May 11, 2023

#USOpen Local Qualifying at Rolling Green

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Cover and Mitchell Share Medalist Honors

A slow and steady progression in golf caused Patrick Cover to be a late bloomer even though he played it since he was a young kid.

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While the results haven’t been immediate, he’s found a way to start his professional golf journey with success. He currently has full status on the Korn Ferry Tour with his best finish being a T14 at The Panama Championship in February. He is currently 58th on the money list.

Cover, a University of North Carolina Wilmington graduate, stayed at his pace to share medalist honors in U.S. Open Local Qualifying administered by GAP at Rolling Green Golf Club (par 70, 6,894 yards) Thursday.

Rising Drexel University senior Griffin Mitchell also carded a 67 in the same group as Cover.

The other qualifiers include professionals Michael Chanaud of Ocean View, Del. (68), Zac Oakley of King of Prussia, Pa. (69), Chris Crawford (69) of Bensalem, Pa. as well as amateur and Rolling Green member Matthew Bastian, Jr. (69).

The cutline stopped at 69.

The 123rd U.S. Open will take place June 15-18 at The Los Angeles Country Club in Los Angeles, Calif.

Competitors only played a 17-hole course. An irrigation pipe underneath the seventh green (par 5, 515 yards) burst on Tuesday night, leaving the putting surface unplayable. GAP’s tournament staff talked with USGA officials and it was recommended to have players skip the hole and award a par to all competitors for scoring purposes to have an 18-hole event.

“Rolling Green suits good golf,” Cover, 27, of Charlotte, N.C., said. “Ultimately, I don’t think it favors a specific playing style. You can play to your strengths. It is a course that you have to think well at.”

Cover competed at Rolling Green in 2021 when the Forme Tour held an event there. The Forme Tour was created due to travel restrictions outside the United States because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

A familiar course with comfortable sightlines made this a good choice for qualifying.

Starting on the back nine, Cover played steady golf. He went out in 1 under par. He curled in a 20-footer on No. 3 (par 3, 177 yards) to get to two under. But a bogey on No. 4 (par 4, 398 yards) got him back to 1 under. He stayed calm but knew he had to make some birdies coming in.

“The biggest thing I have learned in my professional journey thus far is my resilience,” Cover said. “I have found that I play better with my back against the wall. I made a bad bogey on No. 4 to get me back to 1 under but then I birdied the next two holes. I tend to do well when I am faced with adversity.”

On No. 5 (par 4, 423 yards), he hit a lob wedge from 95 yards to 35 feet and caressed the putt perfectly into the bottom of the cup. His best shot of the day came on No. 6 (par 3, 189 yards). A squared-up 7-iron to eight feet got him to 3 under.

A tidy save on his closing hole No. 9 (par 5, 611 yards) left him feeling satisfied. His wedge shot for his third landed flag high but spun back 50 feet off the green. He hit an exquisite pitch to tap-in range to finish at 67.

Since turning professional in 2019, he’s played on PGA TOUR China, PGA TOUR Canada and the Korn Ferry Tour. This will be his third trip to Final Qualifying.

“Traveling around the world for professional golf has been a great experience,” Cover said. “Getting to see golf courses all across the world and learning good ways to succeed on and off the course has been rewarding. I feel like I have continued to improve slowly over the years. I haven’t peaked yet.”

Mitchell was the opposite of Cover. He didn’t take golf seriously until he was in high school. But even in the short time he’s been playing it has been rewarding.

“I was a late bloomer to golf. I didn’t take golf seriously until my freshman year of high school at Columbus Academy,” Mitchell, 21, of Columbus, Ohio said. “We had a good high school team so I had my work cut out for me to be able to play.”

Mitchell got off to a hot start. He was 3 under through eight holes highlighted by an ace on No. 16 (par 3, 152 yards) with a pitching wedge. 

He would finish at 3 under after mixing two birdies and two bogeys on the front which was his final nine. A three-putt bogey on No. 9 (par 5, 611 yards) left a sour taste in his mouth but he was still pleased with the result.

But how does a kid from Ohio get to Drexel?

“My grandfather Paul was a Drexel alum and my parents lived in Wilmington, Del.,” Mitchell said. Luckily, Drexel’s coach Ben Feld took a chance on me. I am glad I have this opportunity. Coming to Drexel has been unbelievable.”

He will head to the Final Qualifying for the first time in his hometown at Brookside Golf & Country Club & The Lakes Golf & Country Club on June 5.

“Regardless of whether I play well or not, it will be a good experience for me,” Mitchell said. “Playing against all these great players will only be beneficial to me. I am looking forward to it.”

Chanaud, a professional playing out of Bear Trap Dunes, carded the low round of the afternoon wave at 2 under.

“I played terrible in the Forme Tour event here a few years ago,” Chanaud, 29, said. “I wanted to make 18 pars. I played as conservative as possible. The birdies just came to me.”

The highlight of his round came on No. 15, a hole that has had his number over the years. A laser 50-degree wedge from 110 yards to a foot put a charge in his step and a red circle on his card.

Chanaud won the 2022 GAP/DSGA Mid-Open in a playoff at Heritage Shores Club over fellow Bear Trap Dunes pro Michael Rushin.

“This will be my first trip to Final Qualifying,” said Chanaud. “I was happy to hit some quality shots today under the tough conditions. I look forward to having a chance to play for a spot in the U.S. Open.”

GAP

Celebrating Amateur Golf since 1897, GAP, also known as the Golf Association of Philadelphia, 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 organization’s 340 Member Clubs and 100,000 individual members are spread across Pennsylvania, Delaware, New Jersey and Maryland. The GAP’s mission is to promote, preserve and protect the game of golf.

Qualifiers
Name, city, stateScore
Patrick Cover, Charlotte, N.C.67
(a) Griffin Mitchell, New Albany, Ohio67
Michael Chanaud, Ocean View, Del.68
Zachary Oakley, King of Prussia, Pa.69
Christopher Crawford, Bensalem, Pa.69
(a) Matthew Bastian, Jr., Philadelphia, Pa.69
Alternates (in order)
Carey Bina, King of Prussia, Pa.70
*(a) Connor Bennink, Philadelphia, Pa.71
Failed to qualify
*(a) Michael R. Brown, Jr., Maple Shade Township, N.J.71
*(a) David Hurly, Newtown Square, Pa.71
(a) Ross Pilliod, Reading, Pa.72
(a) Zachary Falone, Jupiter, Fla.72
(a) Joe Scheffres, North Potomac, Md.72
Ryan Shaughnessy, Allentown, Pa.72
Angelo Giantsopoulos, Canada72
(a) Greg Hanna, Phoenixville, Pa.72
Maclain Huge, Charlotte, N.C.72
Charles Huntzinger, Greensboro, Ga.72
Jeff Berkshire, Scottsdale, Ariz.72
(a) Jake Fazio, Huntingdon Valley, Pa.72
(a) Brian Isztwan, Huntingdon Valley, Pa.72
Kyle Vance, Philadelphia, Pa.72
Matthew Belizze, Ossining, N.Y.72
(a) Nelson Hargrove, Haverford, Pa.72
Nicholas Iacono, Wilmington, Del.73
Kevin Kraft, New Market, Md.73
Scott Chisholm, Philadelphia, Pa.74
(a) Jackson Debusschere, Wallingford, Pa.74
(a) Sean Paul Owen, Horsehead, N.Y.74
(a) Rich Owsik, Bryn Mawr, Pa.74
Billy Stewart, Philadelphia, Pa.74
(a) Sean Seese, Rydal, Pa.74
Jeffrey Cunningham, West Palm Beach, Fla.74
(a) Oscar Maxfield, Salt Lake City, Utah74
Anthony Sebastianelli, Clarks Summit, Pa.74
(a) Peyton Mussina, Montoursville, Pa.75
(a) Brett McGrath, Huntingdon Valley, Pa.75
(a) Ryan Pamer, Hudson, Ohio75
(a) Scott McNeil, Springfield, Pa.75
Andrew Cornish, Pottstown, Pa.75
(a) Andy Butler, Philadelphia, Pa.75
Kaylor Steger, Mount Pleasant, Wisc.75
(a) Ben Cooley, Phoenixville, Pa.76
(a) Morgan Lofland, Paoli, Pa.76
(a) Michael Davis, King Of Prussia, Pa.76
(a) Max Siegfried, Villanova, Pa.76
(a) Liam Powderly, Cockeysville, Md.76
Gabriel Rivera, Somerset, N.J.77
Mike Furey, Summit Hill, Pa.77
(a) Patrick Isztwan, Huntingdon Valley, Pa.77
(a) Seiji Liu, Beverly Hills, Calif.77
(a) Justin Feldman, Rockville, Md.77
(a) Mark Haghani, Jackson, Wyo.77
(a) Nick Ciocca, Berwyn, Pa.77
(a) Nicholas Hano, Warrington, Pa.77
Joe Orsino, Bensalem, Pa.77
(a) Kevin Silvestri, Marlboro, N.J.78
(a) Jacob Smith, Strasburg, Va.78
Nicholas Biondi, Moosic, Pa.78
(a) Nick Vecellio, Fogelsville, Pa.78
(a) Conor McGrath, Huntingdon Valley, Pa.78
(a) Grant Skyllas, Wyomissing, Pa.78
Stephen Cerbara, Langhorne, Pa.78
Marc Issler, Toms River, N.J.78
(a) Ryan Feldman, Rockville, Md.78
(a) Evan Barbin, Elkton, Md.78
Bertus Wessels, Erdenheim, Pa.78
(a) Vincent Palazzolo, Wall, N.J.79
(a) Caleb Taylor, Woodbine, Md.79
(a) Jimmy Wolfe, Pottstown, Pa.79
(a) Geoffrey Cooper, Erdenheim, Pa.80
(a) Corey Betham, Norristown, Pa.80
(a) Charlie Kovalcik, Yardley, Pa.80
Greg Rhoads, Elizabethtown, Pa.80
(a) Beau Guarino, Mount Laurel, N.J.80
(a) Joseph Morganti, Philadelphia, Pa.81
(a) Joshua Madarang, Chester Springs, Pa.81
(a) Jeremy Bingaman, Abington, Pa.81
(a) Jared Tendler, Yardley, Pa.81
(a) Benjamin Saggers, West Chester, Pa.81
(a) Jack Hamilton, Canada82
Brian Devlin, Fort Washington, Pa.82
(a) Gerald Haftmann, Springfield, Pa.82
Tyler Spielberger, Dover, Del.82
Brian Creghan, Jupiter, Fla.82
(a) Owen Manchester, Irvine, Calif.82
(a) Shawn Lavin, Drexel Hill, Pa.82
(a) Ken Hudson, Springfield, Pa.82
Dawson Anders, Telford, Pa.83
Adam Shorey, West Chester, Pa.83
Matthew Farr, Swarthmore, Pa.83
(a) Jacoby Chappa, San Angelo, Texas83
(a) Marc Mandel, Plymouth Meeting, Pa.83
(a) Hunter Stetson, Newtown Square, Pa.84
(a) Anthony Cordaro, Allentown, Pa.84
(a) Ryan O’Donnell, Paoli, Pa.84
(a) Jacob Pilarski, Buffalo, N.Y.84
(a) David West, Downingtown, Pa.84
(a) Joseph Parker, Sparta, N.J.84
(a) Ian Masenheimer, Orefield, Pa.85
Steven Ashworth, Media, Pa.85
(a) Jack Dare, Moorestown, N.J.85
(a) Tom Zubrzycki, Hilltop, N.J.86
(a) Tyler Debusschere, Wallingford, Pa.88
Sebastian Ploner, Austria90
(a) Grant Carey, Towson, Md.90
(a) Ryan Divis, East Norriton, Pa.WD
William Walker, Barrington, R.I.WD
* – determined in a playoff
(a) – denotes amateur
WD – withdraw

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