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Good as Gold: Tour player heads U.S. Open Local Qual. at Hidden Creek

  EGG HARBOR TOWNSHIP, N.J. — With a last name like gold, one’s bound to uncover success often – or once in awhile, at the very least.

  Such was the case for Christopher Gold, a Hooters Mini-Tour player with Nationwide aspirations, on Tuesday. He carded a 2-under-par 70 to earn medalist honors in a U.S. Open Local Qualifier at Hidden Creek GC (par 72, 7,015 yards). Gold was one of four players who will now head to Sectional qualifying.

Christopher Gold
  “I just rolled it well,” the 24 year-old said. “I made big saves when it mattered. I played good on the front and hit a lot of good shots. My putting and short game worked.”

  Gold, who resides at Reunion Resort in Kissimmee, Fla., owed his subpar score to a diligent session the day before. He returned to his hometown, Haddonfield, N.J., last week and played a practice round at Hidden Creek on Sunday. Knowing that he already exhausted his round quota, Gold spent six hours chipping and putting to sharpen up for Tuesday’s task.

  “It obviously paid off,” he said. “It was definitely my short game that worked today.”

  Gold, who started on the back nine, caught fire immediately on No. 10 (par 5, 476 yards). He ripped a 4-iron 220 yards to 40-feet left-center of the green. Gold cozied his eagle effort to eight feet and executed the under-par chance. On No. 13 (par 4, 391 yards), he drilled his 9-iron 140 yards to 25-feet and rolled in the left-to-right breaker.

  “I put it about a ball out on the left. I hit it a good speed,” Gold said. “That was one of my best putts all day.”

  Gold, a former Golf Association of Philadelphia fixture and Little Mill CC member, capped his outward campaign with a birdie on No. 18 (par 4, 436 yards). With a mere 100 yards to the flagstick, he knocked a lob wedge 30-feet to the back left of the green.

  “I played it about a foot out to the right, and it started funneling in,” Gold said. “It had great speed.”

  Gold, a University of Maryland graduate, remained bogey-free until No. 6 (par 4, 446 yards). Standing 180 yards from the flagstick, he blocked his 6-iron right and failed to reach with his flop shot. Tuesday marked Gold’s second attempt at qualifying for the U.S. Open.

  “It’s just been bad timing,” he said.

  Gold will travel to Sectional Qualifying on Monday, June 6 at Woodmont CC in Rockville, Md.

  Playing more than 18 holes definitely benefits me,” he said. “I can get in a groove. I can start out slow and then finish strong. I’m excited. A lot of my friends play in the (U.S.) Open every year. I’m just pumped to play.”

  Until then, Gold will compete in two Peach State events as well as Nationwide Qualifier at Old South CC in Maryland.

  Christopher Gray, an assistant professional at Old York CC at Chesterfield, carded a 1-under-par 71 to also qualify.

  “I made a lot of four and five-footers. That’s what it came down to,” the Newark, Del. resident said. “We grinded it out. To get 71 from what we put out was good. It’s a great golf course. My caddie Chris (Boos) and I came out here late last night for a practice round, and it’s amazing how strong each hole is.”

  Gray fired four birdies on the day. On No. 9 (par 5, 583 yards), he powered his 3-wood 250 yards just right of the hole location and chipped to five feet. His drive on No. 10 (par 5, 476 yards) ricocheted off a tree on the left-side and settled in the fairway. His hybrid soared 250 yards and stopped short of the green, but Gray again nestled a chip to four feet. On No. 13 (par 4, 391 yards), he stuck his 54-degree wedge 112 yards to eight feet. Gray, 33, closed his qualifying bid by putting his 54-degree wedge 108 yards to five-feet. He will next head to Canoe Brook CC in Summit, N.J. for Sectional qualifying on June 6. Gray has advanced to Sectionals twice before, but never beyond.

  “It’s a different mindset. It’s not a one-round race,” he said. “If you can keep it around par, then you’re right in there.”

  Also advancing to Sectional qualifying were Jordan Gibbs of Princeton, N.J. and Overbrook GC's Michael Kania, the 2010 GAP Amateur Runner-up. The U.S. Open will be held June 16-19 at Congressional CC in Bethesda, Md.

  Notes
  Little Mill CC’s Lance Oberparleiter aced the par 3, 224-yard with a 22-degree rescue.

  “I hit it on the right side of the green,” the Blackwood, N.J. resident. “It just caught that slot and kept on going down until it disappeared. I played out here yesterday with a member, Mike Meisenzahl [also a Little Mill member], and he said, ‘hit it right and it will just catch that slot,’ and that’s exactly what it did.”

  It marked Oberparleiter’s third career ace, but first in a tournament setting.

  “It was a thrill,” he said. “The club came out of my hand and there were a bunch of high-fives.”

Qualifiers

Name, city, state

Score

Christopher Gold, Haddonfield, N.J.

70

Christopher Gray, Newark, Del.

71

Jordan Gibbs, Princeton, N.J.

72

(a) Michael Kania, Haverford, Pa.

72

 

Alternates (in order)

(a) William McGuinness, Haddonfield, N.J.

73

(a) *Michael Guli, Basking Ridge, N.J.

74

 

Failed to qualify

(a) Anthony Aloi, Plainsboro, N.J.

74

(a) Robert Galbreath, Jr., Huntingdon Valley, Pa.

74

(a) Kellen Seligman, Richmond, Va.

74

(a) Peter Barron, III, Mays Landing, N.J.

74

Jonathan Orchin, Jupiter, Fla.

74

James Lusk, Jr., West Nyack, N.Y.

74

Vince Covello, Ponte Vedra Beach, Fla.

74

David Kwon, Palisades Park, N.J.

74

(a) Samuel Sikes, Richmond, Va.

74

(a) David Sanders, Mt. Laurel, N.J.

75

(a) Michael Mulieri, Silver Spring, Md.

75

(a) Mike Meisenzahl, Medford, N.J.

75

David Quinn, Martlon, N.J.

75

(a) Brinson Paolini, Virginia Beach, Va.

76

Matthew Ujfalusi, Naples, Fla.

76

Michael Rushin, Lewes, Del.

76

(a) Mark Kosko, Egg Harbor Twp, N.J.

77

John Appleget, Dorothy, N.J.

77

Kevin Ausserlechner, West Harrison, N.Y.

77

John Lynch, Honolulu, Hawaii

77

Michael Laudien, Stony Point, N.Y.

77

(a) Brandon Dalinka, Newtown, Pa.

78

(a) John Langlas, Egg Harbor Township, N.J.

78

Mark Parson, Northfield, N.J.

78

(a) Matthew Gaffney, Sewell, N.J.

78

Anthony Casalino, Yonkers, N.Y.

78

George Frake, II, Medford, N.J.

78

Neil Maurer, Selbyville, Del.

78

(a) Lance Oberparleiter, Blackwood, N.J.

78

Bob Kave, Manasquan, N.J.

79

Jakob Gerney, Mantua, N.J.

79

(a) Tom Shin, Moorestown, N.J.

79

Matthew Moroz, Philadelphia, Pa.

79

(a) Scott Niggli, Wilmington, Del.

79

Jeffrey Bonicky, Little Egg Harbor, N.J.

80

(a) Geoffrey Cooper, Philadelphia, Pa.

80

(a) Dave Segot, Oyster Bay, N.Y.

81

James Garton, Pipersville, Pa.

81

Michael Little, North Wales, Pa.

81

Steve Barcoski, Philadelphia, Pa.

82

(a) Michael Johnson, Ambler, Pa.

82

Travis Deibert, Jamison, Pa.

83

(a) Vince Boyle, Philadelphia, Pa.

83

Cavan Birmingham, Maple Shade, N.J.

83

David Taraschi, Haddonfield, N.J.

84

Andy Watters, King of Prussia, Pa.

86

(a) Alex Hicks, Cape May Court House, N.J.

86

(a) William Bello, Freehold, N.J.

88

Doug Delaney, Cape May Court House, N.J.

88

(a) Andrew Bauer, Delran, N.J.

89

(a) Brett Falkoff, Lafayette Hill, Pa.

89

(a) Jon Brestle, Absecon, N.J.

WD

 

*advanced in playoff

(a) denotes amatueur

WD-withdrawal

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