Skip Berkmeyer Hopes His Sharp Play Continues At The U.S. Mid-Amateur
River Hills, Wis. – Skip Berkmeyer, 34, of St. Louis, Mo., is hoping that experience and opportunity come together for him this week at the U.S. Mid-Amateur at Milwaukee Country Club and Brown Deer Park Golf Course.
He posted a 1-over-par 71 Sunday morning at the 7,004-yard, par-70 Milwaukee CC to take the early lead for medalist honors after 36 holes. His two-round total of 2-under-par 138 is currently four strokes better than three others who finished at 142 -- Mike McCoy, 45, of West Des Moines, Iowa; Sean Knapp, 46, of Oakmont, Pa.; and Matt Williams, 29, of Albuquerque, N.M.
Berkmeyer, playing in his fifth Mid-Amateur, posted a 3-under-par 67 at the 6,728-yard, par-70 Brown Deer Park Golf Course in his first round Saturday. Skip Corneliussen, 26, of Charlotte, N.C., was the only player to post a sub-par round for the morning portion of the second round. His 1-under-par 69 at Brown Deer put him at seven over for 36 holes, possibly good enough to advance to match play.
Berkmeyer has gotten further along in match play with each succeeding year. His best finish was a third-round loss in last year’s Mid-Amateur at Bandon Dunes Resort in Bandon, Ore. He lost in the second round in 2006 and the first round in 2004. He also has played in seven U.S. Amateurs.
Half of the 264 players will complete their second round of stroke play Sunday afternoon before the field is trimmed to the low 64 scorers who will advance to match play on Monday. The championship is scheduled to run through Thursday, with the winner receiving a likely invitation to the 2009 Masters Tournament.
The afternoon wave includes the five others who were under par after one round. The first-round leader was two-time champion Tim Jackson, 49, of Germantown, Tenn., who shot 65. Sean Fawcett, 35, of Dallas, Texas, had a first-round 66.
There are signs that Berkmeyer has what it takes to last longer this week than in the past. He was one of only six mid-amateurs to reach match play (four advanced to the second round) at last month’s U.S. Amateur. He also was runner-up at the 2008 Missouri State Amateur, an event he won in 1999.
“I’ve played well all summer, and I’m pretty pleased,” said Berkmeyer, who owns a trophy and awards shop with his father, Rick. “My game has gotten better as I’ve gotten older. Hopefully, it will get better this week.
“I feel now like I belong and I’m more comfortable out here,” Berkmeyer continued. “This is my favorite event. This is what I play for.”
His mother has enjoyed even more success at USGA championships to this point. Barbara, 64, was runner-up at the 2002 USGA Senior Women’s Amateur.
The Mid-Amateur is one of 13 national championships conducted annually by the United States Golf Association, 10 of which are strictly for amateurs.
Story written by Craig Smith, USGA Director of Media Relations. E-mail him with questions and comments at firstname.lastname@example.org.