The three players who made it through the 2019 U.S. Senior Amateur Championship Cleveland Qualifier today at the challenging Kirtland Country Club each took a wholly different route to get there.
Concord Township’s Tom Jereb posted his score of 2-over par 72 early, after playing consistent golf across the mine field that can be Kirtland.
Jereb stayed in control, grinding out two birdies against four bogeys while making a big string of pars on a golf course with trouble lurking everywhere.
Silver Lake’s Jim Durr, on the other hand, went against character and played a roller coaster round that somehow still netted out to 72. Normally a par machine, Durr made three straight bogeys in his first four holes, righted the ship with a birdie at five, then went bogey-double bogey on six and seven. A birdie at the ninth stopped the bleeding for a 4-over par 39 at the turn.
After a bogey at the tough par-3 11th to go 5-over on the day, Durr made his big comeback. He ripped off three straight birdies at Kirtland’s difficult 14th, 15th and 16th holes, then closed with pars at the long and tough final two.
So it was a pair of 72s by Jereb and Durr that clinched co-medalist and the first two qualifying spots.
The third qualifying spot would go to one of two players who finished at 73: Mike Cassell of Hudson or Thomas Brudzinski from Columbus.
On the first playoff hole, Brudzinski caught a huge break that gave him a big advantage. Cassell drove his tee shot to the right edge of the fairway about 130 yards out, then hit a ho-hum short iron to about 30 feet. Brudzinski smashed his drive down the left tree line over the fairway bunker on the dogleg, but caught a tree. That tree tossed his ball to the center of the fairway, a mere 60 yards from the hole. But Brudzinski got steep on his wedge and hit it to the back edge of the green for a fast 15-footer down-hill. They both made par.
After both driving it into the fairway and both sending their second shots into the right greenside bunker, Cassell claimed the third U.S. Senior Am qualifying spot on the second playoff hole. Brudzinski left his very long bunker shot short of the green then couldn’t get up and down from there.
Brudzinski gets the first alternate spot, while Jeff Mallette took second alternate after winning a four-man playoff that also required two holes to determine. Complete results below.
United States Golf Association
2019 U.S. Senior Amateur Championship Cleveland Qualifying Tournament
Kirtland Country Club, Willoughby, Ohio
Thursday, August 1, 2019
Tom Jereb, Concord Township, OH 72
Jim Durr, Silver Lake, OH 72
Mike Cassell, Hudson, OH 73
Thomas Brudzinski, Columbus, OH 73
Jeff Mallette, North Canton, OH 74
DID NOT QUALIFY:
Baugh, Tom Akron, OH 74
Borlin, Mark Stow, OH 74
Baumann, Buck Fremont, OH 74
Wise, Mark Westlake, OH 74
Fried, Marc Solon, OH 75
Nims, John Charlotte, NC 75
Kain, Robert Mayfield Heights, OH 76
Guadagni, Mark Hudson, OH 77
Knox, Jeffrey Brecksville, OH 77
Lambos, Nick Canton, OH 78
Ostanek, Gregory Pinehurst, NC 78
Irvine, Bryn Bay Village, OH 78
Boarman, Lou Mogadore, OH 78
Pluto, Keith Parma, OH 79
McNiece, Ray Cleveland, OH 79
Areddy, Richard Aurora, OH 79
Conway, Andrew Pittsford, NY 80
Thomas, Mark Massillon, OH 80
Macejko, Mark Pinehurst, NC 80
Stover, David Pepper Pike, OH 80
Yoder, Randall Chattanooga, TN 80
Myers, Greg Twinsburg, OH 80
Brown, David Pepper Pike, OH 80
Leedle, Jim Fenton, MI 80
Capotis, Michael Erie, PA 81
Najda, Raymond Olmsted Township, OH 81
Cipriani, Dario Erie, PA 81
Lahnan, Larry Aurora, OH 81
Odonnell, Michael Brookhaven, GA 81
Hauenstein, Michael Ashland, OH 82
Chutz, Michael Sewickley, PA 83
Mathias, Duane Willoughby Hills, OH 84
Schaefer, Steve North Olmsted, OH 84
Timmons, Matt Shaker Heights, OH 86
Myers, Brent Kidron, OH 87
Leonard, Jeff Fairlawn, OH 87
Yenny, Mike Newbury, OH 88
Royer, David Dublin, OH 89
Hulett, Ron Brecksville, OH 90
Adams, Craig Shaker Heights, OH 92
Merrow, Rick Akron, OH WD
Harper, Jeff Coolville, OH WD
Congin, Gary Chesterland, OH WD
Guise, Frank Westlake, OH WD
McCarthy, William Avon Lake, OH WD
Zampedro, Jon Centreville, VA NS