Bigley shares medalist honors at U.S. Open Qualifier

Bryan Bigley will have some juggling to do with his busy schedule next month, but for this special e
Bryan Bigley of Rotterdam putts on the ninth hole during the U.S. Open Qualifier Monday at Mohawk Golf Club. Bigley finished with a 71 to share medalist honors
PHOTOGRAPHER:
Bryan Bigley of Rotterdam putts on the ninth hole during the U.S. Open Qualifier Monday at Mohawk Golf Club. Bigley finished with a 71 to share medalist honors

Bryan Bigley will have some juggling to do with his busy schedule next month, but for this special event, it’s worth it.

Bigley, the 30-year-old Schalmont High School and Siena College graduate currently competing on the Web.com Tour, carded an even-par 71 to share medalist honors at the U.S. Open Local Qualifier Monday at windy Mohawk Golf Club.

Also posting a 71 was amateur Evan Russell, a University of Hartford senior from Stowe, Vt. Rounding out the four qualifiers were professional Daniel McCarthy of Syracuse and 17-year-old Daniel Griffiths of Binghamton, who each shot a 72 and won their spots on the second playoff hole.

Ian Breen, an assistant pro at Colonie Golf & Country Club, and Wally Gonzalez, a pro from Ridgefield, Conn., also registered 72s, but lost in the playoff. Gonzalez, who reached the second playoff hole, will be the first alternate. Breen, eliminated on the first playoff hole with a double bogey, will be the second alternate.

Bigley advanced out of the local qualifier for the seventh time and was the only Capital Region player to have success on Monday. But he said it will be difficult to squeeze the sectionals, scheduled for June 6 at Canoe Brook Country Club, into his Web.com Tour schedule, which has events just before and just after the 36-hole sectionals that determine the final field for the 2016 U.S. Open, which will be played at Oakmont Country Club June 16-19.

“The Tour didn’t make it easy to travel,” Bigley said. “I’ve got an event in the

Dominican [Republic] just before the sectionals, and then another one after it. But I might skip the one in the Dominican. I’ve played quite a few events in Latin America over the last two years. I’ve had some success at Canoe Brook, so it might be worth it.”

Bigley said the windy cond­itions made scoring quite challenging.

“I’ve played Mohawk once, or maybe twice in the last 15 years,” he said. “The wind was swirling quite a bit. You had to shoot for the middle of the greens and take your chances.

“I don’t think even-par was too bad. But it’s the story of my year so far. It seems like I’m shooting around even-par all the time, and that’s not enough out on the Web.com Tour.”

Bigley, who now lives in Charlotte, N.C., started on the back nine and shot 2-under-par, but he struggled on the more difficult front nine.

“I had a bad three-putt on No. 5, and I didn’t get up and down after missing the green on No. 6,” he said.

“I feel like I’m playing well, but I’m not getting any results yet this season. It seems like I’ve been getting close every week.”

Russell, 22, qualified for the sectionals for the second time. “I’m graduating from Hartford in a week, and I’ll probably go pro if I do well leading up to the U.S. Open,” he said. “I’ve never played this course before. The wind was severe, and the greens were very tough here.”

Griffiths might be back at Mohawk this August, when the club hosts the New York State Amateur.

“I didn’t know the State Am was going to be played here,” he said. “I didn’t expect this at all. I didn’t think a 72 would be good enough to get in. My swing felt horrible all day, but my short game and my scrambling helped me. It was cold and windy out there, but I was just trying to stay in the moment.”

LOCAL RESULTS

(Par-71)

x-Bryan Bigley (Web.com) 71, a-Ian Breen (Colonie G&CC) 72, Scott Berliner (Hiland GC) 74, Jim Gifford (Mohawk) 75, Ron Philo (Stowe, Vt.) 76, Dan Russo (Schuyler Meadows) 76, Chris Barach (Mohawk) 77, Sean Puleo (Loudonville) 77, Scott Battiste (Eagle Crest) 78, Aaron Simone (Pinehaven CC) 79, Spencer Sautin (Siena) 79, Steve Quillinan (Albany) 79, Glenn Davis (Albany CC) 79, Dave Hayes (Schuyler Meadows) 79, John Korniak (Queensbury) 81, Justin Hearley (Normanside CC) 81, Bryan Barach (Mohawk) 81, Travis Deuel (Queensbury) 81, Corey Purcell (Saint Rose) 82, Peter Lindner (Voorheesville) 82, Tanner Donovan (Siena) 83, Austin Fox (Normanside CC) 84, Terence Manziano (Cohoes) 84, Todd Czepiel (Shaker Ridge CC) 85, Paul Pratico Jr. (Niskayuna) 88, Josh Marr (Albany) 90, Kevin Johnston (Gloversville) 96.

Categories: -Sports-

Leave a Reply