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Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Willow Ridge Shows Its Teeth in US Open Local Qualifier

Willow Ridge
Climbing the hill to the US Open on Willow Ridge #9
Only three of 126 players broke par during this week's US Open Local Qualifier at Willow Ridge in Harrison, as cold, blustery winds combined with slick greens to confound hopefuls for a trip to Merion next month. Topping the field was a familiar name, Greg Bisconti, who is fresh off a win in the Westchester PGA Match Play at his home club, St. Andrew's in Hastings. On a much bigger stage, Bisconti also won Low Club Pro honors at the 2009 PGA Championship at Hazeltine. At Willow Ridge, his 69 was tied by Sunningdale pro Mark Ledorn and Apawamis pro Brian Bartow.

Rounding out the eight qualifiers were two amateurs, Max Buckley (71) of Westchester CC and Jeremy Quinn (73), a senior at St. John's. Willow Ridge's own Anthony Casalino (71), who was featured on the Golf Channel's Big Break last year, made the top eight as well, as did Jesse Fitzgerald (72), Garden City GC, and Michael Caporale (73), North Hills CC.  First alternate is Steve Scott (73) of Paramount CC and Brian Hughes (73), Raleigh, NC.

Honing the stroke for US Open LQR at Willow Ridge
Rob Labritz, GlenArbor GC Director of Golf and 2010 PGA Championship Low Club Pro, lead the LQR field at Country Club of Fairfield last week with a 68. Amateur Brian Williams (69), New York, finished right behind Labritz. Two other ams, Westport, CT, high schoolers Cameron Chottiner (70) and  Peter Richards (70) also made the cut in a five-hole, six-man playoff. Rounding out the six advancers was Grant Sturgeon (70), from Winged Foot GC, and Westport mini-tour pro Andrew Gai (70).

Qualifiers will advance to Section Qualifying, which will be held at eleven sites around the country (plus two international ones), on June 3. Locally, Century CC and Old Oaks CC will host the final step to Merion, where play begins June 13.

Among many other books, Dave Donelson is the author of Weird Golf: 18 tales of fantastic, horrific, scientifically impossible, and morally reprehensible golf

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