E.A. Sports Today

Heading west to wait

ACC’s Burgess will be on site to see if he makes the U.S. Mid-Amateur field as an alternate

By Al Muskewitz
East Alabama Sports Today
So you’re saying there’s a chance.
Garrett Burgess called the USGA office earlier this week to look into his chances of getting into the U.S. Mid-Amateur Championship next month from the alternate’s list. The odds seem long, although he has moved up into the 40s on the waiting list, but the lady on the other end of the phone said he was welcome to go out and play in the practice rounds and see what happens.
So that’s what he’s going to do. The Anniston Country Club player and Donoho golf coach plans to fly to Colorado in two weeks and wait it out.
“She told me I was like 50th on the alternate list and dropped like seven or eight spots since yesterday,” Burgess said. “If you came out there you’ve got full reign (of the facility) as a normal player and better chances of getting in if you actually show up.”
The U.S. Mid-Am is Sept. 14-19 at Colorado Golf Club and the CommonGround Golf Course outside Denver. Burgess fell into the waiting game when he was the odd man out in a 5-for-4 playoff in the qualifier at Camden (S.C.) Country Club. He tied for low round of the day.
He could get in if one of the Camden qualifiers is unable to play or the site is awarded another spot based on an exempt spot becoming available.
“It’d be worth it if I went out there and played,” he said. “At the same time I’m going to go out there with the intention of getting in the tournament and if I don’t it’ll be a good experience.
“My fingers are going to be crossed, but I’m not going to be on pins and needles. I hope to get in, it’s one of those things we’ll see what plays out. No need to stress. I feel like I should at least go out there and see what it’s like.”
You never know what can happen. John Daly was the ninth alternate the year he won the PGA Championship at Crooked Stick. Earlier this year, Nate Lashley won the PGA Tour’s Rocket Mortgage Classic as the third and last alternate. Jacob Harper, this year’s record-smashing Sunny King Charity Classic champion with Jacob LeCroy, told Burgess he was first alternate for the U.S. Amateur one year, went to the site and got called 15 minutes before his scheduled tee time.
“He said you need to go out there, to play it by ear,” Burgess said. “It’s crazy. I’ve asked so many people about this and they were like don’t worry you’ll get in. Hopefully when I get out there something good will happen.”

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