Amateur Golfers Rustand and Lindstrom Qualify for 41st U.S. Senior Open

Jon Lindstrom and Eric Rustand tied for medalist honors and qualified for the 2021 U.S. Senior Open after turning in matching three-under-par 69’s, respectively, Monday at Arizona Country Club. The 52-year-olds also picked up low amateur honors on top of punching their coveted tickets to Omaha Country Club, where the senior major is scheduled for July 8-11, 2021.

“I was two over after three – that was the low,” Lindstrom said. “I worked my way back and birdied four in a row. The course isn’t too long so just I just took advantage of the par 5s.”

“My round was not that fun (as Lindstrom’s),” said Rustand.  “I birdied one and two and got off to a good start. Made a couple bogies after and just tried to hold on. The greens were perfect and just super-fast – you can’t get too aggressive. The pins were in spots where you had to pick your position on when to get aggressive.”

John Bearrie and Brian Cooper each shot a two-under-par 68’s in their respective qualifying rounds, and will serve as the first and second alternates after a four-for-two playoff.

The Denver, Colo.-resident Lindstrom survived a roller coaster of a round en route to his golden ticket. Starting on hole 10, Lindstrom went two-over-par on his first three holes, but followed that up a few holes later with four consecutive birdies on holes 18 through three.

He finished out his final third of the round with a lone bogey and eagle to finish four-under-par 32 on the final nine and qualify for the 41st U.S. Senior Open.

“I’m super excited,” Lindstrom said after qualifying for his first U.S. Senior Open. “This is my 20th USGA event I am going to, and this will be the first professional event.”

Rustand’s putter started off hot, carding four birdies on his first eight holes. The former Brigham Young University All-American, who plays out of Tucson Country Club, made the turn with a three-under-par 34 after a bogey on the par-3 ninth hole.

A single birdie and bogey on the back-nine earned him a spot in the field to the “Ultimate Test” in senior golf. This marks the fifth time he has qualified for a USGA Championship – he played in two U.S. Mid-Amateurs and three U.S. Four-Balls with his brother as his partner.

“I am over the moon – I can’t believe it,” said Rustand. “I will have two sons on the bag maybe a wife. There will be a fight over who gets to carry the bag.”

The U.S Senior Open is one of 14 championships conducted by the United States Golf Association (USGA) and one of five major championships on the PGA TOUR Champions. Out of 2,999 applications accepted by the USGA for the event, 156 competitors will play this July for a chance to hoist the Ouimet Memorial Trophy.

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Eaton and Klasse Win AGA Women’s Four Ball Title

The team of Kim Eaton and Leigh Klasse walked off the 18th green with a third straight AGA Women’s Four-Ball title Tuesday at Troon North Golf Club’s Monument Course. The duo combined for a one-over-par 145 over 36 holes to outlast Anj Brown and Kylie Shoemake by one shot.

“My round today was not very good until the back nine, where I made a couple of birdies on 14 and 15,” Klasse said.

“That was a game changer for sure, those two holes (14 and 15) probably sealed our fate,” said Eaton.

Molly Steffes and Tori Totlis closed the tournament with a 9-over-par 153 (73-80) and finished third. Judy Penman and Robin Krapfl placed fourth with a 10-over-par 154 (76-78).

The eventual champions were tied atop the leaderboard with the team of Brown and Shoemake after 18 holes with an opening round 1-under-par 71. A final-round two-over-par 74 would provide the difference.

Eaton and Klasse rolled into the lead by two shots after Brown and Shoemake double-bogeyed the tough par-5 3rd hole.

“I hit my tee shot into the desert and had to play my provisional which started off the hole badly,” Shoemake said. “My partner Anj had some difficulties and we both came out with a double bogey – that was hard to come back from.”

With high winds, Eaton and Klasse managed a three-over-par 39 at the turn, a two-shot lead. They would birdie holes 14 and 15 to extend the lead to three shots, and held on take home yet another Kachina trophy.

“This is our third in a row, so we are pretty happy about that,” Eaton said.

This marks the dynamic duo’s fifth Arizona Four-Ball title (2014, 2016, 2019, 2020 and 2021) and their hardware display is impressive. Eaton, a seven-time Colorado Women’s Golf Association Senior Player of the Year and eight-time Arizona Senior Women’s Player of the Year, has won 19 state titles and qualified for an impressive 33 USGA Championships. Minnesota Golf Hall of Famer Klasse is a four-time Minnesota Golf Association Women’s Player of the Year, eight-time MGA Senior Women’s Player of the Year and has qualified for over 50 USGA Championships.

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Six Qualify for U.S. Women’s Open

Words by: Brianna Gianiorio

Sarah Schmelzel qualified for her third consecutive U.S. Women’s Open, earning medalist honors at Superstition Mountain Golf and Country Club’s Prospector Course with a 65-67 performance over 36-holes. Her 12-under-par score Included 11 birdies, an eagle and a lone bogey.

Mina Harigae, Stephanie Meadows, Amanda Linner, Pornanong Phatlum and Giulia Molinaro will join Schmelzel at the 76th U.S. Women’s Open Championship, set for June 3-6 at the Olympic Club in San Francisco, Calif.

“After being in Asia the past couple weeks this was like a very mild day, just being back at home it’s very comfortable for me,” the medalist said. “I’ve been playing really well on the road, so it was nice to kind of see things click and come together. I knew I had to make a ton of birdies, so I went in with that mindset and fortunately, it all worked out.”

Schmelzel earned her LPGA TOUR card in 2019 and has since managed 32 cuts in 40 starts.

“It’s such an honor to be able to do that, and I feel so lucky so I think that’s been the key to enjoying all of it and the U.S. Women’s Open is such a big deal for me,” said Schmelzel. “It is the number 1 tournament I want to win so I’m really excited to go back for the third year. It’s such an unreal championship and the feeling and everything and all the history behind it is really incredible.”

Harigae and Meadows used 10-under-par scores to punch their respective championship tickets. Harigae, a 10-year LPGA veteran will be playing in her 11th U.S. Women’s Open next month.  Meadows, a five-year LPGA TOUR veteran and 2016 Olympian for her native Ireland, made her professional debut at the 2014 U.S. Women’s Open at Pinehurst No. 2. She created a memorable experience with a third-place finish.

Linner, Phatlum and Molinaro grabbed the final three qualifying spots at 8-under-par after 36 holes. The Arizona State Sun Devil Sophmore Linner was crowned low amateur on top of qualifying for her first U.S. Women’s Open. Phatlum, a 16-time international champion and 2016 Thai Olympian will be playing her 11th U.S. Women’s Open. The Italian Olympian Molinaro is part of the major championship field for the second time, after qualifying in 2018.

The U.S. Women’s Open Championship, the oldest of the LPGA’s five majors, is one of 14 championships conducted by the United States Golf Association (USGA). The Olympic Club’s Lake Course will host the championship for the first time in USGA Women’s history. With nearly 1,600 entries accepted by the USGA, 156 players will tee off in San Francisco next month.

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Scottsdale Prep Academy Earns First Team Title at D-III State Championship

Scottsdale prep golf team wins D3 State Championships at omni Tucson
Words by: Andy Morales, AZPreps365

Scottsdale Prep shot a 7-under-par 273 on Tuesday to pull away from Valley Christian at the Division III state championships held at the OMNI Tucson National. The Spartans held a slim 4-stroke lead over the Trojans after the first round on the Sonoran Course on Monday but that lead grew as the day went on and the program finished with a 40-stroke victory (572 to 612) to claim the first golf championship for the program.

It was the biggest margin of victory at the D-III level since 2009 when Snowflake beat Payson 595 to 652. In addition, Scottsdale Prep sophomore Adam Miller finished 3-under on Tuesday to claim the individual state championship with a 1-under 139. His teammate, junior Talia Gutman, finished three strokes back for second place after she shot a 3-under on Tuesday. Arizona College Prep senior Rajveer Sethi also took second place after he finished with the best round of the tournament with a 4-under 66.

Gutman’s runner-up finish was the highest for a female athlete playing in D-III since former Estrella Foothills standout Sarah Freeman won a state title in 2007. Former Yuma Catholic standout Alexandria Schmunk took third place in 2018 and 2019.

Valley Christian won six of the last seven D-III championships, including 2018 and 2019, with former standout James Mackie winning it all as a freshman and as a senior in 2019. Now competing for California Baptist, Mackie took second place at the WAC championships earlier this month.

Mackie was the first freshman to win a championship in 2016 and Rancho Solano Prep freshman Brantlee Howard finished nine strokes back to take ninth place this year. As a team, Scottsdale Prep had four finishers in the top six and only Davis Johnson is a senior. Johnson took second to Mackie in 2019.

AZ College Prep took 12th place last year and Rajveer Sethi took 22nd.

Story via: Andy Morales, AZPreps365