July 31, 2013
NOTRE DAME, Ind. – University of Notre Dame men’s golfer Tyler Wingo became the second Irish player this week to qualify for the 2013 United States Amateur Championship, carding a final round six-under par 66 (76-66-142, -2) Tuesday to claim the fourth and final bid available at the Lakewood Country Club in Rockville, Md.
Wingo joins teammate Andrew Lane, who qualified Monday in Hamilton, N.Y., in the U.S. Amateur field August 12-18 at The Country Club in Brookline, Mass.
“I’m thrilled to see Tyler punch his ticket to Brookline for the U.S. Amateur,” Notre Dame head coach Jim Kubinski said. “Tyler is what the Notre Dame student-athlete is so often about. He has excelled to the highest degree academically and now earns an opportunity to compete against the best amateur golfers in the world at The Country Club.”
Wingo’s two-day qualifying outing got off to a rocky start Monday, as the Fairfax, Va. native carded a four-over par 76 that left him five shots off the pace heading into the final round Tuesday.
“He played in a rare two-day qualifier, so he had to sleep on his five-shot deficit after round one,” Kubinski said. “He texted me that night and was so positive. He felt like he had played well enough regardless of his score that first day and just needed a low next round to have a chance.
“I reminded him that a guy named Phil Mickelson made up five shots at Muirfield (to win The Open Championship) a couple weeks ago. I believe Tyler played his last six holes in six-under par, including the winning playoff birdie. That’s pretty special.”
Wingo began his second round with a bogey at the 232-yard par-3 second hole, but answered with a pair of birdies at the par-5 third and par-4 fourth holes. He bounced back from a bogey at hole seven to birdie the par-5 eighth and par-4 ninth holes, going out in 34 (-2) and bringing his overall score for the qualifier to two-over par.
A 15-foot scramble for bogey at the 475-yard par-4 11th kept Wingo in the hunt, and he took full advantage. A six-iron approach to the 530-yard 14th hole landed six feet from the flag, and the ensuing eagle putt brought him to one-over for the event. Birdies at the par-4 15th, par-5 16th and par-3 17th holes gave Wingo a back nine score of 32 (-4), and landed him in a tie with Bennett Buch at 142. A playoff birdie heads-up against Buch clinched Wingo’s first career U.S. Amateur berth.
The Notre Dame junior posted a total of seven birdies and one eagle during Tuesday’s final round 66, playing the four par-5 holes at Lakewood Country Club in an impressive five-under par.
“To have two players now competing in what is a national championship, a major championship, is exciting for the guys and our program,” Kubinski said. “Each became a regular in our lineup last season for the first time, which involved the inevitable learning curve. We had our ups and downs but our guys never let up or lost confidence. They just kept working. The experience gained served both Andrew and Tyler very well this week.”