On Monday, May 17, Will Lodge ’22 won the Crumpin-Fox playoff to advance in the U.S. Open qualifying.
Lodge shot an even-par round of 72 at Crumpin-Fox, the home course for the Big Green. Another part of familiarity for Lodge, was having Deerfield’s varsity golf coach Mr. Creagh alongside as his caddie for the round.
All the golfers competing in the local qualifying round were vying for one of four spots to advance to the next round of qualifying for the U.S. Open.
At the end of the round, Lodge was tied for fourth place, prompting a head-to-head playoff hole to decide the final qualifier. On the playoff hole, Lodge reached the green in two strokes and recorded a par, while his opponent bogeyed the hole to give Lodge the playoff win and bid to advance to the next round of qualifying.
As reported by Thomas Johnston in the Greenfield Recorder on Monday;
“It feels awesome,” Lodge said. “It’s a huge relief. After missing the U.S. Junior and U.S Amateur a couple times, it’s exciting to get to go see what I can do on the second stage.”
The Darien, Conn. native entered Monday’s local qualifier with the advantage of having some familiarity with the course. The Big Green golf team plays and practices at Crumpin-Fox. Knowing the ins-and-outs of the course gave him an extra edge over much of the field.
“I get to play here every day,” Lodge said. “This is our home course so it’s like a second home course for me. It’s fun because a lot of our high school matches are nine holes so it teaches you to make a bunch of birdies and I definitely made plenty of those today. It’s fun being here and knowing all the people. It was a good day.”
Lodge started the day on fire, recording birdies on three of his first four holes. He ended up with seven birdies on the day, none bigger than the one on No. 8, his second-to-last-hole of the day after teeing off on the back nine. His birdie at No. 8 got him to even-par for the day, and ultimately a spot in the playoff.
“I knew par or one-over would be in the mix,” Lodge said. “I had some magic down the stretch. I had a chip-in on seven, 30-foot putt on eight and a nice two-putt on nine. I had a five-foot putt for even on nine and my hands were shaking a little bit. I had to get that one in and I was lucky to make it.”
As part of the U.S. Open qualifying process, 8,700 golfers competed at 110 local qualifying sites over the past two weeks to attempt to obtain one of the 500 spots in the 11 “final” qualifying sites.
The final qualifying rounds will take place on June 7th. The group will continue to shrink and eventually around 100 golfers will qualify for the US Open. An additional 50 golfers are already automatically exempt. The 121st U.S. Open is set for June 17-20 at Torrey Pines Golf Course in San Diego.
The Big Green remain undefeated this season, as they prepare for the final round of this spring season this afternoon against Taft.
Congratulations and good luck Will!