Three advance in U.S. Open local qualifier at Westmoreland C.C.
By Paul Schofield
Published: Thursday, May 9, 2013, 6:48 p.m.
Dan Konieczny didn't know what to expect Thursday at the U.S. Open local qualifier at Westmoreland Country Club.
Since moving to Florida a year ago in search of a job after leaving Westinghouse in Cranberry, the Bullskin Township (Fayette County) native hasn't played much golf.
“I'd say 10 times in the last year, and six of those rounds came two weeks ago at Hilton Head, (S.C.),” Konieczny said.
Despite not playing as much as he'd like, Konieczny, 39, still has a good game. He was one of the top young golfers in Western Pennsylvania before playing at Florida Southern and competing in mini tour events to try and make the PGA Tour.
Konieczny shot 3-under-par 68 on Thursday, tying for second place with Kevin Shields of Pittsburgh. They were two shots behind Irwin native and Penn-Trafford graduate Dan Obremski, who shot 5-under 66.
The trio advanced to the U.S. Open sectional qualifier, a 36-hole event June 3 at various sites across the country. Obremski and Shields will head to Columbus, Ohio, and Konieczny, who lives in Jupiter, Fla., is going to Bradenton, Fla.
They edged a strong field of golfers hoping to qualify for the 113th U.S. Open, which is June 10-16 at Merion Golf Club in Ardmore near Philadelphia. The field included Bob Friend, Rob McClellan, Sean Knapp, John Popeck, Jon Mills, Ryan Sikora and Mike Van Sickle.
Konieczny had five birdies and two bogeys during his round. His chip shot to within 2 feet and birdie on the final hole kept him out of a playoff with three players — Friend, McClellan and Aaron Williams — all of whom shot 69.
“I played good for not playing much,” Konieczny said. “I haven't played a tour event since 2007. I had a couple good saves late in the round, and I knew with the golf technology, No. 18 was a birdie hole.”
Konieczny learned from an official on No. 16 that 69 was the best score posted. He knew he had to get at least another birdie to be in the running.
“I first thought par was 72, and after I hooked my drive left off the tee into the trees, I realized par was 71,” Konieczny said. “I knew I had a shot, but I wasn't in good shape off the tee. I was able to get up and down on Nos. 16 and 17 and then got the birdie on No. 18.
“I love to play golf, and I love to compete. I hadn't played much because the mini tours aren't paying as well now, and a lot of golf friends aren't in Florida. It's tough getting games now.”
Konieczny was home this week for Mother's Day.
Obremski, who plays in as many mini-tour events as he can get, used local knowledge at Westmoreland Country Club. It was the home course for Penn-Trafford.
“I started well, scrambled a little and got some breaks along the way,” Obremski said. “I hooked my drive on No. 11, hit a tree and stayed in play. I got some breaks, and I capitalized on them.”
This is the second time Obremski, 26, has advanced to asectional. He also advanced to Columbus in 2008.
Obremski had six birdies and one bogey during his round.
Shields played well from the start, carding three birdies.
“It was a qualifier round,” he said. “You think you can go low here, but it took awhile for me to get off the horse. I made no mistakes and plodded away. A couple under here is a good score.”
Paul Schofield is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. Reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org or via Twitter @Schofield_Trib.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Pirates trade for Mets 1B Davis
- Crews search for Latrobe woman in Linn Run State Park
- Pittsburgh-area students on the hunt for the perfect prom dress
- Hempfield native, 22, publishes with local independent press
- Man found fatally shot in Larimer a mile away from Homewood peace march
- Donald turns down New York invite for NFL Draft
- Survivors in critical condition a day after fifth Armstrong County car crash victim dies
- City Theatre cancels ‘Grounded’ through April 20
- Sculpture at Phipps links art and sustainability
- Pens insider: Penalty killing a concern in Stanley Cup playoffs
- NBA commissioner Silver makes raising age limit a priority