as well as fellow Deacon Kyle Reifers (2005). Gielow shot rounds of 68-66-67-66 to become the first player in tournament history to break par-69 in every round.
Last week, 2009 recruit Evan Beck represented the United States at the 2009 Junior World Cup in Toyota City, Japan. He started out strong, firing rounds of 68-70 and was tied for sixth. An even-par 71 in the third round had helped pull Team USA into a tie at the top of the leaderboard with Argentina.
In Friday's final round, the Argentineans pulled away with a 3-shot victory after a round of 205. The Americans took second after a 208 and Beck would finish in a tie for 14th after a final round 2-over 73.
Beck returned to the States this past weekend and will get ready for the Virginia State Amateur which starts on Tuesday. Interestingly, Beck is paired with recent graduate Dustin Groves for Tuesday's stroke-play qualifying round.
At the British Amateur Championship last week, fellow 2009 recruit Charlie Harrison posted a pair of 79s in the qualifying rounds but did not make the match play cut. Former Deacon Chris Cannon, who played as a freshman in 2007, did make the match play cut after rounds of 71-72 but Cannon fell in his first round match to Jonathan Hurst, 8 & 7.
Women's recruit Stephanie Kim has been playing the bulk of her summer schedule on the DURAMED Futures Tour, which she has been a full-time member each of the last three seasons. Kim posted her best finish of the year last week at the DURAMED Championship in Mason, Ohio., as she fired rounds of 72-71-70 to finish tied for 17th.
This week, the LPGA Tour is hosting the Wegman's LPGA at Locust Hill Country Club in Pittsford, N.Y. Rising sophomore Cheyenne Woods will be playing in her first professional tournament as she received one of two sponsors exemptions into the field.
Rising junior Natalie Sheary is also trying to make the Wegman's field by virtue of the Monday qualifier, which is being played today at Monroe Country Club, the same course Gielow played the Monroe Invitational on this past week.
After the conclusion of the long US Open, the PGA Tour will head to the Travelers Championship in Cromwell, Conn., while the Champions Tour will get back to action at the Dick's Sporting Goods Open in Endicott, N.Y.
The Nationwide Tour continues its schedule at the Nationwide Tour Players Cup at the Pete Dye Golf Club in Bridgeport, W.V.
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