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Reigstad & McClay Advance to U.S. Open Sectional Qualifying

May 31, 2016

Section Members Aaron McClay of Sundance GC and Jon Reigstad of Keller GC, after several years of attempts, have finally advanced to the U.S. Open Sectional Qualifying stage.

“I think I first tried to qualify for the U.S. Open right after high school,” said Reigstad. “This is my first time making it past local qualifying in four or five tries. I’m finally seeing some real good strides in my game.” For McClay, it has been a little bit of a longer wait, “I’ve been trying to get in this thing for about 30 years,” he said. “Obviously I didn’t have too high of hopes going into the qualifier, but I like to see where I am in the big picture with all of these young, talented players.”

aaron mcclay

McClay, 52, is the Teaching Professional at Sundance GC

The pair faced tough conditions at the U.S. Open Local Qualifier that was held at Minnesota Valley Country Club on May 9th. It was a windy and rainy day, yet they fired two of the only four under-par rounds of the day; 2-under 71 for Reigstad and 1-under 72 for McClay.

“I hit the ball good, but my short game was especially good; probably the best part of my game that day,” Reigstad emphasized. “Everything was just solid all day.”

McClay used the first few holes to build up his confidence and set the tone for the round, “I started off with a birdie on the par-5, 1st and that instantly made me feel comfortable. I don’t try to kill to the ball; I play slow. I played my game and focused on that.”

The USGA has ten Sectional Qualifiers scheduled throughout the U.S. on June 6th with two additional qualifiers in Japan and England. Reigstad will be playing at Woodmont Country Club in Rockville, Maryland while McClay will be playing at Kinsale Golf & Fitness Club and Wedgewood Golf & Country Club in Powell, Ohio. To see their tee times and the fields, Woodmont Country Club Tee TimesKinsale G&FC and Wedgewood G&CC Tee Times.

Also, McClay is paired with a familiar name you may have heard before, Bryson DeChambeau.

jonathan reigstad

Reigstad, 34, is the Director of Instruction at Keller GC

With a little bit of break in between the two qualifiers, the two have been motivated by the challenge and opportunity ahead, “my thinking is that it motivates me to practice and gives me a purpose,” McClay explained. “Distance of the tee is my biggest concern, so I’m going to work on my mid-to-long irons since I’ll have a lot of approach shots from those distances.”

Reigstad shared a similar sentiment, “I’m definitely more motivated to practice, but I want to keep teaching as well. I’ll spend more time on the putting green and on my short game.”

Being the older of the two, McClay, 52, is just trying to take in the experience, “I’m just looking forward to the opportunity and playing in the qualifier,” said McClay. “I want to go out there, enjoy myself, and have fun.

Reigstad, who is at a different stage in his career, is appreciative of the process and challenge getting here presents, “my journey in the game so far, between teaching and playing, has come a long way,” he said. “I want to continue to improve and let the process play out.” Specifically for the qualifier, “just prepare and not let the pressure take advantage.”

Make sure to follow both Aaron McClay and Jon Reigstad come June 6th as they represent the Minnesota Section.

The Minnesota Section PGA consists of PGA Professionals who are experts in the game and business of golf. Our mission is to promote the enjoyment and involvement of the game of golf and to contribute to its growth by providing services to golf professionals, the golf industry, people who play golf or would like to start playing golf. PGA Section Offices oversee the 41 geographic regions throughout the United States and provide the grass-roots network for the nation’s 25 million amateur golfers and with the PGA’s 27,000 members.

 

 

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