Mike Van Sickle, who helped Pennsylvania win the 2009 USGA Men’s State Team Championship, advanced one step closer to playing in his first U.S. Open.
The son of Sports Illustrated magazine golf writer Gary Van Sickle, the 25-year-old graduate of Marquette University posted a 5-under-par 67 at Quicksilver Country Club in Midway, Pa., to earn medalist honors out of a field of 54 golfers.
Van Sickle, of Wexford, Pa., closed with five birdies over his last seven holes to best Kevin Shields and Duke University junior Brinson Paolini by two strokes.
“I got hot at the end,” Van Sickle told the Beaver County Times.
Van Sickle’s father will look to join him in sectional qualifying on June 4 when he plays his local qualifier May 16 at Indiana (Pa.) Country Club. Gary Van Sickle qualified for last year’s USGA Senior Amateur at Kinloch Golf Club in suburban Richmond, Va.
“My dad’s a pretty good player,” said Van Sickle, who will play his sectional in Columbus, Ohio. “He did beat me last week when we played match play.”
As of May 11, nearly half of the 109 local qualifiers have been completed. Thirty-two qualifiers will be contested on May 14.
At Lake Wales (Fla.) Country Club, 14-year-old Andy Zhang from the People’s Republic of China shot a 69 to earn one of the final spots.
Also on May 9, three golfers sharing the name Schultz advanced at Las Colinas C.C. in Irving, Texas. Jason Schultz, of Allen, Texas, shot a 67, while David Schultz, of Dallas, and David E. Schultz, of Fargo, N.D. – they are not related – each carded 68s.
At Pine Barrens Golf Club in Jackson, N.J., 2003 USA Walker Cup member and current Nationwide Tour player Chris Nallen, of Tucson, Ariz., advanced with a 71.
One notable who failed to advance was ex-NHL goaltender and 2002 Olympic silver medalist Mike Dunham, of Concord, Mass. Dunham shot a 73 at Pinehills C.C. in Plymouth, Mass., to miss by three strokes. He was a first alternate in 2011. Former PGA Tour player Len Mattiace earned second-alternate status at the Lake Wales C.C. qualifier.
Compiled by senior USGA staff writer David Shefter. E-mail him at email@example.com.
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