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May 9th, 2013 – For ninety nine of the region’s best amateur and professional golfers, the road to Merion Golf Club and the 113th United States Open began today at the Country Club of Fairfield. A total of six qualifying spots were available, with successful qualifiers advancing to U.S. Open Sectional Qualifying on Monday, June 3rd at one of eleven sites around the country.
Cool and rainy conditions greeted the players who made their way around one of Connecticut’s most historic golf courses. Founded in 1914, the Country Club of Fairfield was designed by renowned architect Seth Raynor and offers beautiful views of the Long Island Sound on nearly every hole. Although it plays a mere 6,435 yards from the Championship Tees, it has played host to some of the area’s most prestigious events, including the 2010 Connecticut Open Championship.
Setting the pace was Rob Labritz, who claimed medalist honors with a two-under par round of 68. He began his round with birdies on four of his first ten holes, and was four under par heading to the 16th tee. However, he would make bogies on the par-4 16th and 18th, both of which comprise the very difficult finishing stretch at CC of Fairfield. Having teed off early in the day, he was unsure if his round would hold up to the strong field of competitors behind him. Ultimately, his solid round of two-under par proved to be the best of the day.
One of the most interesting storylines of the day was a pair of high school students who both advanced in a five hole, six-man playoff. Two of the youngest players in the field, Cameron Chottiner and Peter Richards, advanced to their first US Open Sectional Qualifying with rounds of even par 70. Chottiner and Richards, who are fifteen and sixteen years old respectively, both hail from the same town of Westport, Connecticut. Despite their young age and relative inexperience in US Open Qualifying, both players exhibited the poise of seasoned veterans down the stretch. Chottiner birdied both the par-3 17th and the par-4 18th holes on his way in, while Richards shot a blistering 32 on his second nine. Both players needed the strong finish just to earn their spot in the playoff, and both emerged victorious after a grueling, five hole playoff.
Also advancing was Brian Williams, of New York, NY, who posted a round of 35-34–69 to claim his spot, and Andrew Gai of Westport, Connecticut, who used a back nine score of 31 to earn his way in with a round of 39-31–70.
All successful qualifiers will advane to Sectional Qualifying, which is conducted at eleven sites around the country, as well as two international sites. The national Sectional Qualifiers take place on Monday, June 3rd, where competitors will play 36 holes for a spot to compete at the 2013 U.S. Open Championship, being held June 13th-16th at Merion Golf Club in Ardmore, Pennsylvania.
Local Qualifying- 113th United States Open Championship
Thursday, May 9th, 2013 – Country Club of Fairfield
Par 70 (36-34) — 6,435 yards
1) Rob Labritz (Pound Ridge, New York) – 33-35–68
2) Brian Williams (a) (New York, New York) – 35-34–69
T3) Grant Sturgeon (Port Chester, New York) – 39-31–70
T3) Cameron Chottiner (a) (Westport, Conn.) – 36-34–70
T3) Andrew Gai (Westport, Conn.) – 37-33–70
T3) Peter Richards (a) (Westport, Conn.) – 38-32–70
1st) Chris Case (a) (Mount Kisko, New York) – 34-36–70
2nd) Jeffrey Hatten (Farmington, Conn.) – 35-35–70
About the CSGA
U.S. Open Local Qualifying is one of seven USGA Championship qualifiers that will be conducted by the Connecticut State Golf Association in 2013. The CSGA functions as an extension of the USGA and provides stewardship for amateur golf in Connecticut. Founded in 1899, it is the country’s oldest state golf association and conducts over 50 Championships, Qualifiers and One-Day Tournaments throughout the year. For more information, visit our website at csgalinks.org.