Of the 34 amateurs who started the week – the most since 2012 – four made the cut, and Billy Mitchell
of Atlanta, Ga., came through on the weekend with rounds of 72-74 to earn low-amateur honors and a berth in the 121st U.S. Amateur Championship at Oakmont in August, among other perks.
Mitchell, 57, is a performance health coach who has worked with a number of PGA Tour and LPGA Tour players, including Stewart Cink, Roberto Castro, Casey Wittenberg and Mariah Stackhouse, as well as many high school and college teams.
Mitchell, who played the final round with two-time major champion Mark O’Meara, outlasted Todd White
by four strokes with a 12-over total of 292, after trailing him by three entering the weekend.
“I didn’t hit it really well on the back nine, but I made some really spectacular up-and-downs. I feel a little emotional about it. A lot of people helped me get here; it’s very special.”
Mitchell, 58, was one of five players to advance through the Milton, Ga., qualifier. Mitchell, whose father, Lawson, was a longtime club professional, reached the Round of 16 in the 2019 U.S. Senior Amateur. He won the 2012 Georgia State Amateur, the 2016 Georgia Senior Open and the Gasparilla Invitational.
White, of Spartanburg, S.C., is a history teacher who also coaches the boys’ and girls’ golf teams at Spartanburg High School. The Vikings tied for fourth in the Class 5A boys state championship and the girls finished ninth in the state in 2021. White was competing in his first U.S. Senior Open and 30th USGA championship in Omaha. He and Nathan Smith partnered to win the inaugural U.S. Amateur Four-Ball Championship in 2015 at The Olympic Club. White and Smith were members of the victorious 2013 USA Walker Cup Team.
In addition to Mitchell and White, Mark Strickland
(61st) and Mike McCoy
(62nd) also played the weekend at Omaha Country Club.
ABOUT THE U.S. Senior Open
The U.S. Senior Open is one of 14 national
championships conducted by the USGA. Open
to amateurs and professionals who have
their 50th birthday as of the first day of the
The Senior Open was
played in 1980 with a purse of, get this, just
$100,000. Roberto Vincenzo of Argentina was
inaugural champion (winning $20,000), and
Palmer was a popular winner the following year
1981 at Oakland Hills.
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