May 15, 2007
EVANSTON, Ill. -- Before playing in the NCAA Central Regional Championships later this week, the entire starting lineup for Northwestern's men's golf team took some time away from collegiate golf to try to advance through local qualifying to sectional qualifying for the 2007 U.S. Open. Three Wildcats -- Chris Wilson (Dublin, Ohio/Dublin Coffman), David Merkow (Hartland, Wis./Arrowhead Union) and Kyle Moore (Dublin, Ohio/Dublin Scioto) -- finished high enough in their respective qualifiers to advance to sectionals and move one step away from playing in the U.S. Open.
On Monday, four-fifths of the Wildcat lineup attempted to advance through local qualifying played at the site of the 2006 Big Ten Championships -- Conway Farms in Lake Forest, Ill. Wilson, the 2006 Big Ten medalist, continued his mastery of Conway Farms, leading the 87-person field with a 1-under 70 that bested the second-place score by three shots.
Wilson also won the 2005 U.S. Amateur Sectional Qualifier at Conway Farms.
His qualifying attempt required a little more effort than Wilson's, but junior Kyle Moore (Dublin, Ohio/Dublin Scioto) will join his teammate at sectionals. Moore shot a 6-over 77 to tie for fourth and enter into a playoff with four other golfers for the final three sectional spots.
In the playoff, the other half of the "Dublin Duo" was able to outlast a couple of his competitors and claim the final qualifying spot from Conway Farms.
Junior Dan Doyle (Rochester, Mich./Stoney Creek) and freshman Jonathan Bowers (Columbus, Ohio/Bishop Watterson) were not able to advance along with their teammates.
Merkow, the only Wildcat not to play at Conway Farms, traveled back to his native state of Wisconsin on Tuesday for his attempt to advance to sectionals. Playing at North Shore Country Club in Mequon, Wis., Merkow fired a 2-under 70 to tie Jon Turcott for medalist honors and lock up one of the five spots in sectional qualifying.
The three advancing Wildcats will play in sectional qualifying on June 4 in Columbus, Ohio. The trio will all be vying to become the second Wildcat in as many years to play in the U.S. Open, as former Wildcat Dillon Dougherty played in last year's U.S. Open at Winged Foot thanks to his second-place finish in the 2005 U.S. Amateur.
This year's edition of the U.S. Open will be played at Oakmont Country Club in Oakmont, Pa., from June 14-17.