Cincinnati golfers advance at Maketewah for a spot in the US Open

It’s a hard thing to kill a dream.

Nowhere was that more clear than on Monday at Maketewah Country Club. Golfers come from all over for USGA local qualifying to play 18 holes, vying for a spot in sectionals, where there’s a chance to qualify for this summer’s US Open golf championship.

There were 144 entries, ranging in age from 15 to 64 years old.

Some are high schoolers, college golfers, amateurs with day jobs, local golf pros and professionals playing mini-tours, and the Monday qualifier circuit for spots on the bigger stages.

Blackberries:What are the best public golf courses in Ohio and where are they? Here’s a list

The top nine at Maketewah earn a spot in sectionals, and no matter their age or pedigree, they arrive with two simple reasons for playing.

Competition and a dream.

“I can’t remember how many times we were sitting on the putting green at Clovernook (Country Club) like, this putt’s to win the US Open or this putt’s to win the Masters,” said Daniel Wetterich, a 2015 La Salle High School grad who shot even par on Monday at Maketewah to advance to sectionals.

Daniel Wetterich looks down the fairway during a US Open qualifying golf tournament at Maketewah Country Club in the Bond Hill neighborhood of Cincinnati on Monday, May 16, 2022.

Matthew Wetterich, Daniel’s older brother, and a 2013 La Salle grad who went on to play at Xavier University, said that dream is always there, but the focus has to be on competing.

“Everybody wants to play in the US Open. It’s a childhood dream but if you go into your round thinking that, you kind of get distracted,” said Matthew, who shot 1-under par on Monday to make it to sectionals for the second year in a row. “That’s why you just gotta kind of compete rather than teeing it up on the first hole of the local qualifier thinking ‘I could qualify for the US Open’ … 90% of the time you’ll probably fail because you put too much pressure on yourself. ”

Daniel’s a professional. Matthew’s an amateur. But that doesn’t matter all that much over 18 holes because the course doesn’t care how old you are, what your profession is, or your reason for competing. It’s only about who earns the right to advance.

Austin Squires drives from the first tee during a US Open qualifying golf tournament at Maketewah Country Club in the Bond Hill neighborhood of Cincinnati on Monday, May 16, 2022.

Austin Squires went to Ryle High School and then went on to play golf at the University of Cincinnati, where he graduated in 2019. After UC, Squires turned pro and he’s been grinding on mini-tours and playing in Monday qualifiers.

“Monday qualifiers are such a different animal,” Squires said. “They’re usually played at easier golf courses … it’s usually a boat race. So you know on the front nine if you’re not three or four under, I either gotta blitz the back nine or start making travel arrangements.”

Leave a Comment