Old Chatham was honored to host the U.S. Mid-Amateur Championship Sectional Qualifying on Sept. 3, with 104 competitors playing for six spots with two alternates. The course was in perfect condition, with fairways playing fast and firm and green speeds at 13.2 on the Stimpmeter.
Scores came in higher than expected, with the low score being only four under par at 68. When the final players’ scores were posted, there were two players at four under (68); two players at three under (69); and three players at two under (70).
Scott Patnode, playing in one of the last groups, shot a three under 69, forcing the players at 70 to play off for the remaining two spots. All three players teed off the 10th hole in a sudden death, with Sherrill Britt birdying the first playoff hole and the other two halved the hole with pars. They continued to the short par five 14th hole, where the two players halved with birdies. On the 15th hole, each player parred it with fours, but Nick Brown’s birdie attempt was left on the lip for birdie. By the time players progressed to the 16th hole, daylight was getting scarce, making visibility a challenge. Jonathan Jackson, a former UNC golfer, teed off first and hit his worst shot in the playoff, only driving it 140 yards off the tee, leaving him 190 yards to the hole. Nick Brown hit a strong drive and was in good position. Jonathan Jackson hit his approach shot on the green, as did Nick Brown. With visibility vastly diminished, officials from the Carolinas Golf Association and officials from Old Chatham Golf Club began discussing the option of returning the following day. Just then, Jonathan Jackson holed his birdie putt to win the last spot in the playoff. He will be among the six qualifiers who will advance to the U.S. Mid-Amateur Championship Oct. 5-10 at the Country Club of Birmingham in Birmingham, Ala.
Paul Tucker of Waxhaw, N.C. and Joe Jaspers of Huntersville, N.C. both shot four under par 68 to claim medalist honors. Jordan Byrd and Scott Patnode shot 69 each, earning the third and fourth positions. The cut line fell at two under par at 70, with Sherrill Britt earning fifth spot with a birdie on the first playoff hole and Jonathan Jackson sixth with a birdie on the fourth playoff hole.
It was an exciting qualifier, and Old Chatham was proud to host this event and the distinguished golfers competing.