Hanson, Pomarleau and Bjorke Advance to U.S. Mid-Amateur Championship

Hanson, Pomarleau and Bjorke Advance to U.S. Mid-Amateur Championship

Cle Elum, Wash., (Tuesday, September 7) – 39 players competed at the U.S. Mid-Amateur Qualifying held at the Prospector Course at Suncadia Resort in Cle Elum, Wash. on Tuesday, with three advancing to the 30th U.S. Mid-Amateur Championship to be played at Atlantic Golf Club in Bridgehampton, New York on September 25-30, 2010.

Erik Hanson of Kirkland, Wash. and Kevin Pomarleau of East Wenatchee, Wash. tied for medalist honors after very solid rounds of 3-under par 69, while Bjorn Bjorke of Port Orchard, Wash. claimed the final spot in a playoff with Thomas Gocke of Sammamish, Wash. after rounds of 1-under par 71.

Hanson, a former professional baseball player posted his score first after a very impressive bogey free effort that included birdies at holes 2, 5, and 11. Last year Hanson qualified for the 29th U.S. Mid-Amateur Championship in Kiawah Island, SC where he qualified for match play and advanced to the Round of 32.

Pomarleau also finished the day at 3-under par 69 after making a lone bogey on hole 7 and birdies at holes 3, 11, 12, and 15. This will be Pomarleau’s first U.S. Mid-Amateur Championship, having just gotten his amateur status back in February after spending 12 years on the various professional golf tours.

Bjorke and Gocke both finished with rounds of 1-under par 71 and had a playoff to decide who would get the third and final advancing spot. The par-5 18th hole was used in the playoff, where both players found the fairway off the tee and then laid up to nearly 100 yards. Gocke played first and hit his approach to roughly 40 feet, while Bjorke hit a great shot that hit 7 feet past the hole and spun back to within a foot. The birdie try by Gocke ran past the hole and Bjorke tapped his in for the final spot, making Gocke the first alternate.

Amateur golfers who have reached their 25th birthday by September 25, 2010 and who have a USGA Handicap Index of 3.4 strokes or less are eligible to qualify for the U.S. Mid-Amateur Championship. All contestants will play 36 holes of stroke play qualifying at the site, with the low 64 advancing to match play for the championship. The U.S. Mid-Amateur champion receives an automatic invitation to the Masters and the U.S. Open.

The Washington State Golf Association is the local representative of the USGA and conducts the local sectional qualifying every year. This was one of 68 18-hole qualifiers for the Men’s Mid-Amateur Championship that will be played from September 25-30 at Atlantic Golf Club in Bridgehampton, New York.

Entries for the 2010 U.S. Men’s Mid-Amateur Championship had to be received by the United States Golf Association by August 4. The cost was $125 to enter. The championship is for mid-amateurs who are 25 years of age or older with a Handicap Index not exceeding 3.4. This year the USGA received 3,860 entries who will compete across the 68 qualifying sites for 243 spots into the field. The remaining 21 spots in the 264 player field are exemptions.