John Murdock

Laramie’s John Murdock IV watches his approach shot during the first round of the Laramie Open on Saturday, July 7, 2018, at Jacoby Golf Course in Laramie.

The Wyoming State Golf Association has been on the lookout for a home for the U.S. Amateur qualifying tournament it hosts each summer.

The WSGA has brought the one-day, 36-hole tournament to Laramie this year, with 31 golfers schedule to compete today at Jacoby Golf Course for one guaranteed spot and two alternate spots for the U.S. Amateur Championship from Aug. 13-19 at Pebble Beach Golf Links in Pebble Beach, California.

Nestled between the Laramie Open this past weekend and the Wyoming Open this coming weekend in Cheyenne, the tournament has nearly doubled its entrants from the last two years, when it was in Casper and Jackson.

“It couldn’t have worked out better to tie it in with the Laramie Open,” WSGA Executive Director Dave Snyder said Monday. “It’s something we hope to do for the years going forward so the amateurs get a chance to play both in a short period of time. I’m hoping to keep growing it from here on out.”

The field includes a host of players who competed in the Laramie Open, including University of Wyoming golfer Dan Starzinski, the tournament’s top amateur finisher.

Back-to-back U.S. Amateur qualifier Jordan Costello of Pinedale is back to try to make it three straight trips. Costello, who plays collegiately for Utah, was second to Starzinski this past weekend.

Other UW golfers in the field include Laramie’s John Murdock, who took third, Cheyenne’s Jared Edeen and Sheridan’s Kirby Coe-Kirkham.

Ten states will be represented today, with nine players from Wyoming and eight from Colorado, and players from California, Texas, North and South Carolina and Arizona.

“One thing that’s unique about this event is the winner goes straight to the U.S. Amateur and doesn’t have to play in a sectional qualifier to get to go,” Snyder said. “That makes (today) a pretty exciting day. For Wyoming to be able to host a qualifier and send a player is amazing.”

Starzinski has put together a good summer on the WSGA circuit, winning the State Match Play Championship and coming in fifth in the State Amateur tournament — won by Costello — while Murdock finished third, Coe-Kirkham sixth and Edeen 10th.

Starzinski, Murdock and Costello will represent Wyoming in two weeks at the Pacific Coast Amateur Championship at the Olympic Club in San Francisco.

“Even qualifying for the Pac Coast this summer and going to represent Wyoming is exciting,” Starzinski said. “To be able to qualify for the U.S. Am would be something truly special and be just about the perfect summer.”

Plus, it’s another chance for UW golfers to play a competitive tournament at Jacoby, something they don’t do during the fall or spring college seasons.

“It’s great to see the course in tournament condition,” Starzinski said. “It’s always fun playing at Jacoby because you have that edge of it being your home course. Winning the Laramie Open (amateur) title hopefully carries over for me to (today).”

Play begins at 7:30 a.m., with each group getting an hour in between rounds. Players will remain in their same groups for both rounds.

“If you’re a top-quality amateur player in this country, these are the events you play in because you want to go play on the national level,” Snyder said.

US AMATEUR QUALIFIER

Jacoby Golf Course

36 holes

Today

First Round Tee Times

7:30 a.m. — Kirby Coe-Kirkham, Cameron Lampe

7:40 a.m. — Everett Plocek, Tyler Nolan

7:50 a.m. — Rosswell Sinclair, Alex Shattuck, Aaron Purviance

8 a.m. — Carmine Mediate, Jason Poppenhagen, Jared Edeen

8:10 a.m. — Silas Thornton, AJ Crouch, Daniel Pearson

8:20 a.m. — Hardy Johnson, Scott Bates, Brett Riotto

8:30 a.m. — Jordan Costello, Harrison Murphy, TJ Malman

8:40 a.m. — Dan Starzinski, Grady Shropshire, Bronson Myers

8:50 a.m. — John Murdock, Sam Hammock, Donn Berdahl

9 a.m. — Steve White, Tracy Richardson, Kyle Thurman

9:10 a.m. — Tom Parker, Taj Sutherland, Sean Thomas

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