Sean Kelly finished his college career with a tie for 40th place in the recent NCAA Division-I Men’s Golf National Championship in Eugene, Ore. The former Saint Stephen’s star and Gamecocks’ redshirt senior fired a 1-under par 69 in the final round this past Monday to finish with a 9-over par total on the individual leaderboard. Oregon’s Aaron Wise won the national title with a 5-under par 275, before the Ducks polished off the team title over Texas in Wednesday’s championship match. Virginia’s Danny Walker, a Lakewood Ranch alum, became the first Mustang to compete in a D-I national championship after a 16-over par 226 for 54 holes. Also competing were IMG Academy alums Cristobal Del Solar (Florida State) and Rigel Fernandes (South Florida). Del Solar had a 6-over par 216 through 54 holes, while Fernandes had a 22-over par 232. Walker, Del Solar and Fernandes each didn’t make the cut for the final round.
State Amateur qualifying
Manatee County golfers grabbed three of the 11 qualifying berths at the recent Florida State Amateur qualifier held at TPC Prestancia in South Sarasota. Longboat Key’s Jack O’Hara, The Concession Golf Club’s Alan Pope and former Lakewood Ranch High standout Spencer Schultz qualified for the state amateur held June 23-26 at Fiddlesticks Country Club’s Long Mean Course and Miromar Lakes Golf Club. Both courses are in Lee County. All three local players secured berths into the main event later this month with 74s. Tampa’s Ryan Gendron secured medalist honors with a 68.
U.S. Open sectional looms
The longest day in golf is set for Monday around the country as pros and amateurs duke it out for spots into the United States Open held at the famed Oakmont Country Club in Pennsylvania on June 16-19. And the tee times for the lone Florida sectional at Jacksonville’s Timuquana Country Club are set. West Florida Golf Tour pros Sam Osborne and Kevin Aylwin join Bradenton’s Tyler Sluman and Del Solar in the field. Two big names are in the field, too. That’s former major winner Vijay Singh and former Ryder Cup member, England’s Ian Poulter.
University Park Country Club has named a first assistant golf professional for the first time. Taking on that newly created position is former European Tour winner and a past South African Open champion, Clinton Whitelaw. Whitelaw relocated to Florida in 2014, and will be responsible for managing University Park’s men’s golf association, the men’s Monday night golf league and providing both private and group lessons to all skill levels.
On Tuesday, May 24 at University Park Country Club, Mary Lou Snider aced the 98-yard fifth hole with a 9-wood. Witnesses were Beth Mumald, Elke Perten and Rita Craner.
On Thursday, May 26 at Pinebrook/Ironwood Golf Club, Mike Duggan aced the 109-yard third hole with a pitching wedge. Witnesses were Billy Gleaton, Charlie Roodhouse and Jim Niekrenz.
On Friday, May 27 at Lakewood Ranch Golf and Country Club’s Royal Lakes Course, George Rochow aced the 161-yard 13th hole with a 7-wood. Witnesses were Ted Wolfe, Dennis Aster and Jack O’Connor.