Newlyweds Hunter (left) and Michelle Parrish (nee Butler)
are competing in concurrent USGA Mid-Amateur championships this week.
The 264 golfers in the 2021 U.S. Mid-Amateur field represent 41 states and 13 countries and range in age from 25 to 64.
There are 10 former USGA champions in the field and nine others who have been runner-ups in USGA competition.
They each have there own story to tell, such as...
--Lukas Michel, 27, of Australia, who became the first international player to win the U.S. Mid-Amateur two years ago, returns to defend the title he won at Colorado Golf Club. The reigning champion also has a master’s degree in mechanical engineering from the University of Melbourne.
--Veterans Michael McCoy (22), Randal Lewis (18), Gene Elliott (16), Nathan Smith (16), Scott Harvey (13), Bryan Hoops (11), Richard “Skip” Berkmeyer (10) have combined to make 106 starts in the U.S. Mid-Amateur. This will be McCoy's 65th USGA competition.
--The reigning U.S. Senior and R&A Amateur champion Gene Elliott, who has competed in 36 USGA championships and 15 U.S. Mid-Amateurs, is in the field, along with fellow seniors Doug Clapp, Jerry Gunthorpe, Doug Hanzel, William Mitchell, Bob Royak, Rusty Strawn and McCoy, a fellow Iowan.
--Hunter Parrish, 28, of Columbia, Mo. and his wife, Michelle (Butler), will be concurrently playing in the U.S. Mid-Amateur and U.S. Women’s Mid-Amateur, as will Christian Slease and his girlfriend, Ashley Sloup.
--Former Dartmouth standout Jeronimo Esteve, who has played in eight USGA championships and five U.S. Mid-Amateurs, has driven in a 25-hour endurance race and has built cars to compete at that level.
--Jay Moore, 38, was a three-year starter at defensive end for the University of Nebraska from 2004-06. He was chosen in the fourth round of the 2007 NFL Draft by the San Francisco 49ers.
--Charles White, 28, of Houston, Texas was selected in the 10th round of the 2016 Major League Baseball Draft by the San Diego Padres. He was a first-team All-America infielder and Southeastern Conference Player of the Year at Texas A&M University.
--Garrett Rank, 34, of Canada, is a full-time National Hockey League referee after previously working in the American Hockey League. He has competed in 22 USGA championships.
Players to Watch (USGA)
Stephen Behr Jr., 28, of Atlanta, Ga.
, was the stroke-play medalist and reached the Round of 16 in the 2018 U.S. Mid-Amateur at Charlotte (N.C.) Country Club. He earned his degree in accounting from Clemson University and became a risk consultant for Ernst & Young. Although he was a second-team All-American and a first-team All-Atlantic Coast Conference selection for the Tigers in 2016, Behr chose not to turn professional. In 2021, Behr tied for third in the Georgia State Amateur, finished third in the Georgia Mid-Amateur and won the National Club Championship at Pinehurst Resort & Country Club. His father, Steve, is the head golf professional at Florence (S.C.) Country Club.
Richard “Skip” Berkmeyer, 47
, of St. Louis, Mo., has competed in 31 USGA championships, including nine U.S. Mid-Amateurs and 11 U.S. Amateurs. He advanced to the Round of 16 in the 2007 Mid-Amateur. Berkmeyer, who owns a custom trophy company and hosts a local radio golf show twice a week, has won three Missouri State Amateur and three Missouri Mid-Amateur titles. His mother, Barb, was the runner-up to Carol Semple Thompson in the 2002 U.S. Senior Women’s Amateur.
James Bohn, 51, of Cary, N.C.
, who played in the 1992 U.S. Amateur, is a dentist who earned his degree from the Temple University School of Dentistry. Bohn, who has a private pilot’s license, also won the 2002 Pennsylvania Mid-Amateur and was runner-up in the 2003 Pennsylvania State Amateur. His brother, Jason, has won on the PGA, Korn Ferry and Canadian Tours and played in two U.S. Opens.
Derek Busby, 37, of Choudrant, La.
, has competed in five U.S. Mid-Amateurs, reaching the Round of 16 twice (2016, 2018). Busby, who has competed in 11 USGA championships, has partnered with Stewart Hagestad to reach match play twice in the U.S. Amateur Four-Ball (2019, 2021). Busby finished second to Derek Hitchner in this year’s Trans-Mississippi Amateur following a two-hole playoff. He won the Gasparilla Invitational in 2020, the Louisiana Mid-Amateur in 2019 and the Louisiana Amateur in 2017.
Doug Clapp, 54, of Walpole, Mass.
, has played in 17 USGA championships, including this year’s U.S. Senior Open at Omaha (Neb.) Country Club. He has advanced to match play five times in eight U.S. Mid-Amateurs starts. Clapp, a real estate and tax attorney, was chosen the 2013 Massachusetts Golf Association Player of the Year and was runner-up in the following year’s Massachusetts State Amateur. He earned second-team All-America honors at Amherst (Mass.) College.
Joseph Deraney, 38, of Tupelo, Miss.
, was the runner-up to Lukas Michel in the 2019 U.S. Mid-Amateur at Colorado Golf Club. He has won two Canadian Mid-Amateurs (2018, 2019), the 2019 Mississippi State Amateur and the 2020 Mississippi Mid-Amateur. A two-time Mississippi Golf Association Player of the Year, Deraney also won the 2016 and 2017 Kentucky Mid-Amateurs. Deraney, a stay-at-home father to three children, has competed in six USGA championships. His wife, Sarah, is a diagnostic radiology specialist.
Patrick Duffy, 50, of Omaha, Neb.
, was general chairman for the 2013 and 2021 U.S. Senior Open Championships, held at Omaha (Neb.) Country Club. Duffy, who is president and managing partner of a private-equity firm, has won three Nebraska Mid-Amateurs and is affiliated with the Nebraska Golf Association as a past president of the board of directors. He has competed in eight USGA championships, including three U.S. Mid-Amateurs. He reached the Round of 16 in 2010.
Marc Dull, 35, of Winter Haven, Fla.
, was the 2015 U.S. Mid-Amateur runner-up to Sammy Schmitz. Dull, who owns a lawn service company and has worked as a caddie at Streamsong (Fla.) Resort, also reached the finals of the 2018 U.S. Amateur Four-Ball with partner Chip Brooke. Dull, who has played in 11 USGA championships, including four U.S. Mid-Amateurs, is the great grandson of two-time U.S. Senior Amateur champion Dexter Daniels. Dull was chosen 2017 Florida State Golf Association player of the year.
Gene Elliott, 59, of West Des Moines, Iowa
, won the 2021 U.S. Senior Amateur Championship at the Country Club of Detroit. He is one of three players to have won the U.S. Senior Amateur, R&A Senior Amateur and Canadian Men’s Senior Amateur. He has competed in 36 USGA championships and 15 U.S. Mid-Amateurs. Elliott has reached match play in 12 of his 15 U.S. Mid-Amateurs and advanced to the quarterfinals in 2006. He won this year’s R&A Senior Amateur in July after losing in a three-hole playoff in 2019. Elliott, who owns a sanitation and street equipment company, underwent open-heart surgery 21 years ago. He was inducted into the Iowa Golf Hall of Fame in 2012.
Jeronimo Esteve, 40, of Puerto Rico
, is vice president and general manager of an automobile group and a driving instructor for high-performance racing cars. Esteve has driven in a 25-hour endurance race and has built cars to compete at that level. He has played in eight USGA championships and five U.S. Mid-Amateurs, advancing to match play twice. Esteve, who lives in Windermere, Fla., and played golf at Dartmouth College, has competed in five Latin America Amateur Championships and two World Amateur Team Championships.
Matthew Galloway, 35
, of Tampa, Fla., has caddied for two-time U.S. Open champion Lee Janzen and 2014 U.S. Women’s Open champion Michelle Wie West. This is his first USGA championship, having advanced through the Sarasota, Fla., qualifier on Aug. 16. After winning eight times as a professional on the West Florida Golf Tour, he was reinstated as an amateur in 2017. He won the 2007 Florida State Amateur and helped the University of West Florida capture the 2008 NCAA Division II national title. A three-time All-American, Galloway is a member of the school’s athletic half fame.
Arnell Garza, 39, of Kennewick, Wash.
, is an investigator for the state’s Department of Children, Youth and Families. Garza, who played in the 2004 U.S. Amateur Public Links, served in the U.S. Air Force and was stationed in Afghanistan, Korea and Japan. He won the gold medal in the 2006 CISM World Military Championship in Ireland. He later played on the Gateway Tour and was an assistant professional at a club in Arizona. He was reinstated as an amateur in 2016. Garza shared medalist honors with a 70 in U.S. Mid-Amateur qualifying at Portland (Ore.) Golf Club on Aug. 23.
C.J. Gatto, 36, of Athens, Ga.
, is the executive director of American College Development Solutions, an international organization that develops junior athletes into college-bound student-athletes. He serves on the Junior Golf Tour of Asia Committee that works with the American Junior Golf Association. Gatto, who played at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas (UNLV) from 2003-08, competed on the China and Asian Tours. He was reinstated as an amateur in 2019. His wife, Mimi Burke, was chosen head women’s golf coach at Georgia Southern University last May after working as an assistant at Georgia and Purdue.
Nick Geyer, 34, of San Diego, Calif.
, became the fifth stroke-play playoff participant to reach the U.S. Mid-Amateur quarterfinals in 2019 at Colorado Golf Club. He advanced to the match-play bracket as the No. 63 seed following an 18-for-6 playoff. Geyer, who is a player development representative for a golf club manufacturer, was reinstated as an amateur in 2013 after competing professionally on the eGolf and Hooters Tours. He also served as an assistant golf coach at the University of San Diego and U.S. Military Academy. He has competed in nine USGA championships.
Tom Glissmeyer, 34, of Denver, Colo.
, advanced through both stages of qualifying to the 2003 U.S. Open at age 16, becoming the youngest to qualify for the championship since 1941. Glissmeyer, a commercial real estate developer who was reinstated as an amateur in 2015, will compete in his first USGA championship in 15 years, after sharing medalist honors in the Windsor, Colo., qualifier. Glissmeyer, who was a two-time All-American at the University of Southern California, is competing in his eighth USGA event and his first since the 2006 U.S. Amateur.
Josh Granger, 29, of Los Angeles, Calif.
, is an officer with the City of Monrovia Police Department. He received the distinguished service medal in 2020. Granger, who is competing in his first USGA championship, shared medalist honors with a 67 in qualifying at Brentwood Country Club, in Los Angeles. He had a brief professional career before being reinstated as an amateur in 2016 and then attending the police academy. He played college golf at the University of California, Davis.
Jerry Gunthorpe, 58, of Ovid, Mich.
, was the runner-up to Gene Elliott in the 2021 U.S. Senior Amateur Championship on Sept. 2 at the Country Club of Detroit in his home state. Gunthorpe, the president of a plumbing and heating company, won the Golf Association of Michigan Mid-Amateur’s Senior Division in 2020. He previously played in one USGA championship, reaching match play in the 2019 U.S. Senior Amateur. His sons, Nathan and Nick, have competed in the 2006 U.S. Amateur and 2019 U.S. Mid-Amateur, respectively.
Stewart Hagestad, 30, of Newport Beach, Calif.
, won the 2016 U.S. Mid-Amateur Championship by rallying to defeat Scott Harvey in 37 holes. Hagestad, who produced the largest comeback victory since a 36-hole final was introduced in 2001, has played in 23 USGA championships. He has been a member of three winning USA Walker Cup Teams (2017, 2019, 2021) and won a gold medal in the mixed team competition of the 2019 Pan American Games. Hagestad also reached the semifinals in both the 2018 and 2019 U.S. Mid-Amateurs. He was the low amateur in the 2017 Masters Tournament, becoming the first invited Mid-Amateur champion to make the 36-hole cut, and has competed in three U.S. Opens (2017, 2018, 2019).
Scott Harvey, 43, of Greensboro, N.C.
, has competed in 33 USGA championships, including 12 U.S. Mid-Amateurs. He won the 2014 U.S. Mid-Amateur at Saucon Valley Country Club in Bethlehem, Pa., and was the runner-up to Stewart Hagestad in 2016. Harvey, a property manager, owns a 20-10 match-play Mid-Amateur record and was a member of the 2015 USA Walker Cup Team. He also won the 2019 U.S. Amateur Four-Ball with partner Todd Mitchell at Bandon Dunes Golf Resort. Harvey, who qualified for the 2017 U.S. Open, captured this year’s Carolinas Amateur and tied for third in the Terra Cotta Invitational.
John Jennison, 37, of San Francisco, Calif.
, will compete in his first USGA championship as one of six players who advanced from the Garden City, N.Y., qualifier on Aug. 17. His father, Jay, played in the first U.S. Mid-Amateur in 1981 and reached match play. John, who works in technology investment banking, was the 2006 NCAA Division III national runner-up and a first-team All-American at Rhodes College, in Memphis, Tenn. Jennison, who has worked in China and Latin America, serves on the Board of Directors of the First Tee of San Francisco.
Brandon Johnson, 35, of Beavercreek, Ohio
, is a senior cost analyst for multiple NATO programs at a contractor for the U.S. Department of Defense. Johnson, a native of Duluth, Minn., was a defenseman on the U.S. Air Force Academy hockey team (2006-10) and rose to the rank of Air Force captain. Johnson, who played in the 2017 U.S. Mid-Amateur, has won two Veteran Golf Association National Championships (2016, 2018) and tied for second in the 2018 All-Armed Forces Championship.
Drew Kittleson, 32, of Scottsdale, Ariz.
, was the runner-up to Danny Lee in the 2008 U.S. Amateur at Pinehurst No. 2. Kittleson, a Florida State University graduate who was reinstated as an amateur six years ago, is an owner of a kitchen and bathroom remodeling company. Kittleson, who reached match play in his first U.S. Mid-Amateur in 2019, has competed in eight USGA championships. He played in the Masters and U.S. Open in 2009 and reached the quarterfinals of the 2005 U.S. Junior Amateur.
Jake Koppenberg, 34, of Bellingham, Wash.
, reached the quarterfinals of the 2019 U.S. Mid-Amateur at Colorado Golf Club. He has played in eight USGA championships, including five U.S. Amateurs. Koppenberg, who works in business development for a communications services company, was a two-time All-American and twice Great Northwest Athletic Conference Player of the Year at Western Washington University, where he enlisted a sports psychology professor to help him with the mental side of golf. He was also a volunteer assistant golf coach at his alma mater.
Randal Lewis, 64, of Alma, Mich.
, is the second-oldest player in this year’s U.S. Mid-Amateur field. He has competed in 34 USGA championships and 17 U.S. Mid-Amateurs. He became the oldest winner (age 54) in U.S. Mid-Amateur history by defeating Kenny Cook, 3 and 2, at Shadow Hawk Golf Club in 2011 and was the runner-up to past USA Walker Cup captain John “Spider” Miller in 1996. Lewis, who has a 21-9 match-play Mid-Amateur record, was named the Michigan Golf Association’s Player of the Decade for the 1990s and was inducted in the Michigan Golf Hall of Fame in 2009. Lewis, who has won two Michigan State Amateurs, has also played in nine U.S. Amateurs and two U.S. Senior Opens.
Nick Maccario, 29, of Haverhill, Mass.
, was the 2020 Massachusetts Golf Association Player of the Year when he was the runner-up in both the New England Amateur and Massachusetts Amateur and finished third in the state Mid-Amateur. Maccario, who works for an investment company, has competed in two USGA championships, the 2019 U.S. Amateur and 2021 U.S. Amateur Four-Ball. Maccario, who played at St. John’s Prep and Saint Anselm College, also won the 2019 Massachusetts Mid-Amateur.
William Mallon, 53, of Vero Beach, Fla.
, is an ophthalmologist and chief executive officer of an eye-care practice. He has played in two U.S. Mid-Amateurs (2002, 2007) and his late father, Harold, competed in the 1993 U.S. Senior Amateur. Mallon, who started playing during the 1980s in the Flint (Mich.) junior program, also owns a golf recreation and entertainment facility.
Michael McCoy, 58, of Des Moines, Iowa
, has competed in 64 USGA championships, including 21 U.S. Mid-Amateurs. He was the low amateur in the 2014 and 2015 U.S. Senior Opens and in 2013 was the second-oldest winner of the U.S. Mid-Amateur when he defeated Bill Williamson in the 36-hole final at the Country Club of Birmingham (Ala.). A member of the 2015 USA Walker Cup Team, he owns a 27-13 Mid-Amateur match-play record. McCoy, whose son, Nate, is also in this year’s field, works in the insurance business and is a member of the Iowa Golf Hall of Fame.
Nate McCoy, 31, of Ankeny, Iowa
, is the director of handicapping and course rating for the Iowa Golf Association. He has played in two U.S. Amateurs (2009, 2019). McCoy, whose father, Michael, is also in this year’s U.S. Mid-Amateur field, played at Iowa State University where he earned All-Central Region and All-Big 12 Conference recognition and was the first Cyclone to advance to the NCAA Championship since 1980. McCoy, who made 37 starts on PGA Tour Canada, was reinstated as an amateur in 2018. He was the runner-up in this year’s Iowa State Amateur.
Yaroslav Merkulov, 29, of Rochester, N.Y.
, was a quarterfinalist in the 2019 U.S. Mid-Amateur at Colorado Golf Club. Merkulov, who is a field sales engineer for an optical products manufacturer, has competed in seven USGA championships, including three U.S. Amateurs. He also advanced to the quarterfinals of the 2009 U.S. Junior Amateur, losing to three-time USGA champion Jordan Spieth. Merkulov, who was born in Russia and recovered from open-heart surgery at age 11, attempted to qualify for the Mackenzie Tour-PGA Tour Canada in 2016 and was reinstated as an amateur three years later. He played golf at Duke University.
Lukas Michel, 27, of Australia
, became the first international player to win the U.S. Mid-Amateur when he defeated Joseph Deraney in the 36-hole final at Colorado Golf Club. He went on to play in the U.S. Open and the Masters in 2020. Michel, who earned a master’s degree in mechanical engineering from the University of Melbourne, grew up playing with Curtis Luck (2016 U.S. Amateur champion) and Oliver Goss (2013 U.S. Amateur runner-up). His father, Ivor, immigrated from Czechoslovakia in the late 1960s. Michel, who works as a golf course architect, won this year’s Australian Master of the Amateurs.
Jamie Miller, 36, of Silver Creek, N.Y.
, is a part of a golf family. His father, Allen, was a member of the 1969 and 1971 USA Walker Cup Teams and won on the PGA Tour. His mother, Cindy, competed on the LPGA Tour from 1979-81 and played in five U.S. Women’s Opens. Jamie is competing in his 10th USGA championship, a list that includes the 2014 and 2018 U.S. Mid-Amateurs. Miller, who works as a financial advisor, has won two New York State Mid-Amateurs and tied for seventh in this year’s New York State Amateur.
William Mitchell, 57, of Roswell, Ga.
, was the low amateur in the 2021 U.S. Senior Open, when he tied for 46th at Omaha (Neb.) Country Club. He also advanced to the quarterfinals of this year’s U.S. Senior Amateur. He is a performance health coach who has trained PGA Tour players Stewart Cink, Roberto Castro and Casey Wittenberg and LPGA Tour players Mariah Stackhouse and Dori Carter. He has also been a consultant to college and high school teams. Mitchell, whose father, Lawson, was a longtime club professional, played in the 1983 U.S. Amateur, held at North Shore Country Club, in Glenview, Ill., and his caddie was Chris O’Donnell, now a film and TV actor.
Jay Moore, 38, of Lincoln, Neb.
, was a three-year starter at defensive end for the University of Nebraska from 2004-06. He was chosen in the fourth round of the 2007 NFL Draft by the San Francisco 49ers. At 6-foot-4 and 255 pounds, Moore was a member of the practice squad for three NFL teams and played for the United Football League’s Omaha Nighthawks (2010-12). Moore, who started playing golf after college, advanced to his first USGA championship by carding a 68 to earn one of two spots in the Omaha, Neb., qualifier on Aug. 11. He was a runner-up in the 2020 Nebraska Mid-Amateur.
Brad Nurski, 42, of St. Joseph, Mo.
, was the runner-up to Scott Harvey, with whom he shared medalist honors, in the 2014 U.S. Mid-Amateur. Nurski, who is a conductor and switchman for Burlington Northern Santa Fe (BNSF) Railway, has played in 17 USGA championships. The left-hander has won three Missouri Golf Association State Amateur titles (2010, 2017, 2018). In 2019, Nurski won the MGA Stroke Play in a three-way playoff and was runner-up in the MGA Amateur. He is a member of the Missouri Western State University athletic hall of fame.
Cody Paladino, 32, of West Hartford, Conn.
, was the runner-up in the 2007 U.S. Amateur Public Links and has played in eight USGA championships. He is competing in his first U.S. Mid-Amateur. He was reinstated as an amateur in April 2020 after playing professionally for five years on four tours and in 22 countries. Paladino, who works in the healthcare industry, won this year’s New England Amateur with a 54-hole score of 10-under 206 and was runner-up in the Connecticut State Amateur and Connecticut Mid-Amateur. His older brother, Brent, is the senior director of championship administration for the USGA.
Hunter Parrish, 28, of Columbia, Mo.
, and his wife, Michelle (Butler), will be concurrently playing in the U.S. Mid-Amateur and U.S. Women’s Mid-Amateur, from Sept. 25-30. The couple was married in December 2020. Hunter, who is a manager for a concrete company, was added to the U.S. Mid-Amateur field as the first alternate from the St. Joseph, Mo., qualifier. Michelle is one of 26 exempt players in the U.S. Women’s Mid-Amateur, being contested at Berkeley Hall Club, in Bluffton, S.C. She was a semifinalist in 2018 and a quarterfinalist in 2019. Hunter was the runner-up in the 2016 Missouri Amateur.
Matt Parziale, 34, of Brockton, Mass.
, won the 2017 U.S. Mid-Amateur Championship by defeating Josh Nichols at Capital City Club’s Crabapple Course. Parziale became the first Mid-Amateur champion to earn a full exemption into the following year’s U.S. Open. A former firefighter who now works for an insurance brokerage firm, Parziale shared low-amateur honors with Luis Gagne in the 2018 U.S. Open at Shinnecock Hills. He has reached match play in five of six U.S. Mid-Amateurs played. In 2021, Parziale was the runner-up to Michael Thorbjornsen in the Massachusetts State Amateur.
Andrew Paysse, 26, of Temple, Texas
, is the brother-in-law of PGA Tour player Scottie Scheffler, who won the 2013 U.S. Junior Amateur and tied for seventh in the 2021 U.S. Open at Torrey Pines. Paysse, who is an account executive for the family’s insurance company, married Callie Scheffler, who played golf at Texas A&M University from 2014-17. Paysse earned All-Central Region honors as a senior on the Texas A&M men’s team when he posted four top-10 finishes in 2017-18. Paysse, whose brother, William, also plays for the Aggies and reached match play in this year’s U.S. Amateur, was one of four players to advance from the Georgetown, Texas, qualifier, on Aug. 30.
Toby Ragland, 35, of Jacksonville, Fla.
, is a chaplain with the College Golf Fellowship, a ministry that has existed since 1980. He will compete in his first USGA championship in 17 years after playing in both the U.S. Amateur and U.S. Junior Amateur in 2004. Toby and his father, Jim, were both coached on the college level by 1986 U.S. Amateur champion Stewart “Buddy” Alexander. Toby played at the University of Florida, from 2005-09, while Jim, who qualified for two U.S. Amateurs and the 2014 U.S. Senior Open, was a member of the Georgia Southern University team, from 1978-82.
Garrett Rank, 34, of Canada
, is a full-time National Hockey League referee after previously working in the American Hockey League. He has competed in 22 USGA championships, including three U.S. Mid-Amateurs, nine U.S. Amateurs and the 2018 U.S. Open at Shinnecock Hills. In 2021, Rank has finished second in the Porter Cup and tied for second in The Dogwood Invitational. He won the 2019 Western Amateur, becoming the first Canadian to win the championship in 42 years and the first mid-amateur to win the title since 1997. Rank, who overcame a cancer scare at age 23, was runner-up to Nathan Smith in the 2012 U.S. Mid-Amateur. He has won three Canadian Men’s Mid-Amateurs.
Bob Royak, 60, of Alpharetta, Ga.
, won the 2019 U.S. Senior Amateur by defeating Roger Newsom, 1 up, in the final. He has competed in 21 USGA championships, including five U.S. Amateurs, six U.S. Mid-Amateurs and three U.S. Senior Opens (2012, 2019, 2021). He was the oldest player in this year’s U.S. Amateur at Oakmont (Pa.) Country Club. His older brother, Jack, served as his caddie when he won the U.S. Senior Amateur and his younger brother, Paul, played in the same championship. Royak, who is vice president for an executive search firm, won this year’s Georgia Mid-Amateur. He and his wife assist in finding families for Russian orphans.
Kyler Sauer, 30, of Thousand Oaks, Calif.
, is a third-generation firefighter for the city of Burbank. His father, Rich, was a captain for Ventura County, his uncle is a battalion chief for the same county and his grandfather, Gary, worked for the El Segundo department. Sauer, who has played in three USGA championships, reached the semifinals of the 2018 U.S. Mid-Amateur, losing to eventual champion Kevin O’Connell in 19 holes. He competed on the Mackenzie Tour as a professional before regaining his amateur status in 2017. At California State University-Northridge, Sauer was the 2014 Big West Conference runner-up. His father spent two years in the Milwaukee Brewers’ minor league system.
Christian Sease, 27, of Mount Pleasant, S.C.
, and his girlfriend, Ashley Sloup, will be competing at the same time in the U.S. Mid-Amateur and U.S. Women’s Mid-Amateur, from Sept. 25-30. Ashley and Christian, who each played at Winthrop University, advanced to their respective championships on Aug. 11 and 12, in South Carolina. In 2016, they both garnered Carolinas Amateur titles. Sloup, a three-time All-Big South Conference selection, posted a three-stroke victory on May 18 and Sease won on the fourth playoff hole two months later. Sease, who was reinstated as an amateur in Feb. 2021, works for a health insurance agency. Sloup was named assistant men’s golf coach at Campbell University, in Buies Creek, N.C., last March after working as assistant women’s coach at Furman since 2019.
Sammy Schmitz, 41, of Farmington, Minn.
, won the 2015 U.S. Mid-Amateur Championship. Schmitz recorded the second known ace on a par 4 in USGA championship history when he holed his tee shot on No. 15 at John’s Island Club’s West Course in the championship match. Schmitz has competed in nine USGA championships, including six U.S. Mid-Amateurs. He is a member of the St. John’s University (Minn.) J-Club Hall of Honor as the school’s only four-time golf All-American and will be inducted into the MGA-PGA Minnesota Golf Hall of Fame on Nov. 1.
Andres Schonbaum, 30, of Argentina
, advanced to the quarterfinal round of both the 2018 and 2019 U.S. Mid-Amateurs. He has competed in two U.S. Amateurs and three U.S. Mid-Amateurs. Schonbaum tied for 11th in the 2020 Latin America Amateur, his fifth appearance in the championship, and represented his country in the 2018 World Amateur Team Championship. He claimed this year’s Argentine Amateur, winning 9 and 8 in the final. Schonbaum, who is an insurance broker, led Jacksonville State (Ala.) University to the 2011 Ohio Valley Conference Championship.
Jason Schultz, 48, of Allen, Texas
, reached the semifinal round in his first U.S. Mid-Amateur in 2019 at Colorado Golf Club. Schultz, who defeated Andres Schonbaum in the quarterfinals, partnered with Kory Bowman to reach match play in this year’s U.S. Amateur Four-Ball. He was reinstated as an amateur in 2017 after competing on the PGA, Canadian and Nationwide Tours. Schultz, who won the 2005 Chattanooga Classic in a four-man playoff, is a director of sales for an artificial turf company.
Nathan Smith, 43, of Pittsburgh, Pa.
, is a four-time U.S. Mid-Amateur champion (2003, 2009, 2010, 2012). Smith, who is tied for second in career Mid-Amateur match-play wins (34) behind Jerry Courville Jr.’s 36, also won the 2015 U.S. Amateur Four-Ball title with partner Todd White. A member of three USA Walker Cup Teams (2009, 2011, 2013), Smith works as an investment advisor. He has played in 47 USGA championships, including 15 U.S. Mid-Amateurs. Smith, who has won two Pennsylvania Amateurs, has been inducted into Western Pennsylvania Golf and Allegheny College halls of fame.
Rusty Strawn, 58, of McDonough, Ga.
, advanced to the quarterfinals of this year’s U.S. Senior Amateur. He defeated Jim Lehman in the longest Round-of-16 match at the championship since 2016. Strawn, who is the chief executive officer of an insurance firm, has played in eight USGA championships, including four U.S. Mid-Amateurs. Strawn played at Georgia Southern University, where one of his teammates was 2016 U.S. Senior Open champion Gene Sauers.
Justin Tereshko, 31, of Lexington, Ky.
, was chosen head men’s golf coach at Bellarmine University, in Louisville, Ky., on Aug. 13. He previously was a head coach at Hanover College and Guilford College and an assistant coach at the University of Louisville. He has competed in seven previous USGA championships, including three U.S. Amateurs. Tereshko advanced to match play in both of his previous two U.S. Mid-Amateurs (2015, 2017). He was a two-time All-American at Transylvania University and later earned a master’s degree in recreation and sports management from Indiana State University.
Brad Tilley, 38, of Easton, Conn.
, advanced to the quarterfinals and was the stroke-play medalist in the 2017 U.S. Mid-Amateur and made match play the following year. He has played in eight USGA championships, including four U.S. Amateurs. Tilley, a business entrepreneur, competed on professional tours for eight years before regaining his amateur status. In 2019, he won the New York State Mid-Amateur, the MGA Mid-Amateur and the first of two consecutive Westchester Golf Association Mid-Amateurs. He earned first-team All-Atlantic Coast Conference honors at the University of Virginia.
Chad Wilfong, 40, of Charlotte, N.C.
, has competed in four USGA championships. He advanced to the Round of 32 in the 2017 U.S. Mid-Amateur. Wilfong, a financial consultant who was reinstated as an amateur in 2016, played in 23 tournaments on the Web.com Tour from 2003-06. Wilfong, who also competed on the Hooters and eGolf tours, earned All-America recognition at Wake Forest University. He won the Carolinas Mid-Amateur and reached the semifinals of the North & South Amateur in 2021 and captured the North Carolina Mid-Amateur last year.
Charles White, 28, of Houston, Texas
, was selected in the 10th round of the 2016 Major League Baseball Draft by the San Diego Padres. He was a first-team All-America infielder and Southeastern Conference Player of the Year at Texas A&M University and helped the Aggies to 49-16 record and SEC and NCAA regional titles. White, also known as Boomer, played two summers for the Falmouth Commodores in the Cape Cod League (2014, 2015). A commercial real estate broker, White advanced to his first USGA championship by surviving a 4-for-3 playoff to gain one of five spots in the Kingwood, Texas, qualifier on Aug. 23.