Scott Dunlap is back playing and that is good news. Sidelined from the PGA Champions Tour since the start of the 2019 season due to wrist surgery and nerve damage in his left arm, Sarasota’s Dunlap will attempt to qualify Monday for the U. S. Open at Sara Bay Country Club.
Dunlap has a medical exemption for 2019 Champions Tour season that allows him to play in a few events. He has yet to tee it up on the tour this year. He qualified for the Schwab Cup last year.
Dunlap has an 8:27 a.m. tee time Monday and is one of many area players in the field for the first stage of qualifying.
Other notables in the field include Eric Souchak, the grandson of former PGA Tour standout Mike Souchak. Eric recently won the City of Sarasota Men’s Amateur Championship and attends the University of South Florida.
Monday’s qualifiers more than likely will choose Florida’s only sectional qualifying at Streamsong.
Dubbed the longest day of golf, 14 U.S. Open sectional qualifiers will be held around the country with players vying for a spot in the 119th U.S. Open Championship at Pebble Beach Golf Links (june 27-30). Florida’s sectional qualifier will head to the Black Course at Streamsong Resort in Central Florida on June 3 for 36 holes and a chance to earn an invitation to the U.S. Open.
One of Streamsong Resort’s three courses, the Black Course opened in 2017. The Red and Blue courses were first on the property and were a unique collaboration between some of the brightest and most respected minds in golf architecture. Bill Coore and Ben Crenshaw designed the Red, while Tom Doak designed the blue. However, they were given the same property to work with, so the two courses weave between one another throughout the 18 holes.
Streamsong continued making waves with their decision to bring in part-time area resident Gil Hanse to design the Black course. Hanse has recently taken on restoration projects at some of the most prestigious and storied clubs in America, such as Los Angeles CC, Merion GC, Oakland Hills CC and Winged Foot GC. He is also compiling an impressive list of solo designs as well, including the Olympic Course in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
Separated from the Red and Blue courses, the Black course operates on nearly 300 acres and is fairly notorious for its scale. The landing areas in fairways are very generous, but the immense and rumpled nature of the greens shrinks the fairways considerably as it requires that players think about where it would be best to approach the given hole locations from.
Most greens on the Red and Blue courses are anywhere from 6,000 to 10,000 square feet, fairly large when compared to the industry as a whole. The greens on Black are regularly pushing 20,000 square feet, with a stretch of holes from number 8 to number 12 each over 20,000 and some even pushing 30,000 square feet.
Options are abound at the Black course. The firm condition of the fairways requires players to pause, think about their club selection and target line rather than blindly pulling driver and aiming down the center. Wrong decisions can lead to balls running through the fairways into the well positioned bunkers and expansive sandy waste areas.
The bold contours and vastness of the green complexes ensure that the target line off the tee changes when the hole location changes. Green surrounds are encompassed by short grass rather than rough, making it playable for higher handicaps while presenting a number of possibilities for players with imagination and capability. Introducing thought and indecision into a player’s mind is a tremendous way to challenge top-level players, while still being engaging for all skill levels, a theme which is prevalent throughout the golf course.
The resort first opened in 2013, but its origin goes much further back. Streamsong’s developer, The Mosaic Company has owned the 16,000 acres that Streamsong operates for more than 50 years and mined the land for phosphates in the 1960s. The scale of the property is often noted upon visitors’ first trips and for good reason. The massive sand dunes were created during the phosphate mining process and make for tremendous vistas. Since being mined in the 1960s, the property has been left to nature, resulting in native grasses covering the sand dunes and a look unique to Florida.
Streamsong is no stranger to hosting state and national events. In 2016, Streamsong hosted the 2nd U.S. Women’s Amateur Four-Ball Championship on the Blue course. The Florida State Golf Association hosted the State Four-Ball Championship on the Blue course in 2015 and will host the Boys’ and Girls’ Junior Championships on the Red and Blue courses in late June and early July.
Sara Bay Country Club / 2019USOpenQual
Taylor, Robert Inverness, FL
Kalafatoglu, Kaan Bradenton, FL
Lin, Tzu Wei (a) Palmetto, FL
Zwicker, Clayton Fond Du Lac, WI
McLean, Matt Sarasota, FL
Vandeventer, Michael Columbus, IN
Truslow, Austen Saint Petersburg, FL
Howe, Jason (a) Canada
Griessel, Trent (a) Redmond, WA
Quintero, Nicolas (a) Bradenton, FL
Dunlap, Scott Sarasota, FL
Sadato, Genki (a) Clearwater, FL
Klenor, Alan (a) Longboat Key, FL
Souchak, Erik (a) Sarasota, FL
Pirro, Benjamin (a) Hampton Bays, NY
Woodhull, Andrew Sarasota, FL
Nash, Jake (a) Sarasota, FL
Whatmore, James Bradenton, FL
Guttman, Mo Sarasota, FL
Hall, Taylor (a) Sarasota, FL
Lee, John Naples, FL
Palonis, Rick Manhattan, IL
Knight, Bradley (a) Sarasota, FL
Payne, Jordan Davenport, FL
Smith, Justin Savannah, GA
Gould, Zach North Port, FL
Arnold, Stephen Sarasota, FL
Kennon, Scotty (a) Bandon, OR
Dawson, David Sarasota, FL
Faulkner, Michael Cape Coral, FL
Lento, John Paramus, NJ
Walsh, Ryan (a) North Dighton, MA
Cochrane, John Canada
Civon, Justin Sarasota, FL
Chavez, Samuel Bradenton, CA
Simonds, Chris Sarasota, FL
Coutsolioutsos, Max (a) Lakewood Ranch, FL
Visacki, Michael Sarasota, FL
Khan, Simon England
Lauer, Seath Huntington, IN
Carlson, Tyler (a) Bradenton, FL
Zelnik, Noah Palmetto, FL
Pleczkowski, Jacob Pittsburgh, PA
Purcell, Taylor Myrtle Beach, SC
Perritt, David Bradenton, FL
Perna, Joshua (a) Sarasota, FL
Tracy, Chad (a) Naples, FL
Wijas, Michael (a) Lakewood Ranch, FL
Roy, Kevin Tampa, FL
Talcott, Hunter Scituate, MA
Kevorkian, Jake Saint Petersburg, FL
Loftus, Logan Lakeland, FL
Chiuchiolo, Joe Rotonda West, FL
Dailey, Jeff Columbus, OH
Johnson, Joshua (a) Bradenton, FL
Cleary, Mark England
Walker, Danny Bradenton, FL
Sires, Ricky (a) Temple Terrace, FL
Clare, John Syracuse, NY
Ferrier, Paul Scotland
Si, Ngai (a) Macau
Kobren, Jared Sarasota, FL
Brandt, Christopher (a) Sarasota, FL
Angelo, Drew (a) Bradenton, FL
Hasson, Felipe (a) Brazil
Hu, Zesen (a) Hong Kong China
McClellan, Thomas (a) Bradenton, FL
Gimpel, Dereck Ruskin, FL
Robinson, Clark South Windsor, CT
Zhao, Xian Yu (a) People’s Republic of China
Pierce, Gavin Republic of Ireland
Stockard, Robby (a) Naples, FL
Mark, Sebastian Bradenton, FL
Weber, Richard Weldon Spring, MO
Ferreira, Joe East Falmouth, MA
Lowndes, Christopher (a) Saint Petersburg, FL
Yoon, James (a) Bradenton, FL
Morello, Mikey (a) Temple Terrace, FL
Mudrak, Trevor Morristown, OH
Almeida, Matthew Lake Mary, FL
Fox, Adam (a) Indian Rocks Beach, FL
Celestino, Jacques (a) Sarasota, FL
Marovich, Matthew Venice, FL
Kelly, Sean Staten Island, NY