Kleeschulte, Schaller advance in USGA 4-ball

Kingston graduates and former golf teammates Doug Kleeschulte and Jeff Schaller defeated California’s Jordan Nasser and Taylor Wood 4 and 3 in the round of 32 at the inaugural United States Golf Association Four-Ball championship at The Olympic Club in San Francisco.

Kleeschulte and Schaller made birdie on seven of the 15 contested holes. They next play Scott Harvey and Todd Mitchell in the round of 16 Tuesday morning.

Harvey is the reigning U.S. Mid-Amateur champion. Mitchell, a former shortstop at Illinois State, was drafted by the Yankees in the 14th round in 1999.

Kleeschulte and Schaller combined to shoot 2-under-par in 36-hole qualifying on Saturday and Sunday.

Kleeschulte has experience at Olympic Club. He played in his second of three U.S. Amateurs there in 2007. Schaller has won the Ulster County Amateur championship in two of the last three years (2012, 2014).

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Wagner finishes second at Houston Open

Johnson Wagner, a 1998 James I. O’Neill graduate, came up just short of winning his fourth PGA Tour event and earning a spot in The Masters Thursday.

Wagner’s 25-foot birdie putt on the 18th hole of the Shell Houston Open put him in a playoff with Jordan Spieth and J.B. Holmes at 16-under-par.

Wagner, bidding for his first tour win since Jan. 15, 2012, was defeated by Holmes on the second hole of the playoff. If Wagner, 35, would have won, he would have qualified for The Masters.

The second-place finish netted Wagner $580,800 and moved him from 180th to 81st in the FedEx Cup standings. Wagner, who won the 2008 Houston Open, was playing in the tournament under a sponsor’s exemption. He jumped for 172nd to 59th ($696,396) on the tour’s money list, which should help Wagner return to full status next season.

Wagner’s birdie putt was the shot of the day on the PGA Tour’s website.

Wagner hit another clutch shot on the first playoff hole, hitting out of the bunker to within two feet for a par putt.

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Wagner in contention at Houston Open

Johnson Wagner, a 1998 James I. O’Neill graduate, is one shot off the lead heading into the final round of the PGA Tour’s Shell Houston Open on Easter Sunday.

Wagner held the lead and was co-leader throughout his third round of 6-under 66 Saturday. He rolled in seven birdies. Wagner played the first 52 holes of the tournament at par or better. He made his first bogey on the par-4, 17th holes.

Jordan Spieth leads the tournament with at 14-under. Wagner is tied with Austin Cook and Scott Piercy at 13-under. Wagner posted his first of three PGA Tour victories at the 2008 Shell Houston Open.

Wagner’s last PGA Tour win was at the Sony Open on Jan. 15, 2012. Wagner entered this weekend ranked 180th in the FedEx Cup standings. He’s played in seven previous tournaments this season, making four cuts. Wagner’s best finish this season is tied for 16th at the OHL Classic at Mayakoba in November 2014.

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Web.com Q-school second stage: Chris DeForest

Chris DeForest, a 2007 Rondout Valley graduate, shot an even-par 72 in the second round of the second stage of web.com Tour qualifying school at Wednesday Southern Hills Plantation Club in Brooksville, Fla.

DeForest fired a 2-under 70 in the first round Tuesday. The four-round stage finishes Friday. DeForest is currently tied for 31st place. The top 19 and ties advanced to third and final stage of tour school on Dec. 11-16 at PGA National in Palm Beach Gardens, Fla.

DeForest opened tour school, firing a 6-under 64 in the first stage at Pensacola (Fla.) Country Club. He played in 32 web.com Tour events from 2011-13. He was 98th on the money list and led the tour in eagles (17) in 2012.

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Results: Metropolitan Professional Championship

Dave Fusco, a 1985 Monroe-Woodbury graduate, and Steve Scott of Highland Mills earned a chance to play in the PGA Championship.

Fusco and Scott will just have wait 11 months to earn it.

Scott finished fourth (5-under-par 211) and Fusco tied for ninth (2-under 214) at the Metropolitan Professional Championship at Brae Burn Country Club in Purchase Wednesday. They qualified for the 2015 PGA Professional National Championship on June 21-24, 2015 at Philadelphia Cricket Club. The top 20 earn berths to the 2015 PGA Championship on August 13-16, 2015 at Whistling Straits in Kohler, Wisc.

Scott, who played in the 1996 U.S. Open and 1997 Masters, fired a second-round, 6-under 66 Tuesday. Fusco played in the 2007 PGA National Championship in Sunriver, Ore.

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Rodriguez 1st alternate at U.S. Amateur qualifier

Ryan Rodriguez of Highland Mills finished in a three-way for second place at 1-under-par 143 Tuesday morning at Trump National Golf Club-Westchester in Briarcliff Manor.

Rodriguez, a Cornwall junior, Greg Reilly of New Canaan, Conn. and Evan Russell of Grantham, N.H. had a playoff for the final two qualifying spots for the U.S. Amateur, which will be played on August 11-18 at Atlanta Athletic Club in Johns Creek, Ga. Reilly and Russell made par on the third playoff hole. Rodriguez had a bogey, finishing as the first alternate.

When play resumed Tuesday, Rodriguez, 16, had three holes to finish. He made pars on No. 16, 17 and 18 for an even-par 72. Reilly and Russell both birdied the 18th hole to force the playoff.

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Rodriguez 3 holes away from U.S. Amateur berth

Ryan Rodriguez’s alarm will ring early Tuesday morning.

Rodriguez wants to leave his Highland Mills home by 6 a.m. He’s got some unfinished business left at Trump National Golf Club-Westchester in Briarcliff Manor. Rodriguez is three holes away from qualifying for his first U.S. Amateur on his first try.

Rodriguez, 16, was tied for second at 1-under par when the 36-hole qualifier was suspended due to weather at 6:45 p.m. Monday.

Rye’s Max Buckley leads the tournament at 4-under with four holes left. Greg Reilly of New Canaan, Conn. and Evan Russell of Grantham, N.H. are both at 1-under with six holes remaining.

Play resumes 8:30 a.m. Tuesday. Rodriguez has the par-5, 16th hole and No. 17 and 18, both par-4s left. The top three golfers advance to the U.S. Amateur on August 11-17 at Atlanta Athletic Club in Johns Creek, Ga.

“I just want to finish strong,” Rodriguez said. “I want to go in there and take one shot at a time.”

The suspension of the qualifier left Rodriguez with a scheduling conflict. Rodriguez was slated to tee off at 8:06 a.m. Tuesday at the Met Junior at Rockaway River Golf Club in Denville, N.J. He chose to withdraw from the Met Junior.

“It was a hard decision,” Rodriguez said. “It was very tough. This (the U.S. Amateur) is big time and I just got to do what’s in my best interests.”

Rodriguez played with Buckley, the 2013 MGA player of the year, in the first round. Buckley plans on turning professional after the U.S. Amateur. Rodriguez nearly stayed stroke for stroke with Buckley (3-under 69 in the first round), firing a 1-under 71. He made the turn at the second round at 4-under but he had double bogeys on the 11th and 12th holes. Rodriguez finished Monday’s play with a birdie on the par-3, 15th hole.

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Wagner best finish of PGA Tour season

Four solid rounds of golf earned 1998 James I. O’Neill graduate Johnson Wagner his top paycheck of the 2013-14 PGA Tour season.

Wagner fired a final round of 3-under-par 68 to finish tied for seventh (16-under). He won $141,587.50. Wagner was one stroke off the lead after a 6-under 65 in the second round Friday. He shot a 2-under 69 Saturday.

“I’m starting to turn my game around,” said Wagner after his round Friday. “It’s been a lot more fun hitting some fairways, hitting some greens and finally making some birdies.”

Wagner has made eight cuts in 21 starts this season.

But, Wagner has shot seven of Wagner’s last eight rounds  in the 60s. Wagner tied for 26th at the Greenbrier Classic last week.

Wagner tweeted champion Brian Harman (22-under), “I’m so happy for @HarmanBrian winning the John Deere. You’ll always remember your first. Kill it in England.”

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Wagner tied for 3rd, one shot off lead at John Deere

Johnson Wagner, a 1998 James I. O’Neill graduate, is in contention for his first PGA Tour win of the season after firing a 6-under-par 65 in the second round of the John Deere Classic in Silvis, Ill.

Wagner, who carded a 5-under 66 Friday, is in a three-way tie for third place, one shot behind co-leaders Zach Johnson and William McGirt. He entered the tournament ranked 172th in the FedEx Cup standings.

Wagner’s best finish this season is a tie for 25th at the Humama Challenge in January. He’s made the cut in nine of 21 tournaments this season. Wagner is seeking his fourth PGA Tour victory and his first since the Sony Open in January 2012.

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Results: MGA Public Links Championship

Fallsburg graduate Rich Elliott played consistent golf for 36 holes at the Metropolitan Golf Association Public Links Championship at Charleston Springs Golf Club in Millstone, N.J.

Elliott was near the top of the leaderboard during both rounds and at one point owned the clubhouse lead. He finished shooting rounds of 72 and 74 for a 2-over-par, tying for sixth place. Elliott had back-to-back birdies on the front nine (No. 3 and 4) and back nine (No. 12 and 13) in his first round. He finished eight strokes behind champion Xander McDonald-Smith of Marine Park Golf Course.

Monroe-Woodbury graduate Tom McHugh, who placed fourth last year, tied for 25th with rounds of 80 and 74. McHugh had two birdies (No. 13 and 16) on the back nine of his second round.

Rondout Valley graduate Ethan DeForest finished 37th, shooting an 80 and 78. He carded four birdies, two in each round.

 

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