U. S. Mid Am Qualifier at Bretton Woods Goes to Overtime

There were five places available in U.S. Mid-Amateur qualifying at Bretton Woods Recreation Center, August 21, and by early evening four had been determined. A cell of heavy rain forced a suspension of playoff action to sort out the final qualifier and the alternates and they will be decided when play resumes  at 7:15 a.m., August 22.

The course was played at 6,919 yards to a par of 35-36–71.

Earlier, Ben Warnquist, from Olney, Md., earned the medal with a 4-under-par 67, followed by Frank Alafoginis, from Arlington, Va., 68; Ryan Patrick, Reston, Va., 69, and Mike O’Neil, from Baltimore. O’Neil was one of four 70’s to play off (holes 1-2-18) for the final places and after all made par at the first, he holed from about eight feet for birdie at the second. The remaining three made par and moved on, only to be stopped before the 18th could be completed.

Warnquist, 26, a U.S. Amateur qualifier as the medalist earlier this summer, collected another medal with his 33-34, on five birdies — three on par-5’s — and one bogey where he missed a green. The other two birdies came on a chip-in and a 25-foot putt.

Alafoginis, 33, who had qualified twice before (in 2011 and 2018) made it this time with 32-36, finishing with four birdies, one bogey. Three of the birdies were from inside three feet and the other was a two-putt on a par-5. The former Middle Atlantic Amateur champion hit the first 15 greens in regulation, failed to get up-and-down at 16, but made up for it when he struck a bunker shot to three feet to set up his par-5, 18th-hole birdie. “The best I’ve hit it in a long time,”  he reported.

Patrick, who also had qualified twice before (2012 and 2015), posted 35-34. He offset two earlier front-nine birdies with a double-bogey at the par-3 ninth when he hit into the pond beside the green, but rebounded with birdies at 10-11. He capped the round with a two-putt birdie from 15 feet at the 512-yard 18th. The 35-year-old, who works in IT sales, is a veteran of Virginia State Golf Association events, making match play in the Amateur and playing well in several Opens.

O’Neil, 32, who struggled early but was much better late, put up 37-33, as the front nine included three bogeys and the back nine, three birdies. “It was a rough front nine, but I played well and steady on the back, especially ending with 10-foot birdies at 17 and 18,” said the first-time USGA qualifier, who works in land acquisition .

The championship will be held Sept. 14-19, in Parker, Colo., at the Colorado Golf Club.