Flagstaff, Ariz. (Sept 11, 2006) -– Carlton Forrester, 30, of Birmingham, Ala., Trip Kuehne, 34, of Dallas, Texas, and Ryan Hybl, 25, Winterville, Ga., finished in a three-way tie for medalist honors Monday after two rounds of stroke play at the U.S. Mid-Amateur Championship at Forest Highlands Golf Club.
The three were tied at 4-under-par 139. One stroke behind that group was defending champion Kevin Marsh, 33, of Las Vegas, Nev., and Skip Berkmeyer, 32, of St. Louis, Mo., who reached match play at the 2006 U.S. Amateur championship.
Inclement weather halted play Sunday afternoon, forcing 131 golfers to resume their second round on Monday morning.
With the conclusion of the second round of stroke play, the low 64 scorers advance to the first round of match play Monday afternoon. The cut for match play came at 5-over-par 148.
“It was hard this morning,” said Kuehne, recently selected to the three-man USA team which will compete in the World Amateur Team Championship in October. “In the back of your mind you are thinking about being the medalist, but that’s not really the goal this week.”
Forrester, last year’s Mid-Amateur runner-up, birdied his last two holes to finish with a 4-under-par 68 at the 7,339-yard Meadow Course at Forest Highlands. Kuehne, who began his second round with two birdies, finished with an ever-par 71 over the tighter 6,941-yard Canyon Course that will be used exclusively for the six rounds of match play through Thursday.
Hybl, who shared the first round lead with a 67, finished his second round with an even-par 72 at the Meadow Course. The other first-round leader, Eric Rustand, 37, of Tucson, Ariz., slipped to an 81 for a 36-hole total of 5-over 148 which was just good enough to earn a spot in the match-play field. The cut came at 5-over 148.
There were nine players who finished under par for the stroke-play portion of the championship. Behind the leaders were three more in at 141 and another at 142.
Five past USGA champions were among those advancing to match play. Joining Marsh were: Tim Hogarth, 40, of Northridge, Calif., the 1996 U.S. Amateur Public Links champion, tied for 10th at 144; Nathan Smith, 28, of Pittsburgh, Pa., the 2003 Mid-Amateur champion, tied for 17th at 145; Tim Jackson, 47, of Germantown, Tenn., the 1994 and 2001 Mid-Amateur champion, tied for 22nd at 146; and Greg Reynolds, 59, of Grand Blanc, Mich., the 2002 USGA Senior Amateur champion, tied for 38th at 147.
Jackson and Reynolds will face each other in one of the 32 first-round matches. Kuenhe faces James Lehman, 48, of Minneapolis, Minn. Lehman is the older brother of Tom Lehman, PGA professional and captain of the 2006 USA Ryder Cup team.
“I have some opportunities here because of my length,” said Kuehne, the 1994 Amateur runner-up to Tiger Woods. “I hope that will help me in match play. Ultimately though, the guy who hits the most quality shots will come out on top.”
Kuehne is hoping to join his brother, Hank, and sister, Kelli, as a USGA champion. Hank won the 1998 Amateur; Kelli won the 1994 U.S. Girls’ Junior and the 1995 and 1996 Women’s Amateur. Both are now professional golfers.
The Mid-Amateur is one of 13 national championships conducted annually by the United States Golf Association, 10 of which are strictly for amateurs.
Story written by Craig Smith, director of media relations. E-mail him with questions or comments at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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