MOSCOW, Pa. — Anthony Sebastianelli decided to trade tour chasing and Monday qualifying for the club life. He’s felt more stability and less stress in his life since.
And happiness. A lot more happiness. The smiles certainly continued Monday.
Sebastianelli, an assistant professional at Glenmaura National Golf Club, carded a 4-under-par 67 to earn medalist honors in U.S. Open Local Qualifying administered by GAP (Golf Association of Philadelphia) at Elmhurst Country Club (par 71, 6,781 yards). He earned one of three qualifying positions available.
Professional Patrick Ross, who grew up at Elmhurst, carded a 3-under-par 68 to also advance to U.S. Open Sectional Qualifying. William Mirams, an amateur out of Shawnee Country Club, made a 20-footer for eagle on the second playoff hole (No. 2, par 5, 530 yards) to nip Andrew Gai of Westport, Conn. for the final spot.
The 121st U.S. Open will take place June 17-20 at Torrey Pines Golf Course in San Diego, Calif.
“Trying to play professional is really demanding. My body was starting to break down. My back, my wrist, my knee. I just wasn’t able to take time off and rest,” Sebastianelli, 26, of Clarks Summit, Pa., said. “Now I have a lot more stability in my life. I’m back home. I don’t have to worry about how I’m playing to make money. It definitely takes a lot of pressure off.”
Sebastianelli applied pressure to his Elmhurst compatriots Monday. He birdied two of his first three holes to leap up the leaderboard immediately. On No.2, Sebastianelli rocketed a 7-iron 182 yards to 10 feet, leaving his ensuing eagle attempt a hair shy. He hit a gap wedge from 120 yards to 20 feet on No. 3 (par 4, 408 yards).
“That [birdie] putt really helped me just trust my putting stroke,” Sebastianelli said. “I had putted left-hand low since March. I started struggling a little bit with my setup. I went to traditional, and then yesterday, I was like, ‘This just doesn’t feel comfortable.’ So, I went back to left-hand low and was able to roll it really well here today.”
On No. 7 (par 4, 411 yards), Sebastianelli crept in a 15-footer for birdie. His powerful 2-iron on the 11th hole (par 5, 551 yards) traveled to the back the green. A delicate downhill two putt from 20 feet meant another birdie. Sebastianelli’s monstrous drive on No. 14 (par 4, 313 yards) translated into a routine chip to kick-in territory. A pair of bogeys thereafter sandwiched a birdie on No. 16 (par 4, 377 yards), where Sebastianelli knocked a sand wedge 92 yards to 15 feet.
“I felt nervous out there. I love being nervous, to be honest” he said. “It was definitely a feeling I missed, being around the lead and trying to qualify and get back to Sectionals. It was a great, fun round.”
Sebastianelli will head to Century Country Club and Old Oaks Country Club in Purchase, N.Y. for U.S. Open Sectional Qualifying on June 7. He previously gained that stage in 2019.
For Ross, it’s a third trip to Sectional Qualifying (2018-19). Although the past three days did bring a meaningful first.
“I finally got to meet two nieces and a nephew I haven’t met since [the COVID-19 pandemic]. It was nice to come home, see them and play [at Elmhurst],” Ross, 29, of Dunmore, Pa., said. “My parents would drop me off at 8 in the morning and pick me up at 7 at night. This place is my home, for sure. To come back here … I’ve seen all parts, good and bad, of this place. And I know I can get out of it.”
Ross escaped plenty of peril Monday. Approaching No. 18 (par 4, 411 yards) tee, he stood at 3 under. Then came a bad swing that required a search party. After nearly two minutes, playing partner Riley Hogan found Ross’ golf ball practically masked in a thick puff of grass.
“That was probably the best shot I’ve hit in a long time, especially in competition,” Ross, who left his approach from 150 yards 15 feet above the hole location, said. “I just kind of closed my eyes and took a big cut with a 9-iron.”
Ross, an assistant professional at Mizner Country Club in Delray Beach, Fla., will head to Woodmont Country Club (North Course) in Rockville, Md. for U.S. Open Sectional Qualifying.
“Just to make U.S. Open Sectionals, you’ve got to be kidding me,” Mirams, 19, of Stroudsburg, Pa., said. “My previous track record in Local Qualifying was 89, 76 and 78. Making this is pretty cool.”
In the aforementioned playoff, Mirams, a rising junior at the University of Delaware, launched a hybrid 260 yards to 20 feet. The ensuing eagle putt never detoured.
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 Association’s 300 Member Clubs and 80,000 individual members are spread across the Eastern half of Pennsylvania and parts of Delaware, Maryland and New Jersey. The GAP’s mission is to promote, preserve and protect the game of golf.
|Name, city, state||Score|
|Anthony Sebastianelli, Clarks Summit, Pa.||67|
|Patrick Ross, Dunmore, Pa.||68|
|*(a)William Mirams, Stroudsburg, Pa.||69|
|Alternates (in order)|
|*Andrew Gai, Westport, Conn.||69|
|*(a)Andrew Morris, St. Augustine, Fla.||72|
|Failed to qualify|
|(a)Rob Baynard, New York, N.Y.||72|
|Rick Burk, Ashburn, Va.||72|
|(a)Lukas Clark, Holland, Pa.||72|
|Jordan Eck, Williamsport, Pa.||72|
|(a)Roberto Nieves, Miami, Fla.||72|
|David Powers, Glen Spey, N.Y.||72|
|(a)Richard Riva, Philadelphia, Pa.||72|
|Chris Miller, Clarks Summit, Pa.||73|
|John Pillar, Hawley, Pa.||73|
|(a)Davis Weil, Ridgewood, N.J.||73|
|(a)Ryan Brown, Scranton, Pa.||74|
|Michael Molino, Dallas, Pa.||74|
|(a)Everett Whiten Jr., Chesapeake, Va.||74|
|(a)Jim Bedford, Greentown, Pa.||75|
|(a)Logan Paczewski, Dallas, Pa.||75|
|(a)Corbin Babyak, Palmyra, Pa.||76|
|(a)Riley Hogan, Saylorsburg, Pa.||76|
|(a)Benjamin Siriboury, Clarksville, Md.||76|
|(a)Luke Fayocavitz, Clarks Summit, Pa.||77|
|Mike Larkin, Towson, Md.||77|
|(a)Jiarong Liu, Rochester, N.Y.||77|
|Eric Steindel, West Barnstable, Mass.||77|
|(a)Nick Vecellio, Fogelsville, Pa.||77|
|(a)Eric Williams, Honesdale, Pa.||77|
|(a)Jonathan Brain, San Francisco, Calif.||78|
|Mariano Medico, Shavertown, Pa.||78|
|John Roche, Moosic, Pa.||79|
|(a)Kevin Rossi, Scranton, Pa.||79|
|(a)Gus Steiger, Milford, Pa.||79|
|(a)Michael Thomas, Scott Township, Pa.||80|
|(a)Zachary Bruecks, West Grove, Pa.||84|
|(a)Kyle Kockler, Wellsville, N.Y.||84|
|Michael Maslanka, Taylor, Pa.||84|
|Zachary Ramey, Ashburn, Va.||85|
|(a)Dylan O’Dell, New Milford, Pa.||86|
|(a)Alex Wedding, Arlington, Va.||86|
|(a)Steven Gonzales, Bangor, Pa.||87|
|(a)Jason Mowry, Meshoppen, Pa.||87|
|(a)Paul Moxen, Exeter, Pa.||89|
|(a)Daniel Schott, Port Allegany, Pa.||89|
|(a)Duane Bean, Lovettsville, Va.||97|
|David Taraschi, Cinnaminson, N.J.||NS|
|(a)Kyle Williams, Clarks Summit, Pa.||WD|
|(a)Michael Young, France||WD|
|Khalin Joshi, India||WD|
|* – determined in playoff|
|(a) – denotes amateur|
|NS – no show; WD – withdrawal|
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