After two days of interrupted play due to weather, University of Wyoming golfers John Murdock and Kirby Coe-Kirkam completed play Tuesday at the 2021 U.S. Open final qualifying event in Dallas, Texas.
Only the top-10 individuals in the field of 115 professional and amateur golfers at the Dallas Final Qualifier earned qualifying spots into this year’s U.S. Open. Neither Murdock nor Coe-Kirkham finished in the top 10, so their pursuit of this year’s U.S. Open ended in the final qualifying round.
Murdock concluded the 36-hole event with an even-par total of 142. Coe-Kirkham finished at 146 (4 over par). The cut for the top-10 qualifying spots was 138 (4 under). Murdock opened with a round of 73 (2 over) on Monday. He concluded with a 69 (2 under) to finish at even par for the event. Coe-Kirkham shot a 76 (5 over) on Monday, and followed that up with a 70 (1 under) to end the event at 146 (4 over).
Matthias Schmid of Maxhuette, Germany, and Matthew Sharpstene of Asheville, North Carolina, tied for the top qualifying positions at 133 (9 under). Both are amateurs. Schmid earned honorable mention All-American honors in 2020 at the University of Louisville. Sharpstene played his first three college seasons at West Virginia before transferring to Charlotte for his senior season in 2020-21.
According to the U.S. Open website, there were 8,680 individuals scheduled to play in 108 local qualifying events this year, with only 500 of those players advancing on to the final qualifying round. Murdock and Coe-Kirkham were among the 500 to advance to the final qualifying round.
Murdock tied for second in the Walnut Creek U.S. Open Local Qualifier in Westminster, Colorado, shooting a 71 (1 under). Coe-Kirkham shot a 72 (even) in regulation and tied with two other individuals for fifth place. Since only a maximum of five individuals could advance to the final qualifying round from the Walnut Creek Local Qualifier, Coe-Kirkham had to win a playoff against Kory Harrell of Denver and Daniel Sutton to earn the fifth and final spot on the third playoff hole.
There are 156 spots available in this year’s U.S. Open, with 49 already filled with exempt players. The individuals who qualify will play in the U.S. Open, scheduled for June 17-20 at Torrey Pines Golf Course in San Diego, California.
In addition to playing their collegiate golf at UW, Murdock and Coe-Kirkham are Wyoming natives.
Murdock is from Laramie, and Coe-Kirkham is from Sheridan. Murdock concluded his collegiate career in the 2018-19 season and has served as a graduate assistant coach for the Cowboys the past two seasons. Coe-Kirkham completed his sophomore season this past season of 2020-21.
This week’s qualifying event in Dallas marked Murdock’s third time moving past the local qualifying round into the final qualifying round for the U.S. Open. He previously played final qualifiers at the Portland Golf Club in Portland, Oregon and at Wine Valley Golf Club in Walla Walla, Washington. Coe-Kirkham played in his first final qualifying round of a U.S. Open this week.
The Dallas Final Qualifying event was one of only 10 U.S. Open Final Qualifiers in the United States, with an additional 11th qualifier in Japan. The Japan qualifier was also played on May 24.
Aidan Mann commits to Cowboys golf
UW men’s golf coach Joe Jensen announced that Aidan Mann has committed to play golf for Cowboys starting next fall.
Mann comes to UW after he started his collegiate career in 2019-20 at Colorado Mesa University in Grand Junction, Colorado. He did not compete in the 2020-21 season and will be a freshman when he joins the Cowboy golf program.
Mann tied for 14th out of 74 amateur golfers on Wednesday at the Palo Verde Amateur played on the Devil’s Claw course at the Whirlwind Golf Club in Chandler, Arizona. Mann fired a 210 (-6) for the 54-hole tournament and closed out the week with a final round of 63 (9 under).
“Aidan is an athletic kid,” Jensen said. “He was originally a hockey player and has grown into becoming a good golfer. He is raw, but he hits the ball really well, and I think he has a great upside. Aidan is a competitive young man,. I believe he can be a contributor for our program.”
Mann’s family currently lives in Boulder, Colorado but Mann played his high school golf at York Community High School in Elmhurst, Illinois. He earned All-West Suburban Conference honors his junior and senior seasons and helped lead his team to the conference championship as a senior team captain. He averaged 73.4 strokes per round as a senior. Mann was named a JGAC Academic All-Star in 2018. He also qualified for the Illinois State Tournament as a junior. He was a four-year letterman in golf and a one-year letterman in hockey.