Aug. 24, 2018
CARLISLE, Pa. — Three players carded respective 2-under-par 69s to share medalist honors in a U.S. Mid-Amateur Qualifier administered by the Golf Association of Philadelphia at Carlisle Country Club (par 71, 6,400 yards) Friday.
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Lefty Chuck Nettles of McMurray, Pa. and a pair of Daniels (Daniel Hurley of Washington, D.C. and Daniel Walker of University Park, Md.) led a field of 70 players hoping to earn one of four available spots. Justin Young of Salem, Va. buried an eagle putt on No. 9 (par 5, 501 yards), the third playoff hole, from the right fringe to grab the final qualifying position.
The U.S. Mid-Amateur will take place Sept. 22-27 at Charlotte Country Club in Charlotte, N.C.
Carlisle brought out the backbone of each medalist. Nettles vanquished ghosts from a year ago with his performance Friday.
“I was here last year and lost in a playoff [for a qualifying spot]. I wanted another shot at it after barely missing last year,” Nettles, 29, an Oakmont Country Club and St. Clair Country Club member, said. “There was a little extra motivation. I really like the golf course. The greens are awesome.”
Nettles navigated Carlisle’s captivating putting surfaces with four birdies and two bogeys. On the tempting par 4, 251-yard No. 2, he pushed a 3-wood onto the green-friendly No. 3 tee-box. An ideal pitch to a right hole location led to an eight-footer for birdie. Nettles smacked a sand wedge 100 yards into tap-in territory on No. 4 (par 4, 364 yards). An aggressive stroke on the next hole (par 4, 340 yards) caused a bogey. Nettles became enamored with his line for birdie — so much so that exerted too much caution and left it 12 feet short. He then missed a six-foot comebacker for par. As a Carlisle fan, Nettles also loves how the dogleg right, par 5 No. 9 (501 yards) fits his trademark draw. He, unfortunately, flared it onto the top of the fairway bunker, forcing a layup. He missed the green with his third shot and failed to get up-and-down.
A clean inward tour allowed Nettles, who played in the day’s second group, to establish an early benchmark. On No. 11 (par 4, 305 yards), he ripped a driver, flipped a wedge 45 yards and executed a 10-footer for birdie. Nettles propagated pars, including critical saves on pair of par 3s (Nos. 13, 220 yards and 17, 170 yards), before sealing a subpar statement on No. 18 (par 5, 541 yards). He faced a dicey, left-to-right breaking 12-footer up the hill.
“I was thinking about a lot of different things there. Obviously, I was a little nervous,” Nettles, who works for Babb, an independent insurance agency. said. “My wife (Sarah) was telling our 2-year-old daughter Charlotte that, ‘If daddy plays well tomorrow, we might go to your city.’ So I was like, ‘OK, what can I think about here to get all of this out of my head?’ I was just thinking about her and knocked it in.”
Family also came to Hurley’s mind frequently Friday. Wife Jenilee and son Langdon, who will celebrate his first birthday on Monday, made the trip to show their support.
Hurley, 33, who works in management consulting, inked a 34 (2 under) coming in to secure a spot. Both birdies occurred on par 5s. Although his drive on No. 15 (489 yards) sailed left, Hurley retained a chance to reach the green in two strokes, which he did with a 4-iron from 223 yards.
“There was a small window, but a perfect window. It makes you focus. I was able to hit a good one,” he said. Hurley logged two putts from 30 feet for birdie.
Like Nettles, Hurley drained an invigorator on the 18th hole. Knowing that anything long represented prison, he avoided a sentence by playing a hybrid from 259 yards to greenside left — short of the bunker. A flop shot to 15 feet set up an emotional, right-to-left breaking birdie. Hurley walked off the green, hugged his family and sat Langdon on the scoring table as he signed his card.
Hurley previously appeared in the 2011 U.S. Mid-Amateur. Competitive golf went on a hiatus after that.
“I got married in 2013. I watched my brother (Billy) grinding on the PGA TOUR,” Hurley said. “I was actually happy to take a break. I went to business school, changed careers. I had a lot going on. I just had the itch to play again. I didn’t think I had the game anymore. It’s fun to be back. I missed competing.”
Consider sheer desire to earn an invitation to his first USGA event as Walker’s backbone. He, like Hurley, filed a crisp 34 coming in. On No. 12 (par 4, 399 yards), Walker hit a lob wedge 91 yards to 30 feet and drained the downhiller. His hybrid from 212 yards on No. 15 scooted to 40 feet. Walker lagged his eagle effort to five feet and cleaned up the birdie putt.
Speaking of eagle, Walker holed a wedge from 98 yards on No. 4 (par 4, 364 yards) — perhaps a sign of the memorable day to come.
“Obviously, we all dream about playing in USGA events. Some guys are lucky to play in a whole bunch of them,” Walker, 35, who works in corporate finance, said. “I’ve always hoped to make one. I went to [Davidson College] right outside Charlotte. I have a couple of buddies who are members of Charlotte Country Club. It’ll be cool to get down there.”
Young heads to the U.S. Mid-Amateur for a second time. He gained the Round of 16 in 2015, when he fell to David Gies, II, 6&5.
Golf Association of Philadelphia
Founded in 1897, the Golf Association of Philadelphia (GAP) is the oldest regional or state golf association in the United States. It serves as the principal ruling body of amateur golf in its region. The Association’s 260 Full Member Clubs and 75,000 individual members are spread across Eastern Pennsylvania and parts of New Jersey and Delaware. As Philadelphia’s Most Trusted Source of Golf Information, the Golf Association of Philadelphia’s mission is to promote, preserve and protect the game of golf.
|Daniel Hurley, Washington, D.C.||69|
|Chuck Nettles, McMurray, Pa.||69|
|Daniel Walker, University Park, Md.||69|
|*Justin Young, Salem, Va.||70|
|Alternates (in order)|
|*Greg Burkavage, Baltimore, Md.||70|
|*Jimmy Ellis, Venetia, Pa.||70|
|Failed to qualify|
|*Jarred Texter, Lancaster, Pa.||70|
|Brett Diakon, Perkasie, Pa.||71|
|Joshua Krumholz, Reading, Pa.||71|
|Jeffrey Long, Ashburn, Va.||71|
|Bart Mease, Gaithersburg, Md.||71|
|Keith Unikel, Bethesda, Md.||71|
|Brett Williams, Lutherville, Md.||71|
|Zachary Fischl, Northampton, Pa.||72|
|Brandon Knaub, York, Pa.||72|
|Drew Allenspach, Washington, D.C.||73|
|Michael Disante, York Haven, Pa.||73|
|Jeff Hudson, Center Valley, Pa.||73|
|Christopher Binder, Collingswood, N.J.||74|
|Ed Brown, Rehoboth Beach, Del.||74|
|Ryan Cass, Lawnside, N.J.||74|
|Scott Micklewright, Harrisburg, Pa.||74|
|Frank Schiel, Jr., Hanover Township, Pa.||74|
|Christopher Davidson, Baltimore, Md.||75|
|Tim Elliott, Glen Arm, Md.||75|
|Chris Holland, Fayetteville, N.C.||75|
|Scott Kegerreis, Chambersburg, Pa.||75|
|Todd Manning, Pontiac, Ill.||75|
|Ryan Barnett, Philadelphia, Pa.||76|
|Jordan Claffey, Long Island City, N.Y.||76|
|Adam Scuilli, Pittsburgh, Pa.||76|
|Chris Tobias, Daytona, Fla.||76|
|Todd Brown, Bluffton, S.C.||77|
|Dan Falls, Goshen, Md.||77|
|Luke Long, Harrisonburg, Va.||77|
|Zack Meyers, Rockville, Md.||77|
|Mike Moffat, Warrington, Pa.||77|
|Vincent Scarpetta III, Crystal Lake, Pa.||77|
|Dominic Schiavone, Bangor, Pa.||77|
|Steve Skurla, West Chester, Pa.||77|
|Michael Zupi, Lafayette Hill, Pa.||77|
|William Bello, Freehold, N.J.||78|
|Clayton Davidson, Mechanicsburg, Pa.||78|
|Michael Fagan, Conshohocken, Pa.||78|
|Ben Lukehart, Towson, Md.||78|
|Andrew Peet, Parkville, Md.||78|
|Mark Wachter, Wilmington, Del.||78|
|William Howard, West Chester, Pa.||79|
|John Losco, Bethlehem, Pa.||79|
|Pete Moran, Chester Springs, Pa.||79|
|Trey Owen, Austin, Texas||79|
|Matthew Porter, Hoboken, N.J.||79|
|Stuart Augustine, Fayetteville, N.C.||80|
|Mark Coassolo, Macungie, Pa.||80|
|Kevin Haag, Hershey, Pa.||80|
|Ben Kaestner, Glyndon, Md.||80|
|Harry Kirkpatrick, Worcester, Mass.||80|
|Fredrick Taggart, Strasburg, Pa.||80|
|Todd Vonderheid, Lewisburg, Pa.||80|
|Rich Owsik, Bryn Mawr, Pa.||81|
|Steve Crain, Dillsburg, Pa.||82|
|Eric Plisko, Hanover Township, Pa.||82|
|Larry Martone, Washington, D.C.||84|
|Justin Schorr, Elkins Park, Pa.||84|
|Rich Thon, Swarthmore, Pa.||84|
|Alex Hosier, Baltimore, Md.||85|
|Troy Bye, Winchester, Va.||86|
|Ryan Taylor, New York, N.Y.||90|
|Ashley Brasfield, Merion Station, Pa.||WD|
|Adam Carlson, Egg Harbor Township, N.J.||WD|
|William Davenport, Palm City, Fla.||WD|
|Philip Gutterman, Huntington, N.Y.||WD|
|Jim Hughes, Carlisle, Pa.||WD|
|Brendan Kelly, Annapolis, Md.||WD|
|Nicholas Lombardi, Camp Hill, Pa.||WD|
|Rand Mendez, Wilmington, Del.||WD|
|Gary Stewart, York, Pa.||WD|
|Matthew Vassil, Dalton, Pa.||WD|
|* — determined in playoff|
|WD — withdrawal|