MOC golfers playing at Walnut Creek CC
MOC Sports Information
Five Mount Olive College golfers will compete in Sectional Qualifying today and tomorrow at Walnut Creek Country Club with spots available for the U.S. Amateur Golf Championship.
Competing in the 36-hole event are Goldsboro natives Jonathan Greene and Clark Rose; along with Johan Hagsund, Mick Moberg and Scott Woodard.
The 84-player field will be cut to the lowest 30 percent after today's opening round. Three qualifiers and two alternates will be determined after Friday's 18-hole round.
Trojan head golf coach Chip Spiron hopes playing on a familiar course will give his players an edge at the qualifier.
"We practice at Walnut Creek once a week, so I feel our guys will have 'home field advantage,' so to speak," said Spiron. "In addition, Jonathan and Mick have worked there for four years and Clark is a member. This is probably the best chance Mount Olive has had to send any golfers to the U.S. Amateur, which is the biggest amateur golf tournament in the U.S."
Despite the players' experience, none should take the course lightly, warned Spiron.
"I was out there Sunday and the course is in great shape," said Spiron. "But Walnut Creek is a really tough course. The greens are the toughest part of the course."
Greene, a senior is a two-time All-Conference Carolinas selection. Greene tied for eighth among 45 Atlantic Region golfers at the 2007 NCAA Division II Atlantic/Southeast Super Regional.
Hagsund, a 2008 All-Conference Carolinas selection from Landskrona, Sweden, is the only golfer in Trojan history to record a hole-in-one during competition. The junior is returning home to Sweden to complete his college degree.
Moberg, a three-time All-Conference Carolinas honoree from Gavle, Sweden, graduated in May. Moberg is the only golfer in Trojan history to compete in the NCAA Division II Super Regional in four consecutive years. A two-time Academic All-District selection, Moberg is enrolled in graduate school at Duke.
Rose, a sophomore, competed in four tournaments in 2007-08, carding a season-best even-par 72 in the first round of the Barton College Dogfight At The Neuse. Rose is the son of Mount Olive College Athletics Hall of Fame member and former PGA Tour player Clarence Rose.
Woodard, a redshirt sophomore from Princeton, earned All-Tournament honors at the 2007 Conference Carolinas Tournament and also tied for eighth among Atlantic Region golfers at 2007 NCAA Division II Atlantic/Southeast Super Regional. A junior academically, Woodard missed the 2007-08 season due to an injury.
The U.S. Amateur Championship takes place Aug. 18-24 at Pinehurst, site of the 1999 and 2002 U.S. Open Championships.
While Spiron won't officially be coaching his players, he will be at the qualifier as a fan and more.
"It's a great opportunity and I'm really excited for our players," said Spiron. "I'll be out there to cheer them on. I might even caddy for them."
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