Derek Busby & Bryan Vahlberg Win Medalist Honors at U.S. Amateur Four-Ball Sectional Qualifier

April 17, 2017     Lake Charles, LA

Derek Busby of Ruston, Louisiana and Bryan Vahlberg of Norman, Oklahoma fired a ten-under par 61 to earn medalist honors at the U.S. Amateur Four-Ball Qualifier at Contraband Bayou Golf Club on Monday. This formidable duo now has national championship aspirations as they advance to the 3rd U.S. Amateur Four-Ball Championship, to be conducted at the Pinehurst Resort & Country Club, May 27-31. Also qualifying are: Jake Kuwitzky of McKinney, Texas and Scott Roden of Dallas. Kuwitzky is 17 years old, and Roden is 15. These Junior golfers were not intimidated at all by the older competition. They showcased their game and posted a seven-under par 64.

The final qualifying team had to survive a three-team sudden death playoff to advance. Shane Humphries of Ridgeland, Mississippi and David Sinclair of Brandon, Mississippi birdied the second playoff hole to punch their ticket to Pinehurst. First alternates Jacob Huizinga and Joseph Hymel of Orlando, Florida made a par on the second playoff hole, while the second alternates Jeff Ingram and Randy Lee of Houston, Texas made a bogey. All three teams in the playoff shot a six-under par 65 for their stipulated round.

Monday’s medalists have all the tangibles to make a deep run at Pinehurst in May. Derek Busby and Bryan Vahlberg’s friendship goes back to their college days. Busby played for Louisiana Tech, and Vahlberg played for the University of Louisiana at Monroe. They developed a mutual respect for each other through competition. Busby is an LGA Member through Squire Creek Country Club in Choudrant. He invited Vahlberg to play with him in Squire Creek’s Peach Festival tournament several years ago, and the two have stayed in touch. When they saw the opportunity to compete together in the U.S. Four-Balll Championship, they jumped on it.

Busby and Vahlberg started their round at 10:10 AM, and they made two consecutive pars. Vahlberg made the team’s first birdie at the par 4 3rd hole. Both players made a par at the par 3 4th hole and Busby made a birdie at the par 4 5th hole. Both players parred the 6th hole, and Vahlberg chipped in for birdie at the par 4 7th. Busby drained a 12-foot birdie putt at the par 3 8th hole. He capped off their front nine with another birdie at the par 5 9th, and they made the turn at five-under par. Busby kept the hot streak going on the back nine, making back-to-back birdies at #10 and #11. Both players made par on hole #12, and Busby added another birdie at the par 3 13th. After back-to-back pars, Vahlberg made a birdie at the par 4 16th hole. Busby finished birdie-par, bringing their back nine total to 30. Busby shot a 64 on his own ball, and Vahlberg shot a 69 on his own ball. They played exceptionally well as a team, trading birdies all day, and they hope to continue that momentum at the next level as they now set their sights on the challenging and picturesque Pinehurst No. 2 course in May. Click here to access Busby and Vahlberg’s scorecard.

The Louisiana Golf Association conducted the U.S. Amateur Four-Ball Qualifier on behalf of the USGA. The Tom Fazio designed Contraband Bayou golf course played to a par 71 at 7,000 yards. The weather in Lake Charles on Monday was partly cloudy with temperatures reaching the low 80s with a slight breeze. For final scoring results, click here.

These three qualifying teams will get to play where so many legends have played before them. The historic Donald Ross designed Pinehurst No. 2 course opened in 1907, and it has hosted numerous major tournaments over the years, including:

 

1936 PGA Championship

Denny Shute

 
 

1951 Ryder Cup

 United States

 
 

1999 U.S. Open

Payne Stewart

 
 

2005 U.S. Open

Michael Campbell

 

 

2008 U.S. Amateur

Danny Lee

 
 

2014 U.S. Open

Martin Kaymer

 

2014 U.S. Women's Open

Michelle Wie

 
  2024 U.S. Open Championship

TBD

 

This Qualifier conducted by the LGA was the last one in the country, so the field is now set for the Championship proper. As mentioned above, the U.S. Amateur 4-Ball will take place May 27-31, 2017. Schedule of play is as follows: Saturday, May 27 (Stroke Play, Round 1, 18 holes) / Sunday, May 28 (Stroke Play, Round 2, 18 holes) / Monday, May 29 (Round of 32, match play) / Tuesday, May 30 (Round of 16/Quarterfinal matches) / Wednesday, May 31 (Semifinals, Championship match – 18 holes).  For more info and to access the championship website click here.

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