Local Golf Notebook, May 9: US Open local qualifier at Secession

sports@islandpacket.comMay 9, 2013 

Eighty-nine golfers will have their sights set on Merion on Thursday when Beaufort's Secession Golf Club hosts one of the 111 local qualifiers for the 2013 U.S. Open.

This year's Open will be held June 13 to June 16 at Merion Golf Club in Ardmore, Pa.

More than a third of the golfers at Secession have some tie to Beaufort County. Prominent golfers with area ties include:

  • Beaufort Academy product and current Web.com Tour golfer Mark Anderson;

  • Hank Haney International Junior Golf Academy product and University of South Carolina signee Ben Dietrich;

  • Hilton Head Island resident and former Web.com Tour golfer Chris Epperson;

  • Beaufort High School junior Josh Fickes;

  • Former Hilton Head Christian Academy golfer Will Miles;

  • 2012 U.S. Mid-Amateur competitor and Bluffton resident John Patterson;

  • 2011 S.C. Open champion and Bluffton resident Jordan Pomeranz;

  • Three-time defending Hilton Head Island PGA Professionals champion David Rogers of Bluffton;

  • Two-time defending Hilton Head Island Amateur Golf Association Amateur champion and 2011 Beaufort City Champion Rob Simmons of Beaufort;

  • Hilton Head Island resident and 2009 Hilton Head Open champion Colby Wilson and

  • Hilton Head Prep golfer, 2012 SCISAA individual champion and Wake Forest signee Woody Woodward.

  • Local qualifiers are 18 holes, with several players, depending on the size of the field, advancing to sectional qualifying, where they will compete for a spot in the 156-player U.S. Open field.

    Two players -- Ken Venturi in 1964 and Orville Moody in 1969 -- beat the odds and won the U.S. Open after surviving local and sectional qualifying.


    Hilton Head Island resident and former Hilton Head Christian Academy golfer Will Miles beat Hank Haney International Junior Golf Academy student and Bluffton resident Charlie Spencer-White by six strokes to win the Boys 15-19 division of the International Junior Golf Tour's AHEAD Open last weekend at Bear Creek Golf Club on Hilton Head Island.

    Miles overcame tough playing conditions to put together a consistent opening round of even-par 72, buoyed by 15 pars and two birdies on Nos. 11 and 12. Miles' ability to control his speed on the fast greens and his solid ball striking in the wind vaulted him to the victory.

    In the second round, Miles recorded 14 pars and one birdie leading to a 3-over-par 75. Of the 36 holes Miles played, 29 were pars while adding in three birdies. He played all of the par 3s in 1-over-par, all of the par 4s in 1-over-par, and all of the par 5s in 1-over-par as well.

    In the Boys Under 14 division, Alejandro Santibanez, a full-time Hank Haney IJGA student, posted 76 and 80 to beat Christian Garruppo by eight strokes. Clementina Rodriquez, a student at Hank Haney IJGA, won the Girls Under 19 division, shooting 76 and 73 to beat classmate Phimnipha Wongwaiwate by five strokes.


  • Don Calderia hit a hole-in-one May 1 on the second hole at Hidden Cypress Golf Club. He used a 6-iron. Witnesses were Ernie Gallinari, Wendall Turner, and Ray Letizia.

  • Dick Obrig hit a hole-in-one May 3 on the fifth hole at Moss Creek's South Course. He used a 7-iron. Witnesses were Bob Fulton, Lee Richardson, and Mike Anzivino.

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