Long & Cerbara advance to Sectional Qualifying in U.S. Open
By Mike Dudurich • May 17, 2018
Mike is a freelance writer and host of The Golf Show on 93.7 The Fan Saturday mornings from 7-8 AM. Follow Mike on Twitter @MikeDudurich.
It’s probably a considerable stretch to say Evan Long had a home-course advantage Wednesday at Quicksilver Golf Club during a U.S. Open local qualifier.
Yes, his dad and his uncle are co-owners of the course, but Long, who just completed his freshman year at the University of Minnesota, said he really hasn’t played the course all that much.
“Living an hour north of here, it was just very time consuming to play here,” Long said.
He looked very comfortable on the hilly course, though, making six birdies and two bogeys to shoot 67, despite making a bogey on 18 and tied another amateur, Stephen Cerbara of Langhorne, Pa., who made a 12-foot birdie putt on his final hole.
Long said he didn’t come into the day with great expectations.
“I just wanted to go out and have fun,” said Long, who advanced to the sectionals for the first time in three tries. “It was a really cool atmosphere, a really fun experience for me. I had my dad caddying for me. It didn’t rain on us. How good is that?”
Cerbara played on the golf team at Furman University as a freshman, at Penn State-Abington as a sophomore and will play at Drexel University in the fall. While the 67 he shot was impressive, an even more notable number was that this was his fifth local qualifier even though he’s only 19.
Cerbara’s participation at Quicksilver was a mixture of business and pleasure. He has an aunt and uncle who live in Belle Vernon so he came out to their house a few days early, played a couple practice rounds and then played well when it counted.
“I had no idea what was going on,” Cerbara responded when asked if he knew where he stood before lining up that putt. “No one told me anything, but I looked at my aunt and she kind of gave me the sign that it had to drop and it went in.”
A week earlier, at the region’s other local qualifier at Butler Country Club, David Ross (Fayetteville, Pa.) was medalist at 67, The second qualifier was PSU assistant coach T.J. Howe, who posted a 70. Howe won the Frank B. Fuhrer Jr. Invitational in 2017.
Jake Mondy (Blacksburg, Va.) and Kyle Grube (Indiana native and Robert Morris sophomore) survived a three-man playoff with Oakmont professional Devin Gee to grab the other two spots.
Ross is a student at Penn State in the Professional Golf Management program but doesn’t play on the Nittany Lions team.
“I’d rather wake up and play with my buddies and have a blast than be stressed out continually,” Ross said. “I like the way it is now. I played steady all day, had a couple good par saves early. Once I got a couple birdies, I knew I had a chance.”
Sectional qualifying will be held Monday, June 4 at various sites around the country.
About the WPGA
Founded in 1899, the Western Pennsylvania Golf Association is the steward of amateur golf in the region. Started by five Member Clubs, the association now has nearly 200 Member Clubs and 33,000 members. The WPGA conducts 14 individual competitions and 10 team events, and administers the WPGA Scholarship Fund.