Miller medals at Rockrimmon U.S. Open LQR
STAMFORD, Conn. (May 8, 2017) – Competitors at Rockrimmon Country Club faced cool, breezy conditions as they attempted to grab one of seven available qualifying positions. Michael Miller of Brewster, N.Y., posted 2-under 70 during the morning to capture medalist honors, while a pair of amateurs, Matthew Lowe of Farmingdale, N.Y., and Paul Pastore of Greenwich, Conn., tallied the remaining two sub-par scores for the day with matching 1-under 71s.
Professionals rounded out those advancing to the sectional qualifying round, as Charles Meola of Mamaroneck, N.Y., and Matthew Dobyns of Lake Success, N.Y., tied fourth at even-par 72, while Evan DeLuca of Trumbull, Conn., and Cory Muller of Norwalk, Conn., took the final two advancing positions at 1-over 73.
“It was nice to get out to a really good start,” said Miller, who birdied the first three holes. “It was definitely challenging today. This morning, it wasn’t quite as windy on the first couple of holes and I definitely took advantage of that.”
While Miller had a couple of admittedly “sloppy” mistakes, he closed strongly, tallying back-to-back birdies on Nos. 15-16 to take the day’s top position. Miller had plenty of good memories to recall at Rockrimmon, having claimed the 2012 Westchester Amateur in a memorable match against Cameron Young. Miller will now return to Canoe Brook for sectional qualifying, from which he advanced to the U.S. Open at Oakmont in 2016.
Lowe also credited a quick start for his success, as the University of Richmond junior tallied three birdies over the first six holes. “When it comes to this event you always want to get off to a hot start because it’s only 18 holes,” explained Lowe. “That’s usually the most important part of it to me—just make smart decisions, don’t do anything too risky that will get you out of it immediately.”
Pastore also fed off fond memories at Rockrimmon, having qualified for the U.S. Amateur from the site in 2016.
Meola and Dobyns played steadily through the day on their way to even-par scores. Meola had three birdies and three bogeys, while Dobyns had four and four, respectively. DeLuca set a torrid pace early on, going 5-under over his opening nine holes (starting on the second nine), but cooled off as he turned to the more challenging first nine en route to his 1-over 73. Muller tallied four birdies to five bogeys on his round.
Meanwhile, David Pastore of Greenwich, Conn., claimed the first alternate position and will hope to join his younger brother Paul in sectional qualifying. Kyle Higgins of Massapequa, N.Y., took the second alternate position. The two emerged from a 5-for-2 playoff.
Rockrimmon played to a par 72 at 6,829 yards, with a starting field of 119 competitors.