2008 U.S. Mid-Amateur
The average age of the 264 competitors in the 2008 U.S. Mid-Amateur field is 38.26 years old.
The age breakdown of the field is:
Justin Sharaf of Danvers, Mass., who turned 25 on July 1, is the youngest competitor in the field. Bob W. Smith, 62, of Houston, Texas is the oldest. Despite a 37-year age difference, both are playing in their first USGA championship.
Sharaf and Smith are two of 91 players for whom this is their first USGA championship. There are 143 players competing in their first U.S. Mid-Amateur.
There are players from 47 states and the District of Columbia in the field, along with two foreign countries – Mexico and Canada.
There are 92 reinstated amateurs in the field.
There are several past USGA champions, USA Walker Cuppers and USA Copa de las Americas players in the field:
Bratton is the assistant head golf coach at Oklahoma State University. He was a member of the 1995 Oklahoma State team that won the NCAA Division I team title.
Eaton is one of three members of the U.S. Mid-Amateur Championship Committee in the field. The others are: Rick LeHew, 44, of Brimfield, Ill., and Kenneth Weixel, 50, of New Albany, Ohio.
Marucci is one of three players in the field who lost to Tiger Woods in the 1995 U.S. Amateur. Woods beat Marucci, 2 up, for his second consecutive Amateur title. The others are: Scott Kammann, 35, of Knoxville, Tenn. (lost 5 & 3 in the quarterfinals) and Sean Knapp, 46, of Oakmont, Pa. (lost 2 & 1 in the third round).
Two of the USGA champions in the field had a memorable pairing with Arnold Palmer. Reynolds was paired with Palmer during the first two rounds of the 2005 U.S. Senior Open, which was Palmer’s final USGA event. And Smith, who like Palmer hails from western Pennsylvania, was paired with the golf legend for the first two rounds of the 2004 Masters Tournament, which was Palmer’s last appearance at that event.
Family Ties – there are several players in the field with relatives in the professional ranks:
Other interesting player storylines:
At age 57, Jack Anthony of Fairfield, Calif., is playing in his first USGA championship. Anthony is a past president of the International Car Wash Association.
John Bearrie, 39, of Arlington, Texas, spent two years caddieing for Joel Edwards on the PGA Tour. At Bearrie’s sectional qualifier for this year’s Mid-Am, Edwards returned the favor.
Donn Berdahl, 40, of Stockton, Calif., is playing in his first USGA championship. He spent several years trying to make it as an actor in Los Angeles after graduating from college, and auditioned more than 300 times in a five-year period.
Brett Blease, 40, of Del Mar, Calif., is a stay-at-home dad to his 3-year-old twins, Danika and Chase.
Trent Booher, 29, of Sugar Land, Texas, is playing in his first USGA championship. His father, Robert, played in three U.S. Mid-Amateurs and is caddieing for Trent this week.
Wes Brown, 38, of Irving, Texas, is playing in his first USGA championship. After playing collegiately at the University of North Texas, he quit the game for 12 years. He started playing again in 2004.
Kevin Burnett, 44, of Bellevue, Wash., might be the only person in the field to compete in a USGA championship and the national power lifting championship, which he did in 1987.
Zac Burton, 30, of Manhattan, Kan., was a back-up quarterback for Kansas State University. In high school, he earned all-state honors in football, basketball and golf.
Mike Castleforte, 26, of Chicago, Ill., is a first-year corporate attorney who rarely leaves his office before 10 p.m. He tries to hit balls or play every morning before work.
Rocky Costa, 53, of Alpharetta, Ga., played college basketball with Rick Barnes, who is currently the head coach at the University of Texas. Costa played basketball after college for Athletes in Action and professionally in Europe.
Scott Davenport, a 46-year-old from Marietta, Ga., had never qualified for a USGA championship prior to this year. But in 2008, he’s qualified for two – the U.S. Amateur and now the Mid-Amateur.
Jim Doing, 48, of Verona, Wis., is playing in his first USGA championship. Earlier this year, he entered the Golf Digest contest to try to earn a spot in the U.S. Open “What Would You Shoot?” contest. He submitted a video clip of him singing “O What A Beautiful Morning” while swinging a club in the snow. Doing, an opera singer, has sung for leaders from Holland, Belgium and Croatia.
David Foley, 42, of Pewaukee, Wis., is playing in his first U.S. Mid-Amateur and his first USGA championship since the 1982 U.S. Junior Amateur. Similarly, Tony Perino, 42, of Diablo, Calif., is playing in his first Mid-Am and his first USGA event since the 1983 Junior Amateur.
Steve Galko, 34, of Dallas, Texas, made his first hole-in-one during a round three months ago. But six holes later, he was hit in the head by an errant drive, which sent him to the hospital, where he had four staples put in his head. Because he did not complete his round, the hole-in-one is not considered official.
Josh Gregory, 33, of Augusta, Ga., is the director of golf and head men’s golf coach at Augusta State University.
You can’t blame 49-year-old Robert Hakes of Coronado, Calif., if he has split loyalties during next year’s Ivy League golf championship. One son, Taylor, plays for Yale University and his other son, Dillon, plays for the University of Pennsylvania. Hakes is playing in his first USGA championship since the 1974 U.S. Junior Amateur.
Scott Hardy, 32, of Pleasant Hill, Calif., is the head golf coach at Saint Mary’s College. Hardy has advanced to the semifinals of the past two U.S. Mid-Amateurs.
Michael Harrington, 36, of Colorado Springs, Colo., proposed to his wife, Anne, during an episode of “Sally Jessy Raphael.” They were married at Disney World on the Lifetime channel during a one-hour special watched by 18 million viewers.
Brian Harris, 37, of Kokomo, Ind., can relate to how Tiger Woods felt during the 2008 U.S. Open. Harris has a torn ACL in his left knee. Because he has a pacemaker, he could not have an MRI, so the torn ACL was not determined until he had arthroscopic surgery in February. His doctor opted not to do the ACL surgery at the time, which would have ended Harris’s golf for the 2008 season. Harris turns 37 on the first day of stroke play at the 2008 U.S. Mid-Amateur.
Doug Hoey, 37, of Holland, Mich., is an emergency room physician.
Jeff Holmgaard, 49, of Loves Park, Ill., thought he had won a Lexus during a club invitational recently when he made a hole-in-one. But it turned out they had moved the car hole to a different hole this year for the first time, so instead his prize was a travel golf bag.
Jack Kearney, 53, of Peachtree City, Ga., is a retired A-10 fighter pilot. Right after he lost in the second round of match play in the 1996 U.S. Mid-Amateur, he left for Bosnia to support the air operations there.
James Kieserman, 38, of Dresher, Pa., attended the University of Miami (Fla.) on a basketball scholarship. He represented the USA in basketball at the 1993 and 1997 Maccabiah Games in Israel. His grandfather is basketball Hall-of-Famer Harry Litwack, former coach at Temple University.
When Jeff Lister, 42, of Greendale, Wis., qualified for his first U.S. Mid-Amateur in 1995, he noticed that many of the players in the field had something in common – working in the insurance or financial services fields, which gave them more time to play golf. So Lister, who at the time owned and operated a Mail Boxes Etc. franchise, bid the retail world adieu and started his own financial services company. Thirteen years later, he has returned to his second Mid-Am.
Cliff Martin, 45, of Los Angeles, Calif., plays multiple instruments, including the guitar, piano and saxophone. He was in two original pop bands in the 1980s and 90s.
John McClure, 49, of Austin, Texas, caddied for Fred Couples at the 2000 Presidents’ Cup.
Daniel Metzendorf, 28, of Medina, Ohio, has a degree in physics from Kent State University. During an internship in college, he worked on a project to help ensure the accurate delivery of nuclear weapons launched from submarines.
Tommy Miller, 35, of Boone, N.C., admits he has more experience as a caddie than he does as a golfer. He has caddied on the PGA and Nationwide Tours, and at a variety of USGA events, including the U.S. Open and the 2004 U.S. Mid-Amateur, where he caddied for runner-up Josh Dennis. This is Miller’s first USGA championship as a player.
Todd Mitchell, 30, of Bloomington, Ill., was drafted in the 14th round by the New York Yankees in 1999.
Michael Muehr, 36, of Potomac Falls, Va., was playing on the PGA Tour in 2002 when he was diagnosed with melanoma. He now hosts a charity golf tournament called the Capital City Charity Pro-Am that benefits cancer research at Duke University. During his days on Tour, Muehr played in the US Bank Championship at Brown Deer Park Golf Course three times, with a best finish of tied for 17th in 2001.
Jon Orchin, 25, of Washington, D.C., graduated from the Savannah College of Art and Design, the only art school in the country with an athletics program. Orchin now works for StandOff Studios, where he and some friends have created a reality fishing show called “The Catch: Costa Rica,” which is currently airing on the Outdoor Channel.
Mark Scheibach, 35, now lives in Bermuda Dunes, Calif., but he was born in Fond du Lac, Wis. He was a three-time Big Ten player of the year at the University of Wisconsin and made his professional debut at the 1996 US Bank Championship at Brown Deer Park, the same event where Tiger Woods made his professional debut.
Jeff Scohy, 31, of Bellbrook, Ohio, served in the U.S. Air Force for seven years (2000-2207) after graduating from the U.S. Air Force Academy. His father Bruce is currently serving as a helicopter pilot in Iraq.
Dave Shillinglaw, 50, of Papillion, Neb., is another native of the state of Wisconsin. He was born and raised in Madison and graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Stout, where he spent three years as a pitching coach. He also spent a summer as a coach for the Oakland A’s in their minor-league system, for the Madison Muskies.
Tony Shuman, 48, of Trophy Club, Texas, is president/CEO of the YMCA of Metropolitan Forth Worth, one of the largest YMCAs in the country, which has an annual operating budget of more than $22 million and serves more than 165,000 kids and families annually.
Norman Swenson, 61, of Linville, N.C., won the 2007 European Senior Amateur Championship and became a member of the Royal and Ancient Golf Club in 1995. His daughter, Perry, is a golfer who played in two U.S. Girls’ Juniors and now hosts a show on the Golf Channel called “Road Trip Myrtle Beach.” At age 61, this is Swenson’s first Mid-Am.
Tim Thompson, 43, of Houston, Texas, attended the same elementary school and junior high school as President George W. Bush. Thompson served in the Bush Administration, first in the White House and then in the U.S. Department of Commerce. He has served two U.S. presidents and three vice presidents. Thompson, who was widowed seven years ago when his wife was struck by lightning outside their home 18 months after they were married, is playing in his first USGA championship.
John Urquhart, 39, of Phoenix, Ariz., is also playing in his first USGA championship. Urquhart, who has kidney disease, has been on the national transplant list for two years. He had dialysis the day before his Mid-Am sectional qualifier, which marked just the fourth time in the last three years he has walked 18 holes.
Jim Volpenhein, 48, of Union, Ky., turned professional in 1982 and was sponsored by Major League Baseball Hall-of-Fame catcher Johnny Bench. Volpenhein retired from the professional ranks a year later and said he was probably Bench’s biggest tax write-off that year.
Matthew Williams, 29, of Albuquerque, N.M., is the executive director of the Sun Country Amateur Golf Association.
In 2000, Jeff Wilson, 45, of Fairfield, Calif., earned stroke-play medalist honors at the U.S. Amateur and U.S. Mid-Amateur and was low amateur at the U.S. Open at Pebble Beach. He has played in four U.S. Opens, including 2008 at Torrey Pines.
It might be fitting that Gregory Wolfe, 36, of Newark, Del., is playing in his first-ever USGA event in the state of Wisconsin. His wife is from the state and he was married here.