Low scores were the story at Miami Valley Golf Club on Monday, July 15th for the United States Amateur Sectional Qualifier. 54 players competed for two qualifying positions, and after the morning round, it was anyone's tournament. Soft conditions and true greens led to more than a few low rounds; eight players were under par, and fourteen players were within five shots of the leader, Joe Kastelic, who fired a 5-under-par 66 to kick off his day. Kastelic of Newton, North Carolina was closely followed by Craig Purpus of Minster, Ohio and Matt Buse of Loveland, OH who both carded rounds of 68. Four players stood at 69, and one at 70.
By the time the players went off for the afternoon round, the blistering heat began to take a toll on the golf course and the players. The course firmed up, and the players tired out. There were less rounds under par, but scores stayed fairly low. Joe Kastelic was the first player to come in, and his afternoon round of 72 was good enough to claim one of the two qualifying positions. Matt Buse was the only player in the field to shoot under par for both rounds, and his 4-under-par total of 138 tied Kastelic and earned him the one remaining qualifying position. Kenny Cook and his 3-under-par total of 139 was one stroke shy of sharing the top score of 138, but claimed the first alternate spot. Our second alternate was Robert Schustrich who shot a 2-under-par 140 and second round 69.The two qualifiers will now compete in the U.S. Amateur which will be held at The Country Club in Brookline, Massachusetts from August 12-18th. The historic club has hosted numerous USGA events in the past including five U.S. Amateurs, and is considered one of the oldest country clubs in the United States. We would like to thank all the participants and Miami Valley Golf Club for hosting the qualifier, and good luck to our two competitors moving on.
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