Headline: David Spitz, Michael Dunham & Steven Dilisio Continue on the #RoadToErinHills & Advance to U.S. Open Sectional Qualifying

Bay State native David Spitz was one of three Bay State amateurs to punch their ticket to U.S. Open Sectional Qualifying on Tuesday at Newport CC (RI).

For Immediate Release: May 16, 2017

Newport, RI — While two Massachusetts natives were advancing from the U.S. Open local qualifier at the Crumpin-Fox Club in Bernardston on Tuesday afternoon, another three competitors with Bay State ties advanced from the Newport Country Club (RI) local qualifier that was hosted by the Rhode Island Golf Association (RIGA).

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Amateurs David Spitz, Michael Dunham and Steven Dilisio placed T1, T3 and 5th respectively and move onto the 36-hole sectional qualifier to be held on Monday, June 5 at New Jersey’s Canoe Brook Country Club.

The trio will join Massachusetts golfers Chris Gentle, Matt Hutchins, Jack Whelan, Matt Naumec and Jonathan Elkins, who have all qualified at one of the three local qualifiers held in the New England area and are looking to compete in the U.S. Open Championship Proper, being held at Wisconsin’s Erin Hills June 15-18. This year’s U.S. Open is the 117th Championship Proper.

On Tuesday, more than 40 individuals who hold their handicap indexes at a Bay State club were in the field seeking one of the five qualifying and two alternate spots available to competitors.

The 35-year old Spitz, a graduate of the University of Rhode Island who turned professional before regaining his amateur status in 2010, shared medalist honors with Rhode Island amateur Bobby Leopold.

The South Shore Country Club member, who finished with a score of 1-under par 69, opened his round with three straight birdies and made the turn at 3-under par after making birdie on the 464-yard 9th hole. He rebounded from a double bogey on the par-3 13th hole with his fifth birdie of the day on the 17th hole. The Weymouth, Mass. native Spitz is the older brother of Ben Spitz, winner of the 2006 Massachusetts Amateur Championship and two-time recipient of the Commonwealth Cup, awarded annually to the Massachusetts Open low-amateur, a feat he accomplished in both 2015 and 2013.

Behind Spitz on the leaderboard was Concord Country Club member Michael Dunham, who finished T3 after carding an even-par 70 with Connecticut amateur Alex Manner. Fresh off an appearance in the 37th playing of the Massachusetts Four-Ball Championship last week, where he and partner Cato Anderson shot an even-par 142 over the course of the two-day tournament, the former hockey standout Dunham tallied 12 pars on the day to go along his three birdies and three bogeys.

Dunham, the current New York Islanders goaltending coach and a former Olympic Silver Medalist for Team USA, is advancing to his first ever U.S. Open sectional qualifier after previously finishing as the first alternate at the 2011 U.S. Open local qualifier that was held at Crumpin-Fox Club. Earlier this week he also advanced to the Massachusetts Open Championship on Monday by finishing T3 at Cohasset Golf Club with a score of 2-over par 72.

The third of three to advance from Tuesday’s US Open local qualifier in Rhode Island was Duke freshman Steven DiLisio, a longtime MGA competitor from Swampscott. The 19-year old DiLisio, a member at Salem Country Club, grabbed the last spot on the leaderboard after firing a 1-over par 71 on the 7,000-yard course, courtesy of three birdies, four bogeys and 11 pars. It was the second straight year that he sought to advance from the U.S. Open local qualifying stage.

In addition to the five who qualified from Tuesday’s 18-hole round at Newport Country Club, five competitors who shot a 2-over par 72 saw their U.S. Open hopes determined in a playoff for first and second alternate. Warwick, Rhode Island amateur Tyler Cooke, a co-captain for the University of Connecticut Men’s Golf Team, tabbed first alternate honors while Jonathan Pannone, a professional from East Greenwich, RI, was named second alternate.

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