Arizona Well-Represented at the 38th U.S. Mid-Amateur
The USGA accepted 4,709 applicants and Arizona’s own managed to clinch eight of the 238 available spots. Aaron Friedman, Bryan Hoops, Peter Ianello, Chris Kamin, Sean O'Donnell, Michael Martin, Shankar Natarajan, and Adam Walicki will tee off at Charlotte Country Club for the 2019 U.S. Mid-Amateur Championship.
Aaron Friedman, of Scottsdale, fired a one-under 71, resulting in a six-for-two playoff at Moon Valley Country Club. Friedman was the first to survive after a birdie on the second playoff hole. This will be his first U.S. Mid-Amateur Championship.
It’s not inconceivable that 22-time USGA qualifier, Bryan Hoops, is one of only ten players in the field with ten or more U.S. Mid-Amateur appearances. Bryan Hoops (Chandler, AZ) grabbed the sole qualifying spot at Red Hawks Golf Club after a bogey-free round of 69. Hoops is a two-time AGA Player of the Year and two-time Arizona Mid-Amateur Champion.
After a six-for-two playoff, it was Peter Ianello’s birdie on the fifth playoff hole at Moon Valley Country Club that determined the final spot in the U.S. Mid-Amateur field. The Scottsdale resident proves his golf game is strong, qualifying just three weeks later for the U.S. Four-Ball Championship, with his partner Bennett Blakeman. This will mark his second U.S. Mid-Amateur Championship.
Chris Kamin (Phoenix, AZ) came out on top with medalist honors, after carding an impressive four-under 67 at Moon Valley Country Club. The 44-year-old, Bradley University golf alumni, played on mini-tours before reinstating his amateur status.
Sean O'Donnell (Glendale, AZ) was the second player at Moon Valley Country Club to punch his ticket to Charlotte. After finishing as an alternate in his last USGA qualifier, O’Donnell shot a two-under 70, walking off the greens as a 38th U.S. Mid-Amateur qualifier.
After carding a one-under 70, Michael Martin bagged the fourth and final qualifying spot at Stoneridge Golf Club in Stillwater, Minnesota. Martin, 34, of Scottsdale, will be playing in his second U.S. Championship of the year, after advancing with his partner to the round-of- 32 at the U.S. Four-Ball Championship.
Shankar Natarajan (Phoenix, AZ) clinched the final qualifying spot at Redlands Country Club in Redlands, California. His one-under-par 69 forced a two-for-one playoff, resulting in a victory for Shankar.
With a three-under 69 at Annandale golf Club in Pasadena, California, Adam Walicki (Phoenix, AZ) claimed the second qualifying spot. The 2003 USGA Men’s State Team Championship low individual is no stranger to the U.S. Mid-Amateur, having played in six of the last eight.
The USGA is known for hosting ten of the world’s most desirable amateur championships. The U.S. Mid-Amateur Championship will land at Charlotte Country Club in Charlotte, North Carolina for the first time in history, September 22-27, 2018.
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