U.S. Mid-Amateur: Inside the Field
07 Sep 2022
by Jim Young of AmateurGolf.com
see also: U.S. Mid-Amateur Championship, Erin Hills Golf Course
Nate (left) and Mike McCoy
A total of 264 competitors from 43 states and 15 countries will converge in northern Wisconsin for the playing of the 41st U.S. Mid-Amateur Champion, which gets underway on Saturday at Erin Hills and Blue Mound Golf & Country Club.
Ranging in ages from 25 to 59, the U.S. Mid-Amateur consistently features one of the most eclectic and diverse fields of all the USGA Championship events.
Where else will a pair of brothers, Blake and Derek Barribeau, qualifiers from Michigan, compete alongside amateur royalty such as Stewart Hagestad, Nathan Smith and Mike McCoy? Blake, who has worked as a caddie at Winged Foot Golf Club and played collegiate soccer, survived an 8-for-1 playoff to gain entry into his first USGA Championship, while Derek who works in sales for an automotive electronics supplier, played collegiately at Grand Valley State University.
Hagestad, Smith and McCoy have combined to win eight USGA championships while the latter two will serve as captains for Team USA for the next two Walker Cup Matches.
Don't expect any small talk if Jeff Butler, Seiji Liu and Joey Gullion get together for lunch. Butler earned a Ph.D. in chemistry (organic synthesis) from the University of California, Davis and completed his post-doctoral research in the same discipline at the University of Texas and is now the president of a company that manufactures pharmaceutical fine chemicals and ingredients. Liu, who played collegiately at Harvard, is the co-founder and chief operating officer of Forme (Science), a foundation for physical and cognitive health while Gullion, who earned his MBA from Rice, is the chief commercial officer for a group that develops and manufactures chemical intermediates.
When he's not playing golf, Jeronimo Esteve, 41, of Puerto Rico is vice president and general manager of an automobile group and a driving instructor for high-performance racing cars. Esteve has driven in a 25-hour endurance race and has built cars to compete at that level. He has played in nine USGA championships, including six U.S. Mid-Amateurs, advancing to match play three times.
Three sons of great champions are also in the field, including Raymond Floyd Jr., 47, who is the son of World Golf Hall of Fame inductee Raymond Floyd, who won the 1986 U.S. Open, three other major professional titles and 22 PGA Tour events; Nate McCoy, the son of former U.S. Mid-Amateur and current British Senior Amateur champion; and Dalton Melnyk, whose father, Steve, won the 1969 U.S. Amateur, played on two USA Walker Cup Teams and was a longtime network television golf analyst.
And don't be surprised if James Leow, 25, a former sergeant and instructor in the Singapore Army, makes a deep run at Erin Hills. Leow recently completed his career at Arizona State and won the prestigious Pacific Coast Amateur in July.
Here's a deeper dive into the 264-player field who will be competing for the Robert T. Jones Jr. Memorial Trophy starting Saturday in Wisconsin.
• • • • •
Related: U.S. Mid-Amateur Preview
• • • • •
Inside the Field
Among the 264 golfers in the 2022 U.S. Mid-Amateur field, there are:
Oldest Competitors: Michael McCoy (59, born 11-21-62), Jeff Frazier (57, born 9-21-64), Doug Clapp (55, born 5-28-67)
Youngest Competitors: Connor Lyon (25, born 7-21-97), Daniel Connolly (25, born 6-30-97), Mitchell Ford (25, born 6-20-97), Hugh Foley (25, born 5-9-97), Rhett Pooley (25, born 5-8-97)
Average Age of Field: 35.46
• • • • •
Did You Know? Mike McCoy defeated Doug Clapp in the second round of the 1998 U.S. Mid-Amateur at NCR Country Club in Kettering, Ohio. "That was before some of the 25-year-olds in the field this year could walk I’m sure," said Clapp. "Makes me feel old for sure."
• • • • •
U.S. States Represented: 43 states are represented in the 2022 U.S. Mid-Amateur: California (26), Texas (22), Florida (16) North Carolina (15), Illinois (12), Pennsylvania (12), New York (8), South Carolina (8), Massachusetts (7), Ohio (7), Michigan (6), New Jersey (6), Tennessee (6), Colorado (5), Connecticut (5), Georgia (5), Maryland (5), Minnesota (5), Oklahoma (5), Oregon (5), Alabama (4), Iowa (4), Louisiana (4), Missouri (4), Nebraska (4), Virginia (4), Wisconsin (4), Arizona (3), Kentucky (3), Utah (3), Indiana (2), Maine (2), Mississippi (2), Alaska (1), Arkansas (1), Idaho (1), Kansas (1), New Mexico (1), North Dakota (1), South Dakota (1), Vermont (1), Washington (1) and West Virginia (1).
International: 15 countries are represented in the 2022 U.S. Mid-Amateur: United States (239), Canada (8), Australia (2), Republic of Ireland (2), Mexico (2), Panama (2), Argentina (1), France (1), Guatemala (1), New Zealand (1), Puerto Rico (1), Singapore (1), South Africa (1), Sweden (1) and Venezuela (1).
USGA Champions (9): Stewart Hagestad (2016, 2021 U.S. Mid-Amateur), Scott Harvey (2014 U.S. Mid-Amateur, 2019 U.S. Amateur Four-Ball), Michael McCoy (2013 U.S. Mid-Amateur), Lukas Michel (2019 U.S. Mid-Amateur), Matt Parziale (2017 U.S. Mid-Amateur), Sammy Schmitz (2015 U.S. Mid-Amateur), Nathan Smith (2003, 2009, 2010, 2012 U.S. Mid-Amateur, 2015 U.S. Amateur Four-Ball), Chad Wilfong (2022 U.S. Amateur Four-Ball), Davis Womble (2022 U.S. Amateur Four-Ball)
USGA Runners-Up (9): Brett Boner (2018 U.S. Mid-Amateur), Chip Brooke (2018 U.S. Amateur Four-Ball), Kenny Cook (2011 U.S. Mid-Amateur), Mark Costanza (2021 U.S. Mid-Amateur), Joseph Deraney (2019 U.S. Mid-Amateur), Scott Harvey (2016 U.S. Mid-Amateur), Brad Nurski (2014 U.S. Mid-Amateur), Cody Paladino (2007 U.S. Amateur Public Links), Bill Williamson (2013 U.S. Mid-Amateur)
Players in Field with Most U.S. Mid-Amateur Appearances (2022 included): Michael McCoy (23), Nathan Smith (17), Scott Harvey (13)
Played in 2021 U.S. Mid-Amateur (44):
Andrew Bailey, John Barone, Stephen Behr, Hayes Brown, Doug Clapp, Nathan Colson, Mark Costanza, Joseph Deraney, Jimmy Ellis, Jeronimo Esteve, Tom Glissmeyer, Ryan Greer, Harvin Groft, Ryan Gutowski, Stewart Hagestad, Stephen Hale, Colby Harwell, Cole Isban, Nick Maccario, Michael McCoy, Nate McCoy, Yaroslav Merkulov, Lukas Michel, Matt Nicholas, Brad Nurski, Miguel Ordonez, Gregor Orlando, Cody Paladino, Matt Parziale, Andrew Paysse, Toby Ragland, Andrew Sajevic, Austin Schmidt, Sammy Schmitz, Jason Schultz, Christian Sease, Chadd Slutzky, Jack Smith, Nathan Smith, Brad Tilley, Alejandro Villavicencio, Garrett Wagner, Chad Wilfong, Davis Womble
Played in 2019 U.S. Mid-Amateur (40): PJ Acierno, Mark Acosta, Brett Boner, Kory Bowman, Cullen Brasfield, Chip Brooke, Brandon Cloete, Mark Costanza, Michael Cress, Derek Dalziel, Benjamin Day, Joseph Deraney, Nicolas Donaldson, Jack Dukeminier, Ryan Eibner, Jeronimo Esteve, Jeremy Gearhart, Ryan Greer, Stewart Hagestad, Stephen Hale, Scott Harvey, Creighton Honeck, John Humphries, Joseph Latowski, David Lebowitz, Michael McCoy, Dalton Melnyk, Yaroslav Merkulov, Lukas Michel, Nick Nosewicz, Brad Nurski, Matt Parziale, John Ramsey, Jason Schultz, Maxwell Scodro, Nathan Smith, Scott Turner, Alejandro Villavicencio, Chad Wilfong, Bill Williamson
had Wilfong (left) and Davis Womble
Played in 2018 U.S. Mid-Amateur (30): Stephen Behr, Gerod Black, Brett Boner, Kory Bowman, Chip Brooke, Kenny Cook, Benjamin Day, Kyle Downey, Ryan Eibner, Harvin Groft, Stewart Hagestad, Bryce Hanstad, Scott Harvey, Broc Haymon, Cole Isban, Chris Kamin, David Lebowitz, Michael McCoy, Brad Nurski, Jeff Osberg, Matt Parziale, Andrew Sajevic, Scotland Schmidt, Sammy Schmitz, Scott Shingler, Nathan Smith, Chris Thayer, Brad Tilley, Chad Wilfong, Daniel Wittlinger
Played in 2017 U.S. Mid-Amateur (22): Joseph Deraney, David Easley, Jeronimo Esteve, Raymond Floyd Jr., Jeff Frazier, Stewart Hagestad, Scott Harvey, Michael McCoy, Brad Nurski, Mike O’Donnell, Gregor Orlando, Jeff Osberg, Matt Parziale, John Sawin, Mark Scheibach, Sammy Schmitz, Scott Shingler, Chadd Slutzky, Nathan Smith, Brad Tilley, Chad Wilfong, Bill Williamson
Played in 2022 U.S. Open (1): Stewart Hagestad
Played in 2022 U.S. Senior Open (1): Tony Soerries
Played in 2022 U.S. Amateur (13): Mark Costanza, Benjamin Day, Jack Dukeminier, Jimmy Ellis, Mitchell Ford, Stewart Hagestad, Chris Kamin, Matthew Lowe, Sam Marley, Matt Parziale, Jack Schultz, Chad Wilfong, Davis Womble
Played in 2022 U.S. Senior Amateur (2): Jeff Frazier, Michael McCoy
Played in 2022 U.S. Amateur Four-Ball (24): Olof Bengtsson, Kory Bowman, Chip Brooke, Casey Carnes, Daniel Connolly, Kenny Cook, Ben Cooley, Mark Daniel, Torey Edwards, Kevin Grady, Scott Harvey, Creighton Honeck, Matthew Kilgo, Nick Maccario, Josh Persons, Toby Ragland, John Ramsey, Andrew Sajevic, Jason Schultz, Chadd Slutzky, Nathan Smith, Chris Thayer, Chad Wilfong, Davis Womble
Played in 2021 Walker Cup Match (1): Stewart Hagestad
Played in 2019 Walker Cup Match (1): Stewart Hagestad
Played in 2017 Walker Cup Match (1): Stewart Hagestad
Played in 2015 Walker Cup Match (2): Scott Harvey, Michael McCoy
Played in 2013 Walker Cup Match (1): Nathan Smith
Played in 2017 U.S. Open at Erin Hills (2): Stewart Hagestad, Scott Harvey
Played in 2011 U.S. Amateur at Erin Hills (12): Michael Barbosa, Preston Dembowiak, Jack Dukeminier, Drew Evans, Kevin Fitzgerald, Stewart Hagestad, Michael McCoy, Jeff Osberg, Christian Raynor, Jack Schultz, Maxwell Scodro, Nathan Smith
• • • • •
Related: Tee Times and Pairings
• • • • •
USGA's Player Notes
Blake Barribeau, 25, of Brighton, Mich., and his older brother, Derek, each advanced through the Armonk, N.Y., qualifier on Aug. 1. Blake survived an 8-for-1 playoff when he hit a 93-yard wedge to tap-in range on the first extra hole and will play in his first USGA championship. Barribeau, who has worked as a caddie at Winged Foot Golf Club, was a defender on the soccer team from 2017-19 at Palm Beach Atlantic University, an NCAA Division II program. He and his brother were exposed to golf at a young age on a par-3 course in Northern Michigan.
Derek Barribeau, 31, of Royal Oak, Mich., advanced to his first USGA championship with birdies on four of his last five holes to card a 68 in the Armonk, N.Y., qualifier on Aug. 1. He was joined by his younger brother, Blake, who advanced in an 8-for-1 playoff at the same qualifier. Derek, who works in sales for an automotive electronics supplier, played collegiately at Grand Valley State University, an NCAA Division II program. He was a member of the Brighton High School team that finished third in the 2009 Division I Michigan state championship.
Stephen Behr Jr., 29, of Atlanta, Ga., reached the Round of 16 in last year’s U.S. Mid-Amateur, where he lost to eventual champion Stewart Hagestad in 23 holes. Behr also advanced to the Round of 16 in 2018, when he was the stroke-play medalist. Behr earned his degree in accounting from Clemson University and is currently working in global sales for a software solutions company. Although he was a second-team All-American and a first-team All-Atlantic Coast Conference selection for the Tigers in 2016, Behr chose not to turn professional. His father, Steve, is the head golf professional at Florence (S.C.) Country Club.
San Francisco's Daniel Connolly is headed to this year's #USMidAm after earning medalist honors (6-under 66) at Monday's qualifier at The Fountaingrove Club https://t.co/c0Mb8iUNM1 pic.twitter.com/Mg8g6GK9q0— NCGA (@ncga1901) August 22, 2022
Hayes Brown, 33, of Charlotte, N.C., advanced to last year’s U.S. Mid-Amateur semifinals in his second USGA championship. He made match play with an eagle hole-out on the second stroke-play playoff hole and went on to become the first No. 64 seed to reach the Mid-Amateur semifinals. Brown, who works in asset management for a real estate company, reached the quarterfinals with partner Jack Larkin in the 2018 U.S. Amateur Four-Ball. He was a member of the Wofford College golf team for three years.
Jeff Butler, 39, of El Dorado Hills, Calif., is the president of a company that manufactures pharmaceutical fine chemicals and ingredients. He earned a Ph.D. in chemistry (organic synthesis) from the University of California, Davis and completed his post-doctoral research in the same discipline at the University of Texas. Butler qualified for his first USGA championship with a 69 at Serrano Country Club, in El Dorado Hills, Calif., on Aug. 1. He was an all-state high school selection in Oklahoma and a walk-on at Cal State Bakersfield.
Franco Castro, 30, of Atlanta, Ga., is the younger brother of Roberto Castro, who has played in six U.S. Opens, and the nephew of Jenny Lidback, who competed in nine U.S. Women’s Opens and won the 1995 du Maurier Classic, an LPGA major at the time. Franco, who works as an insurance broker, has played in two USGA championships, including the 2010 U.S. Amateur. He played collegiately at LSU and Charlotte before trying the professional ranks for two years. In 2022, he and partner Tyler Gruca won the Georgia State Golf Association Four-Ball title. Castro also tied for third in the GSGA Mid-Amateur in May.
First report from my brother at the US Mid-Am: "Half the guys on the range are acting like it's the US Open, and the other half are taking work calls. It's awesome"— Roberto Castro (@cicioCASTRO) September 8, 2022
Nathan Colson, 39, of Mequon, Wis., has played in nine USGA championships, including five U.S. Mid-Amateurs. He has advanced to the Round of 32 in the Mid-Amateur three times. Colson, who serves as chief financial officer for a private mortgage insurance company, played at Marquette University from 2001-06. He recently received the school’s Young Alumnus of the Year Award. He was twice the Wisconsin State Golf Association Boys Player of the Year while competing at Plymouth High School. His father, Sam, won the 1973 NCAA Division I javelin title and finished fifth in the 1976 Olympic Games.
Mark Costanza, 33, of Morristown, N.J., was the runner-up to Stewart Hagestad in last year’s U.S. Mid-Amateur at Sankaty Head Golf Club. Constanza is a two-time Metropolitan Golf Association player of the year (2020, 2021). He shot 67-73 in U.S. Open final qualifying in Purchase, N.Y. on June 6, missing the playoff by two strokes. In 2020, he won the New Jersey State Open and the MGA Met Amateur. Costanza, who is an investment banker for an independent firm, played his college golf at St. John’s and Southern Methodist (SMU). He has played in three USGA championships.
Joseph Deraney, 38, of Tupelo, Miss., was the runner-up to Lukas Michel in the 2019 U.S. Mid-Amateur at Colorado Golf Club. He has won two Canadian Mid-Amateurs (2018, 2019), the 2019 Mississippi State Amateur and the 2020 Mississippi Mid-Amateur, and played in this year’s RBC Canadian Open. A two-time Mississippi Golf Association Player of the Year, Deraney also won the 2016 and 2017 Kentucky Mid-Amateurs. Deraney, a stay-at-home father to three children, has competed in seven USGA championships. His wife, Sarah, is a diagnostic radiology specialist.
Chris Dukeminier, 39, of Portland, Ore., is the senior global brand director for Nike, Inc. He has played in two USGA championships, including the 2016 U.S. Mid-Amateur. He and his brother, Jack, were co-medalists in the Lake Oswego, Ore., qualifier on Aug. 1, and also partners in the 2018 U.S. Amateur Four-Ball Championship. Chris played at the University of Oregon in 2005-06, when he was chosen to the Pac-12 Conference All-Academic Team and GCAA All-America Scholar Team.
Jack Dukeminier, 33, of Beaverton, Ore., has played in seven USGA championships and reached the Round of 32 in the 2019 U.S. Mid-Amateur, Dukeminier, who handles portfolios for a wealth management firm, has competed in five U.S. Amateurs, including last month at The Ridgewood Country Club. He and his brother, Chris, are both playing in this year’s U.S. Mid-Amateur. Jack was a member of the University of Oregon team that reached the semifinals of the 2010 NCAA Championship. He has won three Oregon Mid-Amateur titles (2017, 2020, 2021).
Jeronimo Esteve, 41, of Puerto Rico, is vice president and general manager of an automobile group and a driving instructor for high-performance racing cars. Esteve has driven in a 25-hour endurance race and has built cars to compete at that level. He has played in nine USGA championships, including six U.S. Mid-Amateurs, advancing to match play three times. Esteve, who lives in Windermere, Fla., and played golf at Dartmouth College, has competed in six Latin America Amateur Championships and two World Amateur Team Championships. He tied for ninth in this year’s Latin America Amateur, his best finish in the event.
Raymond Floyd Jr., 47, of Tunbridge, Vt., is the son of World Golf Hall of Fame inductee Raymond Floyd, who won the 1986 U.S. Open, three other major professional titles and 22 PGA Tour events. Floyd Jr. has played in 10 USGA championships, including seven U.S. Mid-Amateurs. He caddied for his father in his last Masters Tournament appearance. Floyd Jr., who played at Wake Forest University in the late 1990s, works for an equity trading firm.
— Golf House KY ⛳️🏠 (@GolfHouseKY) August 2, 2022
Erin Hills and the #USMidAm beckon for these gentlemen! Kentuckians Alex Turner and Taylor Thompson successfully qualified today in Bowling Green, as did Nashville's Rosario Falzone. Rounds of 67 (-5) or better got each of them through.
Joey Gullion, 51, of The Woodlands, Texas, is competing in his second U.S. Mid-Amateur, 12 years after reaching the Round of 16 in 2010. Gullion, who is the chief commercial officer for a group that develops and manufactures chemical intermediates, has played in two U.S. Opens (1995, 1996) and made the 36-hole cut in both. He advanced to his first Open through both qualifying stages. Gullion, who earned his MBA from Rice University, competed on the PGA Tour and Korn Ferry Tour before being reinstated as an amateur in 2005.
Stewart Hagestad, 31, of Newport Beach, Calif., became the sixth player to win multiple U.S. Mid-Amateurs last year at Sankaty Head Golf Club. He also won the 2016 championship by rallying to defeat Scott Harvey in 37 holes. Hagestad, who has played in 26 USGA championships, has been a member of three winning USA Walker Cup Teams (2017, 2019, 2021) and won a gold medal in the mixed team competition of the 2019 Pan American Games. Hagestad also reached the semifinals in both the 2018 and 2019 U.S. Mid-Amateurs. He was the low amateur in the 2017 Masters Tournament, becoming the first invited Mid-Amateur champion to make the 36-hole cut. In 2022, he competed in his fourth U.S. Open, finishing 64th at The Country Club, and reached the quarterfinals of the U.S. Amateur.
Scott Harvey, 44, of Greensboro, N.C., has competed in 35 USGA championships, including 12 U.S. Mid-Amateurs. He won the 2014 U.S. Mid-Amateur at Saucon Valley Country Club, in Bethlehem, Pa., and was the runner-up to Stewart Hagestad in 2016. Harvey, a property manager, has a 20-10 match-play Mid-Amateur record and was a member of the 2015 USA Walker Cup Team. In 2019, he won the U.S. Amateur Four-Ball with partner Todd Mitchell at Bandon Dunes Golf Resort. Harvey advanced to his first U.S. Open in 2017 at Erin Hills when he shot a 63 in the first round of final qualifying. He won the 2021 Carolinas Amateur, his 10th Carolinas Golf Association title.
Trent Leon, 36, of Fort Worth, Texas, comes from a golf family. He and his brother, Tyler, helped Oklahoma State University win the 2006 NCAA Championship and are now managing partners for an oil and gas investment company. His sister, Taylor, competed in five U.S. Women’s Opens and was a member of the 2006 USA Curtis Cup Team. Their father, Art, played in the 1987 and 1994 U.S. Senior Opens. Trent, who played for two years as a professional on the Challenge Tour before earning reinstatement as an amateur, competed in three U.S. Amateurs, advancing to match play in 2008, and was a three-time college All-American. His OSU teammates included Rickie Fowler and Peter Uihlein.
James Leow, 25, of Singapore, recently completed his career at Arizona State University where he won the Thunderbird Collegiate as a senior and earned a degree in finance. He served 22 months of compulsory military service for his country as a sergeant and instructor to newly enlisted recruits and missed most of his junior year at ASU following surgery. Leow, who has competed in two U.S. Amateurs (2020, 2021), won this year’s Pacific Coast Amateur by two strokes. He tied for ninth in the Asia-Pacific Amateur last November after tying for fifth in 2019. He also was victorious in the 2018 Singapore National Amateur.
Seiji Liu, 29, of Beverly Hills, Calif., is the co-founder and chief operating officer of Forme (Science), a foundation for physical and cognitive health. Liu, who will be playing in his first USGA championship after earning medalist honors in the Las Vegas, Nev., qualifier on Aug. 8, has also worked with the PGA Tour to launch the Forme Tour. Liu played college golf at Harvard University and is working toward his MBA from the University of Pennsylvania in 2023. His younger sister, Mika, was a member of the 2016 USA Curtis Cup Team and won the inaugural U.S. Amateur Women’s Four-Ball Championship in 2015. His brother, Seiya, and sister, Marika, played collegiately at Harvard and Yale, respectively.
Nick Maccario, 30, of Haverhill, Mass., advanced to last year’s U.S. Mid-Amateur semifinals after surviving a 13-for-7 stroke-play playoff. Maccario, who works in sales for an investment firm, reached the Round of 16 with partner Mike Calef in this year’s U.S. Amateur Four-Ball. In 2020, he was chosen Massachusetts Golf Association Player of the Year after a runner-up finish in the New England Amateur and winning the Massachusetts Amateur. He stopped playing competitive golf around 2012 before returning to play at the mid-amateur level.
Michael McCoy, 59, of Des Moines, Iowa, has competed in 66 USGA championships, including a record 22 U.S. Mid-Amateurs. He was the low amateur in the 2014 and 2015 U.S. Senior Opens and in 2013 became the second-oldest winner of the U.S. Mid-Amateur when he defeated Bill Williamson in the 36-hole final at the Country Club of Birmingham (Ala.). A member of the 2015 USA Walker Cup Team, he owns a 27-13 Mid-Amateur match-play record. McCoy, whose son, Nate, is also in this year’s field, works in the insurance business and is a member of the Iowa Golf Hall of Fame. McCoy, who won this year’s British Senior Amateur, will serve as captain of the 2023 USA Walker Cup Team.
Nate McCoy, 32, of Ankeny, Iowa, is the director of handicapping and course rating for the Iowa Golf Association. He made match play in last year’s U.S. Mid-Amateur and has played in two U.S. Amateurs (2009, 2019). McCoy, whose father, Michael, is also in this year’s U.S. Mid-Amateur field, played at Iowa State University, where he earned All-Big 12 Conference recognition and was the first Cyclone to advance to the NCAA Championship since 1980. McCoy, who made 37 starts on PGA Tour Canada, was reinstated as an amateur in 2018. He won this year’s Iowa Amateur and Iowa Match Play.
Dalton Melnyk, 42, of Atlanta, Ga., has played in his three USGA championships, including the 2019 U.S. Mid-Amateur. His father, Steve, won the 1969 U.S. Amateur, played on two USA Walker Cup Teams and was a longtime network television golf analyst. His brother, Butler, who works for a sports management company, has competed in two USGA championships. Dalton, who is an insurance broker, played at the University of Florida, which won the 2001 NCAA Championship and two Southeastern Conference (SEC) titles during that period.
Yaroslav Merkulov, 30, of Rochester, N.Y., established the 36-hole stroke-play scoring record (66-65–131) as medalist in last year’s U.S. Mid-Amateur and was a quarterfinalist in the 2019 Mid-Amateur at Colorado Golf Club. Merkulov, who is a field sales engineer for an optical products manufacturer, has competed in eight USGA championships, including three U.S. Amateurs. He also advanced to the quarterfinals of the 2009 U.S. Junior Amateur, losing to three-time USGA champion Jordan Spieth. Merkulov, who was born in Russia and recovered from open-heart surgery at age 11, attempted to qualify for the Mackenzie Tour-PGA Tour Canada in 2016 and was reinstated as an amateur three years later. He played golf at Duke University.
Lukas Michel, 28, of Australia, became the first international player to win the U.S. Mid-Amateur when he defeated Joseph Deraney in the 36-hole final at Colorado Golf Club in 2019. He went on to play in the U.S. Open and the Masters in 2020. Michel, who earned a master’s degree in mechanical engineering from the University of Melbourne, grew up playing with Curtis Luck (2016 U.S. Amateur champion) and Oliver Goss (2013 U.S. Amateur runner-up). His father, Ivor, immigrated from Czechoslovakia in the late 1960s. Michel, who works as a golf course architect for a London-based group, tied for ninth in this year’s Australian Master of the Amateurs.
Brad Nurski, 43, of St. Joseph, Mo., is a conductor and switchman for Burlington Northern Santa Fe (BNSF) Railway. He was the runner-up to Scott Harvey, with whom he shared medalist honors, in the 2014 U.S. Mid-Amateur and has played in 18 USGA championships. The left-hander has won three Missouri Golf Association (MGA) State Amateur titles (2010, 2017, 2018). In 2019, Nurski won the MGA Stroke Play in a three-way playoff and was runner-up in the MGA Amateur. Nurski, who won his third MGA Stroke Play on July 27, is a member of the Missouri Western State University athletic hall of fame.
Cody Paladino, 33, of West Hartford, Conn., was the runner-up in the 2007 U.S. Amateur Public Links and has played in nine USGA championships. He reached the Round of 64 in his first U.S. Mid-Amateur last year. He was reinstated as an amateur in April 2020 after playing professionally for five years on four tours and in 22 countries. Paladino, who works in the healthcare industry, won the 2021 New England Amateur with a 54-hole score of 10-under 206 and was runner-up in the Connecticut State Amateur and Connecticut Mid-Amateur that same year. His older brother, Brent, is the senior director of Championship Administration for the USGA.
Matt Parziale, 35, of Brockton, Mass., won the 2017 U.S. Mid-Amateur Championship at Capital City Club’s Crabapple Course. Parziale became the first Mid-Amateur champion to earn a full exemption into the following year’s U.S. Open. A former firefighter who now works for an insurance brokerage firm, Parziale shared low-amateur honors with Luis Gagne in the 2018 U.S. Open at Shinnecock Hills. He has reached match play five times in seven U.S. Mid-Amateurs played. Parziale, who played in this year’s U.S. Amateur, was the runner-up to Michael Thorbjornsen in the 2021 Massachusetts State Amateur.
Andrew Paysse, 27, of Temple, Texas, is the brother-in-law of PGA Tour player Scottie Scheffler, who won the Masters Tournament and tied for second in the U.S. Open in 2022. Paysse, who is an account executive for the family’s insurance company, married Callie Scheffler, who played golf at Texas A&M University and competed in the 2012 U.S. Girls’ Junior. Paysse earned All-Central Region honors in 2017-18 as a senior at Texas A&M when he posted four top-10 finishes. Paysse, whose brother, William, currently plays for the Aggies and has competed in two U.S. Amateurs, was the medalist in the Leander, Texas, qualifier on Aug. 15. He reached the Round of 32 in last year’s U.S. Mid-Amateur.
Toby Ragland, 36, of Jacksonville, Fla., is a chaplain with the College Golf Fellowship, a ministry that has existed since 1980. Last year, he competed in the U.S. Mid-Amateur, his first USGA championship in 17 years after playing in both the U.S. Amateur and U.S. Junior Amateur in 2004. Toby and his father, Jim, were both coached on the college level by 1986 U.S. Amateur champion Stewart “Buddy” Alexander. Toby played at the University of Florida from 2005-09, while Jim, who qualified for two U.S. Amateurs and the 2014 U.S. Senior Open, played at Georgia Southern University from 1978-82.
John Reid, 28, of Orem, Utah, is competing in his first USGA championship after carding a 67 to advance from the Syracuse, Utah, qualifier on Aug. 10. He is the son of Mike Reid, who played in 19 U.S. Opens and 10 U.S. Senior Opens and won twice on both the PGA Tour and PGA Tour Champions. John played in college at Southern Utah and Dixie State (now Utah Tech), where he earned Pacific West Conference all-academic honors. Reid, who will earn a degree in psychology this year, was a teaching professional before being reinstated as an amateur in 2021.
Derek Rende, 35, of Chattanooga, Tenn., will compete in his first U.S. Mid-Amateur after qualifying with a 67 at Chattanooga Golf and Country Club on Aug. 11. Rende once caddied for his wife, Brooke Pancake, on the LPGA Tour. Pancake, who was a member of the 2012 USA Curtis Cup Team, has played in four U.S. Women’s Opens. Rende competed in the 2007 U.S. Amateur, won the 2008 Tennessee Amateur and was a four-time All-Southern Conference selection at the University of Tennessee, Chattanooga. Rende, who works in commercial insurance, had a brief stint on PGA Tour Latinoamerica.
Jesse Rhymes, 41, of Copperas Cove, Texas, has served in the U.S. Army since 2001 and has risen to rank of chief warrant officer 4 (CW4). He is a tactical and technical expert and was appointed by the Secretary of the Army. In 2017, Rhymes received the Soldier’s Medal, which is awarded for distinguished heroism not involving conflict with an enemy. Rhymes advanced to his first USGA championship by earning medalist honors with a 7-under 64 in the Kapolei, Hawaii, qualifier on July 27. He was runner-up in this year’s Hawaii State Golf Association Mid-Amateur.
John Sawin, 37, of Pebble Beach, Calif., is vice president and director of golf at Pebble Beach Golf Links, which will host the 2023 U.S. Women’s Open, its 14th USGA championship. He took on his current position in 2018 after working for a decade in financial services and wealth management. Sawin, who has played in two U.S. Amateurs, qualified for his fourth U.S. Mid-Amateur with a 68 in the Santa Barbara, Calif., qualifier on Aug. 15. He was three-time All-Ivy League selection at Princeton University and helped the Tigers win their third consecutive league title in 2006. He won the Pennsylvania Amateur in 2014 by three strokes at Oakmont (Pa.) Country Club.
Mark Scheibach, 49, of Bermuda Dunes, Calif., returns to his native state where he was a three-time all-state selection at Fond du Lac High School and helped the University of Wisconsin claim Big Ten Conference championships in 1993 and 1994. Scheibach, who earned All-Big Ten honors three times, is the general manager of The Thermal Club, a private resort community for motorsports enthusiasts in Indio, Calif. He previously served as the chief operating officer at The Quarry at La Quinta from 2016-21. He advanced to his fifth U.S. Mid-Amateur through the Rancho Cucamonga, Calif., qualifier on Aug. 22.
Sammy Schmitz, 42, of Farmington, Minn., won the 2015 U.S. Mid-Amateur Championship. Schmitz recorded the second known ace on a par 4 in USGA championship history when he holed his tee shot on No. 15 at John’s Island Club’s West Course in the championship match. Schmitz has competed in 10 USGA championships, including seven U.S. Mid-Amateurs. He is a member of the St. John’s University (Minn.) J-Club Hall of Honor as the school’s only four-time golf All-American and was inducted last November into the MGA-PGA Minnesota Golf Hall of Fame.
Jack Schultz, 32, of Milwaukee, Wis., advanced to his first U.S. Mid-Amateur with a 67 (1 eagle, 4 birdies) in the Waukesha, Wis., qualifier on Aug. 23. Schultz has played in nine USGA championships, including this year’s U.S. Amateur at The Ridgewood Country Club. Schultz, a computer engineer for an IT and software development company, won the 2007 Wisconsin Division I state championship as a member of the Whitefish Bay High School team. In 2011, he captured the Wisconsin Match Play title and tied for second in the Wisconsin Amateur. Schultz played at the University of Michigan, where he was the Big Ten Conference Freshman of the Year in 2010.
Christian Sease, 28, of Mount Pleasant, S.C., advanced to last year’s U.S. Mid-Amateur quarterfinals in his first USGA championship. Sease, who was reinstated as an amateur in Feb. 2021, works for a health insurance agency. In 2021, he was chosen South Carolina Amateur Player of the Year and won the state mid-amateur. His cousin, Jordan, has played in two U.S. Mid-Amateurs and reached match play in 2018. His fiancé, Ashley Sloup, reached the Round of 64 in last year’s U.S. Women’s Mid-Amateur. She is in her second year as assistant golf coach at Campbell University, in Buies Creek, N.C.
Nathan Smith, 44, of Pittsburgh, Pa., is a four-time U.S. Mid-Amateur champion (2003, 2009, 2010, 2012) and will serve as captain of the 2025 USA Walker Cup Team. Smith, who is tied for second in career Mid-Amateur match-play wins (34) behind Jerry Courville Jr.’s 36, also won the 2015 U.S. Amateur Four-Ball title with partner Todd White. A member of three USA Walker Cup Teams (2009, 2011, 2013), Smith works as an investment advisor. He has played in 49 USGA championships, including 16 U.S. Mid-Amateurs. Smith, who has won two Pennsylvania Amateurs, has been inducted into Western Pennsylvania Golf and Allegheny College halls of fame.
Brad Tilley, 39, of Easton, Conn., was the stroke-play medalist and advanced to the quarterfinals in the 2017 U.S. Mid-Amateur. He has played in nine USGA championships, including four U.S. Amateurs. Tilley, who works with food and beverage imports, competed on professional tours for eight years before regaining his amateur status. He defeated Robbie Herzig, 6 and 5, to win this year’s MGA Met Amateur, held at Fenway Golf Club, the stroke-play co-host course for the 2023 U.S. Mid-Amateur. He earned first-team All-Atlantic Coast Conference honors at the University of Virginia.
Sam Van Galder, 26, of Janesville, Wis., is an art teacher in the local school district and the head boys’ golf coach at Parker High School. He was influenced by artist Lee Wybranski, who has worked on projects for several golf organizations, including the USGA. Van Galder designed posters for this year’s Wisconsin’s men’s and women’s amateur championships. He was one of three players to advance from the Madison, Wis., qualifier on Aug. 8 and will compete in his first USGA championship. He has qualified for the state amateur 10 times and shares the record with nine Janesville city titles.
Chad Wilfong, 41, of Charlotte, N.C., partnered with Davis Womble to win this year’s U.S. Amateur Four-Ball Championship at the Country Club of Birmingham. He advanced to the Round of 32 in last year’s U.S. Mid-Amateur. Wilfong, a financial consultant who was reinstated as an amateur in 2016, played in 23 tournaments on the Web.com Tour from 2003-06. Wilfong, who also competed on the Hooters and eGolf tours, earned All-America recognition at Wake Forest University. In 2021, he won the Carolinas Mid-Amateur and reached the semifinals of the North & South Amateur.
Davis Womble, 28, of Winston-Salem, N.C., partnered with Chad Wilfong to capture this year’s U.S. Amateur Four-Ball Championship at the Country Club of Birmingham. He also won the Carolinas Mid-Amateur in April by holing a 12-foot eagle putt on the first playoff hole for his fourth Carolinas Golf Association title. Womble, who works in sales for a fuel management company, was a three-time Atlantic Coast Conference All-Academic selection at Wake Forest University and a teammate of Will Zalatoris, this year’s U.S. Open runner-up.
The USGA contributed to this report.
Most Popular Articles
FINAL: U.S. Mid-Amateur qualifying roundup
Preview and LIVE SCORING: 2022 U.S. Mid-Amateur Championship
USGA announces tee times for 41st U.S. Mid-Amateur Championship
U.S. Mid-Amateur: Inside the Field
Holy Cross teammates accomplish rare feat: two albatrosses
Qualifications for the Mid-Am are similar to those for the U.S. Amateur, except for the following: Competitors must be at least 25 years old as of the opening day of the main tournament. Competitors must have a USGA handicap index of 3.4 or lower, as opposed to 2.4 or lower for the U.S. Amateur.
Southern California Golf Association. | News, Events, & Services. | SCGA.
Are you wondering what the average golf score for an amateur golfer is? The average score for an amateur golf player is 90 strokes. A score of 90 strokes on a par 72 course is considered an average score for beginners and amateurs. Anything above 120 is regarded as a bad golf score.
Qualification. The U.S. Open is open to any professional, or to any amateur with a USGA Handicap Index not exceeding 1.4. Players (male or female) may obtain a place by being fully exempt or by competing successfully in qualifying. The field is 156 players.
- STEP 1 - Join the SCGA and get a GHIN number (you use this number to post scores from your rounds)
- STEP 2 - Post three 18-hole scores (or 6 9-hole scores) at scga.org (or use the GHIN mobile app) using your assigned GHIN number.
No. While your SCGA membership includes a Handicap Index, it is not a membership to the USGA.
You can get a GHIN number by joining a golf “club” such as the men's or women's club at a local golf course, or one at your workplace or community.
According to data from the National Golf Foundation, only 26 percent of all golfers shoot below 90 consistently on regulation 18-hole courses; 45 percent of all golfers average more than 100 strokes per round.”
According to their statistics, 55% of golfers break 100. Here is the breakdown according to their study: Average score: Under 80 – 5%
14% of golfers do not break 100. 49% of golfers break 90 regularly. 10% of golfers break 80 regularly.
Most expensive US Open tickets.
As an amateur golfer, you may accept prizes up to a limit of US$1,000 in value, including prize money (for example, cash) in a scratch competition.
There is an option for entry into the US Open that costs to register. You can become a member of the USTA and then register for a qualifying tournament by paying entry fees ranging from $45 to $100. Winning a qualifying competition is the beginning of getting entry into the U.S. Open.
You can post a score GHIN.com, on the USGA's GHIN mobile app, or posting computer found in the golf shop at your local golf course.
Since 1901, the NCGA has served the golfers of Northern California. The NCGA supports and promotes golf in the region as a way of helping golfers better enjoy the benefits of the game.