Playing a little catchup on a local U.S. Open qualifier that was held Monday at Silver Creek Country Club in Hellertown.
In a field of 90 top amateurs and pros in cool temperatures and windy conditions, the qualifying medal went to Matthew Pulgini, a 16-year-old sophomore at Appoquinimink High School in Delaware who carded a 2-over 73 over the 6,928-yard, par-71 Donald Ross design.
Pulgini’s round was fueled by a couple of birdies from off the green. The first one game at the first hole when he used his 7-iron from 60 feet in front of the green and ran it right into the hole. He added another birdie from 20 feet, but again from off the green, at the 15th hole.
Pulgini headed a group of six players, three amateurs and three professionals, who will move on to a 36-hole sectional qualifier June 6, “Golf’s Longest Day.”
“Wherever I end up playing next, I’m just looking to have a good time and have fun, no matter where that might be,” Pulgini told the GAP website.
Jason Wilson, a 42-year-old amateur who plays at nearby Green Pond Country Club, and Nick Tremps, a 22-year-old fledgling pro who played collegiately at Virginia and the College of Charleston, shared second place, each carding a 3-over 74.
Grabbing the last three qualifying berths with 3-over 75s were Michael Little, the assistant pro at Lookaway Golf Club, Martin Ureta, a Web.com Tour pro who is a native of Chile, and P.J. Acierno, the former La Salle High standout who just completed his redshirt junior year at La Salle University.
The first alternate spot went to Brandon Matthews, who just completed an outstanding career at Temple and who has won two of the last three Golf Association of Philadelphia Open Championships. Matthews, who just missed making the field for the 2013 U.S. Open at Merion, carded a 76.
Also missing the cut with an 80 was former Sun Valley standout Braden Shattuck, a 21-year-old professional who had advanced out of the local qualifier twice in the previous three years.