Seattle, Wash. – Jim McNelis of Gig Harbor, Wash. took medalist honors at Broadmoor Golf Club in Seattle, Wash. to earn one of three qualifying spots into the USGA Senior Amateur Championship, to be held at Mountain Ridge Country Club in West Caldwell, New Jersey from September 29 to October 4. Rick Weihe of Bellingham, Wash. and David Talcott of Milton, Wash. earned the remaining two spots into the championship.
McNelis got off to a hot start by eagling the first hole of the day and finished with a birdie on the last hole of the day to post a 3-over-par 73 on the lightning quick greens at Broadmoor Golf Club. “The course was in excellent condition and the greens were rolling really fast,” McNelis confessed. “Broadmoor is a tough par 70. When you look at it on the scorecard it looks like you can get after it, but when you get on the course you realize the only easy holes are No. 1 and No. 18.”
This will be McNelis’ fifth USGA Championship he has qualified to participate in, the most recent being the U.S. Mid-Amateur Championship last year at Shadow Hawk Golf Club in Richmond, Texas. McNelis is fresh off an appearance in the R&A Seniors Open Amateur Championship which took place last month at Machynys Peninsula in South Wales.
After a slow start that included a triple-bogey on the second hole of the day, Weihe battled back by making three birdies to offset five bogeys for a round of 5-over-par 75. Weihe’s round was good enough to earn the second qualifying spot and his return to the USGA Senior Amateur Championship after making the Round of 32 back in 2004.
Talcott provided the drama for the day by being in the last group on the course and finishing with a round of 7-over-par 77 in a tie with Larry Gilhuly of Gig Harbor, Wash. and Michael Jonson of Seattle, Wash. for the last qualifying spot. On the first hole of the sudden death playoff, Talcott used three great shots and a pressure 6-foot birdie putt on the par-5 18th hole to punch his ticket to New Jersey. Gilhuly would outlast Jonson on the third playoff hole to earn the first alternate position.
For results, go to www.thewsga.org.
The United States Golf Association (USGA) announced that 2,260 golfers entered to play in the 2012 USGA Senior Amateur Championship. The championship is open to amateurs, age 55 and older, who have a USGA Handicap Index not exceeding 7.4. Mountain Ridge Country Club will be set up at 6,838 yards and will play to a par of 36-35—71. Designed by Donald Ross in 1913, Mountain Ridge Country Club will be celebrating its 100th anniversary. In the 2011 USGA Senior Amateur Championship, Louis Lee, 55, of Heber Springs, Ark., defeated Philip Pleat of Nashua, N.H., 1-up, in the championship match at Kinloch Golf Club in Manakin-Sabot, Va., becoming the second-youngest Senior Amateur champion.
The USGA is the national governing body of golf in the U.S and Mexico, a combined territory that includes more than half the world’s golfers and golf courses. Its most visible role is played out each season in conducting 13 national championships, including the U.S. Open, U.S. Women’s Open and U.S. Senior Open. Ten additional USGA national championships are exclusively for amateurs and include the U.S. Amateur and the U.S. Women’s Amateur.
The Washington State Golf Association (WSGA) is the local representative of the United States Golf Association and conducts this Qualifying tournament for the USGA Senior Amateur Championship.