New York's Matt Dobyns is one of 4 to Advance through US Open Qualifying in Purchase, N.Y.
PURCHASE, N.Y. (June 2, 2014) – Today at Old Oaks and Century Country Clubs in Purchase, N.Y., 80 determined professional and amateur golfers attempted to qualify for the 114th U.S. Open Championship , set to be played at Pinehurst in two weeks. Four players came out on top after the 36-hole Sectional Qualifying Round and will make the trip to North Carolina, including New York’s own Matt Dobyns, the Head Professional at Fresh Meadow.
Fran Quinn of Holden, Mass. and Rob Oppenheim of Orlando, Fla. were the co-medalists with total scores of 3-under 138.
Quinn carded matching scores of 69 at both courses (2-under at Century and 1-under at Old Oaks) with six birdies at each site. Quinn has played on the PGA and web.com Tours with four web.com Tour wins to his name, the last one in 2010. This was his tenth Sectional Qualifying Round and his fourth trip to America’s Championship. His 15-year-old son, Owen, missed school to be his caddie today, which helped keep him calm on the course. “It’s important to be patient, I made a few mistakes but was able to make a few birdies, too,” Quinn, 49, said.
Oppenheim, originally from Massachusetts as well, will head to his first U.S. Open after getting off to a hot start at Old Oaks, shooting 6-under 64 and a 3-over 74 at Century. “I got off to a great start and birdied four in a row to shoot 30 for my first nine. Then the winds picked up and the greens got a little firmer in the afternoon. I’ve played in sectionals maybe ten times now, but this is my first time through,” the 34 year-old said. Oppeheim has been playing on the web.com Tour this year with conditional status, and Monday qualified at the South Georgia Classic a few weeks ago where he had his best finish and tied for fourth.
Jim Renner, another Massachusetts product, took the third qualifying position with scores of 71 at Century and 68 at Old Oaks to finish at a total of 2-under 139. Renner made an eagle on the par-5 18th hole at Century to seal the deal and finish at the top of the leaderboard. “I felt good coming over here in the afternoon and started birdie-birdie, had a couple of good looks, but made a couple of bogeys, that is going to happen, but it was nice to end with an eagle on 18.” He’s been playing on the PGA TOUR this year, and this will be his first U.S. Open. “Everybody wants to play in a Major and everybody wants to play in the U.S. Open, it’s a big deal, and to have it be at Pinehurst which is one of the classic courses in the world, it’ll be pretty special and definitely something I’m looking forward to,” the 30-year-old said.
New York’s own Matt Dobyns of Lake Success, N.Y. the Head Professional at Fresh Meadow shot a 1-under 70 at Century and 1-over 71 at Old Oaks to earn his way into his first U.S. Open with a total score of even-par 141. The 36-year-old, who broke records when he won the 2012 PGA Professional National Championship by eight strokes, got off to a great start when he chipped in for eagle on the 8th hole at Century. “I made the mistake of thinking to myself that I could ease my way through the day to make it, but then a couple of bogeys happen, I shoot 1-under, and all of a sudden I’m in the mix with a bunch of other people.” Dobyns bounced back, though, and stayed consistent through the afternoon, making pars down the stretch to earn his way to Pinehurst. This was only his second Sectional Qualifying Round- he played at Old Oaks and Century last year as well. He claimed the experience of being able to play at the same courses helped him today. “For the level of golf that I play, competing in the Majors is my goal. If I play well, I’ll be happy about that. I’ll smile no matter what happens there,” Dobyns claimed.
After finishing with matching scores of 1-over 143, amateur Cameron Wilson of Rowayton, Conn., the newly crowned NCAA Individual Champion, and web.com Tour winner Jamie Lovemark of Scottsdale, Ariz., headed into a playoff at Old Oaks to determine the alternate positions. The two faced off on the 1st and 18th holes. It looked like the playoff was over on the 5th playoff hole when Wilson made a 35-foot birdie putt, but Lovemark answered right back and sunk a 25-footer. Wilson then made a birdie on the 6th playoff hole, the 18th at Old Oaks, to earn the first alternate position. Wilson first made an appearance in the 2012 U.S. Open after qualifying at Canoe Brook. After Wilson heads back to Stanford for graduation, he shared that he’ll be turning pro for the Travelers Championship in a few weeks. Lovemark finished as the second alternate.
Wilson played with two-time U.S. Open champion Lee Janzen, who was in the mix all day and shot a 2-over 143. 2013 MGA Player of the Year, amateur Max Buckley of Rye, N.Y., shot a 3-over 144 after rounds of 75 at Century at 69 at Old Oaks, finishing tied for 13th.
This was the second consecutive year the MGA has conducted a Sectional Qualifying Round at Old Oaks and Century Country Clubs in Purchase, N.Y., and will return again in 2015. Century Country Club played to a par 35-36-71 at a total of 6,974 yards. Neighboring Old Oaks Country Club measured 6,680 yards at par 35-35-70. There was one hole-in-one recorded today at Old Oaks on the 7th hole by Cody Paladino of Kensington, Conn.
Beautiful weather conditions were intact throughout the day, with the wind picking up slightly in the afternoon to challenge the field. Today, nicknamed “golf’s longest day,” consisted of 10 Sectional Qualifying Rounds throughout the country to determine the final qualifiers for the U.S. Open at Pinehurst from June 9-15.