2018 U.S. Senior Open Qualifying Roundup
11 Jun 2018
by Chris Brauner of AmateurGolf.com

see also: U.S. Senior Open Qualifying, Various sites across the United States

VARIOUS SITES, USA - Over 2000 senior golfers are attempting qualifying for the 39th U.S. Senior Open at 34 sites across the country, hoping to make it through to the championship, to be held at The Broadmoor in Colorado Springs, CO, June 28 - July 1, 2018.

Last year 13 amateurs made it to Salem Country Club in Peabody, MA, with only one, Robert Funk of Canyon Lake, CA, making the cut and playing all 72 holes.

Highlights from qualifying include:

May 22

Brad Wayment
Brad Wayment
The first amateur to make the U.S. Senior Open field did so in spectacular fashion. Playing at the Omni Tucson National Resort in Arizona, Brad Wayment (Mesa, AZ) shot a 3-under 70. But so did six other players, and since professional Brian Cooper had taken one of the two available spots with a 68, it meant there would be a seven-way playoff for the final spot. Playing against six professionals, Wayment would emerge the winner and punch his ticket to The Broadmoor.

May 24

Mike Finster
Mike Finster
For the fourth straight year, Mike Finster (St. Petersburg, FL) qualified for the U.S. Senior Open, a remarkable accomplishment. Finster shot a 3-under 68 Vinoy Golf Club in St. Petersburg, and then survived a 3-for-2 playoff to advance. Finster has already played the U.S. Senior Open at Del Paso Country Club in Sacramento, Calif.; Scioto Country Club in Upper Arlington, Ohio; and Salem Country Club in Peabody, Mass.

Peter DeTemple Ned Zachar
Peter DeTemple
Ned Zachar
Amateurs took two of three spots at Suburban Golf Club in Union, NJ. Peter DeTemple (Lexington Park, MD), the reigning Senior Masters champion who also qualified for the Senior Open in 2012, shot a 2-under 69, as did Ned Zachar (Bedford, NY). They then advanced though a 3-for-2 playoff.

May 29

Dennis Martin (Oakland, CA) became the first amateur to earn medalist honors in 2018 U.S. Senior Open qualifying, shooting a 2-under 68 at Diablo (Calif.) Country Club. Martin made four birdies against two bogeys and was the only player to break par in the 82-player qualifier.

May 31

Jack Larkin and John Smoltz
Jack Larkin (L) and John Smoltz
Jack Larkin (Atlanta, GA), the 1979 U.S. Junior champion who last week made a quarterfinal run at the U.S Four-Ball Championship, shot a 4-under 68 at Planterra Ridge Golf Club at Peachtree City, GA to share medalist honors. Former Atlanta Braves pitcher and Hall of Famer John Smoltz got it to five under through 11 holes, then lost two shots coming in, giving him a 69 forcing him into a three-way playoff against two professionals (including former Tur player Brian Tennyson) for the final qualifying spot. Smoltz birdied the first playoff hole to eliminate Tennyson, then won the playoff on the third extra hole.

Daniel Owen (Ocala, FL) birdied the last hole on the Country Club of Ocala (Fla.) to shoot a 1-under 71, and then won a playoff for the final qualifying spot.

Scott McGihon
Scott McGihon
June 4

Amateurs took all three spots at the Los Angeles, CA qualifier, and were the only three players to break par at Brentwood Country Club. Scott McGihon (La Quinta, CA) shot one of the best qualifying rounds of any 2018 U.S. Senior Open qualifier, making 8 birdies and shooting a 7-under 65. He was the qualifying medalist by six shots. Tim Hogarth (Northridge, CA) qualified for the second straight year, shooting a 1-under 71. Wayne Merich (Moorpark, CA) also shot 71 to advance to the championship.

Jack Hall
Jack Hall
Jack Hall (Savannah, GA) was the qualifying medalist by three shots at the Callawassie Island Club in Okatie, SC. Hall bogeyed his first hole but then made six birdies before making a late bogey for a 4-under 68. With his performance, Hall ascended to the top of the AmateurGolf.com Senior Player-of-the-Year Points Race.

Tim Dunlavey (Spartanburg, SC) took the second and final qualifying spot at Highland Country Club in Fayetteville, NC. Dunlavey had a six-birdie, one-bogey 67.

June 5

Frank Vana, Jr.
Frank Vana, Jr.
Frank Vana, Jr. (Boxford, MA) qualified for his first U.S. Senior Open, shooting a 1-under 70 at the Bay Club at Mattapoisett (Mass.). Vana was a semifinalist at last year's U.S. Senior Amateur.

James Camaione (Upland, CA) was the medalist at Crystalaire Country Club in Llano, CA, shooting a 1-under 71. In the "every shot counts" department, had Camaione taken one more shot he would have faced a 9-for-3 playoff. Instead he got through cleanly and got a medal to take home as well.

June 6

Jerry Slagle Robby McWilliams
Jerry Slagle
Robby McWilliams
Two qualifiers were held in Texas--one in DFW and one in Houston. At the Dallas Athletic Club, amateur Jerry Slagle (Southlake, TX) shot an even-par 71 on the Blue Course and then won a playoff for the last qualifying spot. At The Woodlands Country Club, Robby McWilliams (Benton, LA) was one of four players to shoot 1-under 71 at the Player Course. A 4-for-3 playoff was held to determine the three qualifiers, which McWilliams got through to earn his place in the field at The Broadmoor.

June 11

Stephen Sear
Stephen Sear
Stephen Sear (Washoe Valley, NV) shot a bogey-free 4-under 68 to top the field at Rancho Murieta (Calif.) Country Club. With three players at 69 and only two spots available, Sear's birdies on 15 and 17 were crucial.

Bob Harrington (Portland, OR), the reigning Oregon Senior Men’s Amateur champion and a member of the OGA Executive Committee, shot an even-par 71 to take one of the four qualifying spots at Waverley Country Club in Portland.

What's Next

The 39th U.S. Senior Open Championship will be played at The Broadmoor in Colorado Springs, CO, June 28 - July 1, 2018.

ABOUT THE U.S. Senior Open Qualifying

18 hole stroke play qualifying held at sites across the United States. Open to professionals and amateurs ages 50 and above. Handicap limit of 3.4 for amateurs.

View Complete Tournament Information

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