E.A. Sports Today

They’re going national

McGatha, Rogers make late charge to qualify for their first USGA national championship

By Al Muskewitz
East Alabama Sports Today

ALEXANDER CITY — Jeremy McGatha and Matt Rogers, the two directors of the Calhoun County Golf Tour, are headed to famed Winged Foot later this spring after qualifying for the USGA Four-Ball Championship Monday.

The local pair birdied three of their final four holes to complete a 7-under-par 65 at Willow Point Golf & Country Club to earn one of three spots to play in their first ever national championship event.

They finished one shot behind co-medalists Brian Carter-Neal Quirk and Clay Guerin-James Salter. The main event is May 21-25 in Mamaroneck, N.Y., a week after McGatha is set to defend his title in the Wilfred Galbraith Anniston Country Club Invitational.

“Wow,” McGatha said. “We made it. We made a USGA event; I can’t believe that. It’s the first time for both of us. That’s a big wow. That’s all I can say.”

With McGatha admittedly “nervous and struggling” early in the round, Rogers kept the team in the game with two birdies and a critical par save. They turned in 3-under.

But Rogers was convinced once his partner made one birdie, he would make a bunch and that’s what happened.

McGatha two-putted from 30 feet to birdie the par-5 sixth, their 15th hole of the day, hit a 7-iron to 15 feet on 8 and then hit an 8-iron from 145 yards to two feet on 9. And then they waited for the last 14 groups (54 players) to post. Only one of those teams beat their score.

“I thought we’d be close,” Rogers said. “We told each other if that doesn’t get us in, we just ain’t getting in. We played as good as we could today.”

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