Andy Winings, one of nine golfers with ties to the Greater Cedar Rapids Open who competed in U.S. Open sectional qualifiers Monday, came the closest to advancing to the Open later this month in San Francisco. But that wasn't good enough.
Winings, the 2010 Greater Cedar Rapids Open champion out of Brownsburg, Ind., shot a 1-under-par 139 in the Springfield, Ohio, sectional qualifier Monday, June 4, but he finished tied for eighth out of a tournament that took only two players out of the 44 entrants.
Sean McCarty, the 2009 GCRO champion and the head pro at Brown Deer Golf Course in Coralville, shot a 1-under 69 on his first 18 Monday, but faltered in that afternoon in his second 18, shooting a 4-over 74. He finished tied for 17th in trying to make his second U.S. Open appearance. Florida's Greg O'Mahony, the 2010 runner-up to Winings, also tied for 17th in his sectional out of Lecanto, Fla., where only three of 57 players advanced.
Marion's Bill Hoefle went even-par on the day at the Village Links of Glen Ellyn in Chicago, but that was good for a tie for 21st and only two qualified out of that sectional.
Gary Christian, the 2004 GCRO champ, finished in a tie for 29th with a 4-over 148 at the Rockville, Md., sectional, which advanced only two golfers. Andrew Steinhofer of Madison, Wis., who is scheduled to compete for the first time in the GCRO next month, finished 68th.
PGA Touring pro George McNeill tied for 57th at the pro-laden Columbus, Ohio, sectional, where 16 players made their way to San Francisco. Judd Cornell, of Omaha, Neb., the fourth-place finisher in last year's GCRO, tied for 103rd.
Derek Lamely, the two-time GCRO champ, had his sectional in Memphis, Tenn., washed out Monday. USGA officials hope to play that 36-hole qualifier Tuesday, June 5.
For complete results, visit http://www.usopen.com/en_US/news/qualifying/sectional.html.
Don Wojciechowski resides in the Hunters Ridge Golf Course community and plays the course on a regular basis. He's a former sports editor for a suburban Chicago daily newspaper and an avid golf fan.