Lucas Trim completed his Villanova career by finishing tied for 11th in the Big East Championship, which was held at the Callawassie Island Golf Club in South Carolina earlier this month. It was the kind of solid performance that Trim consistently delivered as a fixture in the Villanova lineup for four years.
Monday, Trim took a shot in a local qualifier for the U.S. Open administered by the Golf Association of Philadelphia at Running Deer Golf Club in Pittsgrove Township, N.J. He found himself in a two-man playoff for the last of the five spots available to the 80-man field with Philadelphia Cricket Club assistant pro Mark Miller. Trim and Miller each carded a 3-over 75 over the 7,028-yard, par-72 Running Deer layout.
And Trim, a Tampa, Fla. native, got the last spot by making a tough two-putt on the two-tiered 10th green at Running Deer for a par. Trim will move on to a sectional qualifier, a 36-hole test, June 5, “Golf’s Longest Day,” as he continues his bid to make the field for the National Open, which tees off June 15 at Erin Hills in Erin, Wis.
David Sanders, a Mount Laurel, N.J. native, and Lodie Van Tonder of Pennsville, N.J. shared medalist honors at Running Deer, each matching par with a 72.
The 26-year-old Sanders is playing the Minor League Golf Tour in South Florida and is going to take a shot in qualifying for the European Tour. He is the only pro to advance out of the Running Deer qualifier.
Van Tonder, a native of South Africa, was right at home at Running Deer, where he was a member and where he still plays regularly. Van Tonder thrived in Monday’s swirling winds.
Also earning a ticket to sectional qualifying was Ryan Rucinski, who carded a 1-over 73. Rucinski, a Salesianum product, is coming off a solid sophomore season at Wilmington University.
Dawson Jones of Howell, N.J. finished fourth with a 2-over 74. Jones capped his sophomore season at Rhode Island by finishing tied for 14th at the Atlantic 10 Championship at Grand Cypress Golf Club in Orlando, Fla.
Another local U.S. Open qualifier was held Wednesday at The Country Club of Scranton and four familiar names shared medalist honors, each carding a 72.
Leading the foursome was Brandon Matthews, the former Temple standout who took a break from the PGA Tour Latinoamerica, where he stands fourth in the tour’s Order of Merit, to try to make it to the Open.
Matthews, the 2010 PIAA champion as a junior at Pittston Area and a two-time Philadelphia Open champion, was a frustrated alternate at Merion Golf Club for the 2013 U.S. Open. He patiently hung out at the driving range at Merion’s West Course, but never got the call to get into the field.
John Pillar, the Director of Golf at The Country Club at Woodloch Springs, also advanced to sectionals with a 72.
Andrew Turner, an assistant pro at Sunnybrook Golf Club, advanced out of local qualifying for the second straight year. The Warwick High product missed a trip to the 2016 U.S. Open at Oakmont Country Club by a shot with a solid showing in sectional qualifying at Canoe Brook Country Club in Summit, N.J.
All the way across the country Wednesday, junior Cole Miller won the individual title in the Washington Regional, the first Penn State regional champion since T.J. Howe did it in 2010. So while Miller was evoking Howe’s name at Aldarra Golf Club in Sammamish, Wash., Howe shot 72 at The Country Club of Scranton to join the foursome of co-medalists and advance out of the local qualifier.
Howe made the field for last year’s Open at Oakmont. He made a few starts on the Mackenzie Tour – PGA Tour Canada last year.
The last ticket to sectional qualifying out of The Country Club of Scranton went to Kyle Wambold, who carded a 73 and the was the only amateur to advance. Wambold, a former Emmaus standout, completed his collegiate career at Binghamton this spring.