APALACHIN, N.Y. – With Monday’s qualifying round out of the way, the field for the 2019 Dick’s Sporting Goods Open is official.
It was a beautiful day for golf on Monday, and the Links at Hiawatha was a tremendous venue to find the final four to round out the Dick’s lineup.
It didn’t take long for someone to make their mark on the course as Doug Barron set the high for the day in the first group.
Behind a six birdie day, Barron finished with a 6-under, 66.
On the other end of the spectrum was Brian Cooper, who was in the final grouping of the day and made his way into one of the qualifying spots by equaling Barron’s 66.
After wrapping up, Cooper spoke about why playing in the Dick’s Open means a little bit more for him.
“It feels good. There’s a little bit of sentimental value in being able to play in this event. Since their corporate headquarters is from Pittsburgh, I’m a born and bred Pittsburgher. But, I’ve been playing well this year. I’m just happy today worked out for me, and to be in the field,” Cooper says.
While Cooper may have a semi-local connection, another qualifier came a lot further to make his way into the field.
Australian Gavin Coles also shot a 6-under round, vaulting him into the top four and getting the golden ticket to the Dick’s Open.
However, this isn’t Coles’ first go-around at En-Joie, as he had played in the B.C. Open back in 2003.
Not knowing if he had qualified or not yet, Coles spoke about getting another crack at En-Joie.
“I felt like it was a really nice course. I wouldn’t mind playing again. It would be nice to go and rub shoulders with some of the best players on the Champions Tour, and see how good they still are,” said Coles.
With Barron, Cooper, and Coles already clinching at 6-under, that left one spot unclaimed.
That would go to Roger Rowland.
Making his first trip to the Southern Tier, Rowland came through with a six birdie, 5-under effort to make sure he sticks around the area a little bit longer.
“I didn’t miss many shots. I probably miss-hit one shot, made the putts I needed to make. I did make a bogie on 14 or 13, 14 I think. That might hurt me. But, it’s a beautiful day and I enjoyed it. Maybe I’ll get lucky and it’ll hold up,” he said.
Well, lucky enough for Rowland, it would hold up.
Although, it was close.
There were two players who finished at 4-under and then eight who finished at 3-under.
The competition is only going to increase though for those four players.
They’ll get on the course for a practice round on Tuesday to get a feel for En-Joie before they tee it up for real on Friday in round one of the Dick’s Sporting Goods Open.