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Brown Leads Four to U.S. Senior Open From Arcola

PARAMUS, N.J. (May 23, 2023) – Three-time Met Open champion Mark Brown led a quartet of qualifiers for the 43rd U.S. Senior Open Championship from Arcola Country Club on Tuesday, shooting 2-under 70 for medalist honors.

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Paul Archbold of Germany, Suburban Golf Club professional Mark McCormick of Middletown, N.J., and amateur Trip Kuehne of Southlake, Texas, rounded out those earning a spot at SentryWorld in Stevens Pointe, Wisc., June 29 – July 2.

Brown had a steady round, registering birdies on Nos. 1, 8 and 12 to a single bogey on No. 17, which played as the toughest hole on the day. This will be Brown’s third U.S. Senior Open start, last competing in 2019 at the Warren Golf Course at Notre Dame, where he made the cut. After posting his 2-under score, Brown caught a flight for Texas as he prepares to compete in the Senior PGA Championship this week at the new PGA Frisco.

Archbold, the Director of Golf at Golf and Country Club Seddiner See in Berlin, Germany, started strong with three birdies in his first six holes after starting on No. 10. He also bogeyed the par-4 17th and after a four-putt on the par-4 18th, thought he’d have to shoot several shots under par to advance.

“I held it in on the back nine,” said Archbold, who celebrated his 60th birthday last week with friends in the Philadelphia area prior to competing at Arcola. “ I drove it well, put the ball in position and holed some good putts when I needed to.”

For Archbold, the greens stood out as a challenge at Arcola from his practice round last week. “It scared the heck out of me on Wednesday because the greens were running at 13.7 and I’m coming out of winter in Berlin, so our greens are very slow at the moment. So that was tricky.”

Archbold made birdies on Nos. 3 and 5 before adding a bogey on the par-3 seventh en route to his 71. Now, Archbold – who competed in and made the cut in the British Senior Open in 2018 and 2019 is looking forward to his first U.S. Senior Open experience.

“It’s unbelievable. I came here thinking it was a lottery,” said Archbold, a native Australian. “I was hoping there would be four spots, and there was. I was thinking I’d have to shoot sub-70 and I’m absolutely wrapped that I got in. It means the world to me. It’s fantastic.”

McCormick will be making his second U.S. Senior Open appearance, having competed in 2017 at Salem Country Club in Peabody, Mass. Despite not playing a whole lot of golf this season outside of a Scotland trip with Suburban members, McCormick’s game held up just fine at Arcola.

“I drove the ball really well, hit the irons pretty good,” said McCormick. “I thought coming in that even-par was going to make it and once I got here, the conditions were really tough. When I finished at 1-over I thought maybe I’d still have a chance.”

McCormick this year turned 60, but despite wanting to slow his competitive playing, hasn’t done so thanks to some pushing from son Ryan, a past Met Amateur champion and current Korn Ferry Tour competitor.

“My son Ryan is always on my butt to keep playing,” said McCormick. “wanted to start to slow down, but he’s not letting me slow down. He’s making sure I keep playing.”

For Kuehne the opportunity to play a respected championship course and having a connection with members at the club drew him to the northeast to attempt to qualify.

“I wanted a bigger, harder golf course and it looked great on the internet,” said Kuehne, a three-time U.S. Walker Cup team member and four-time U.S. Open competitor. “I was pretty close with the McBrides and when I knew that they played here, I was like, yeah I’ll come up and play, so it worked out.”

Kuehne started on the 10th hole, making birdies on Nos. 12, 15, 17 and 18 to make the turn in 2-under.

“I drove the ball really really well, constantly hitting it over 300 yards and I was in the middle of the fairways, so that really helps,” said Kuehne, 50, who was making his second attempt to qualify for the championship. “With the long rough and as difficult as the greens are here, you really have to be in the fairway to control your ball into the green.”

Though Kuehne added three bogeys to his card on the way in, his strong opening nine lifted him inside the number to earn his spot at SentryWorld, even though his competitive golf has been limited over the last dozen years.

“This is only my fourth tournament in 12 years, so it kind of showed coming in, but I practiced pretty hard, have been working out, working on my body some,” said Kuehne. “I expected to play well and just kind of keep it in front of me, try to keep the nerves out of it. The nerves crept in a little bit, but we got it to the house.”

A playoff took place for the alternate positions among those shooting 2-over 74. Fran Quinn of Holden, Mass., earned the first alternate position, while 2022 U.S. Senior Open competitor Bill Van Orman earned second alternate.

The MGA returns to Arcola this summer, as the club welcomes the Met Open Championship Presented by Callaway for the first time, August 22-24.


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