Hanstad Qualifies and Advances at Weather-Plagued Mid-Am

September 14, 2022
By Michael R Fermoyle

ERIN, Wis. -- When we left Bryce Hanstad, he was four holes into his second round of stroke-play qualifying at the U.S. Mid-Amateur, and in a precarious position, part of an 18-way tie for 50th place. Only the top 64 finishers were going to qualify for the match-play portion of the tournament. 

The 2022 MGA Mid-Players (state mid-am match-play) champion was still on the bubble after he played the front nine  at Erin Hills in 3 over par Tuesday morning. A lot of players were struggling to keep their concentration in a tournament that was a day and a half behind schedule, a result of heavy rains on Sunday. But Hanstad played what was essentially a flawless back nine, making seven pars plus consecutive birdies at the 592-yard, par-5 14th hole and the 371-yard, par-4 15th.

That gave him a 1-over-par 72 and a 36-hole total of 142 (1 over).

On a crowded leaderboard, those two back-nine birdies had moved him all the way up into a tie for 28th place. Had he played the back nine at Erin Hills in even par, he would have ended up in a 17-way tie for 53rd place, and would have had to survive a 17-for-12 playoff just to get into match play. 

Instead, he got the No. 32 seed and an early tee fime for his Round of 64 match, and as it turned out, he was the first player to win his way into the Round of 32. The former Minnesota State Amateur champ (2007) was even with the No. 33 seed, Connor Lyon, after nine holes. But he went 1 up with a birdie at the 10th (458 yards, par 4), and he retained his lead by tying the 11th (433, par 4) with another birdie. The next two holes were halved with pars. Hanstad then won the par-5 14th hole (582) with a birdie and the 15th with a par.

Lyon birdied the 184-yard, par-3 16th, but so did Hanstad, and that was good enough to seal a 3&2 victory. That was one of only six first-round matches that were completed Tuesday.

Two courses were used for stroke play at the Mid-Am -- Erin Hills and Blue Mound G&CC. All of the matches are being played at Erin Hills.  

Having played the back nine there in 2 under Tuesday morning, just to get into match play without the psychological torture of a jumbo-sized playoff, Hanstad played the back nine in 3 under Tuesday afternoon in his match. He ended up 1 under for the 16 holes he played. 

As his reward, he will play the winner of the match between the No 1 seed, Jake Shuman, and No. 64 Austin Spicer. Hanstad will have to wait a while for that one, however, because Shuman and Spicer hadn't even started their match when play was suspended late Tuesday. 

Shuman and Sam Jones were the leaders in the clubhouse when play ended on Monday. No one caught or passed them on Tuesday, and they shared medalist honors with their 36-hole totals of 134. Dalton Melnyk was third, one behind at 135. Melnyk is the son of Steve Melnyk, who won both the U.S. and British Amateur titles. He also won the Western Amateur and the Eastern Amateur, but never won 11 seasons on the PGA Tour.

Dalton never turned pro and is an advisor at TBM Insurance. 

He, like Shuman and Jones, never got onto the course Tuesday for the start of his first-round match against No. 62 seed Matt Parziale. The winner of that match will play the winner of the match between Josh Persons, the former North Dakota state high school champ who played for the University of Minnesota nearly two decades ago. Persons shot 142 (73-69) in qualifying and was part of the eight-way tie for 28th that Hanstad also ended up in.

He got the No. 35 seed and is playing No. 30 Pat Wilson. They made it through 10 holes, and Persons was 1 up. He won the third hole with a par and the 451-yard, par-4 fourth with a birdie, but lost the 10th to Wilson's birdie. 

Sam Foust is a former Edina High School star who is listed as still being from Edina. But he can't be spending all that much time there, because he is an assistant coach at the University of San Diego. He tied for sixth in qualifying with a 138 (67-71) and is the No. 8 seed. He got started on Tuesday but didn't get very far in his match against No. 57 Mitchell Ford. They played four holes, and Foust was 1 under par and 1 up. 

U.S. Mid-Amateur

At Erin Hills (7,309 yards, par 71)

Erin, Wis.

& Blue Mound Golf & Country Club (6,766 yards, par 70)

Wauwatosa, Wis. 

Stroke-play qualifying (the top 64 finishers advanced to match play)

Final results

T1. Jake Shuman               -7       68EH - 66BM -- 134

T1. Sam Jones                   -7       67BM - 67EH -- 134

3. Dalton Melnyk                - 6       65EH - 70BM -- 135

T4. Hugh Foley                   -5       66BM - 70EH -- 136

T4. Andrew Bailey               -5      70EH - 66BM -- 136

T6. Sam Foust                    -3       67BM - 71EH -- 138

T6. Matthew McClean          -3       72BM - 66EH -- 138

T6. Matthew Naumec           -3       67BM - 71EH -- 138

T9. James Leow                   -2       65BM - 74EH -- 139

T9. Ryan Gutowski               -2       69EH - 70BM -- 139

T9. Chad Wilfong                  -2       70EH - 69BM -- 139

T9. Ian Davis                         -2       71EH - 68BM -- 139

T9. Mark Costanza                -2        69EH - 70BM -- 139

T9. Stewart Hagestad            -2        64BM - 75EH -- 139

T9. Brad Nurski                      -2        72EH - 67BM -- 139

T28. Josh Persons               +1        73BM - 69EH -- 142

T28. Bryce Hanstad             +1         70BM - 72EH -- 142

Did not make the cut -- 144 (17-for-12 playoff)

T154. Max Tylke                 +8        75EH - 74BM -- 149

T154. Joe Gullion              +8         74BM - 75EH -- 149

T223. Robert Newbold     +14         78BM - 77EH -- 155

WD Sammy Schmitz                            75BM

Match play 

(The match-play portion of the tournament is being played at Erin Hills.)
(1) Jake Shuman def. (64) Austin Spicer 1 up

(32) Bryce Hanstad def. (33) Connor Lyon 3&2

(8) Sam Foust 1 up on (57) Mitchell Ford through 4 holes

(40) Andrew Paysse def. (25) Hayes Brown 1 up

(4) Andrew Bailey def. (61) John Quigley 1 up

(5) Hugh Foley def. (60) Alex Turner 3&1

(2) Sam Jones def. (63) Christian Raynor 5&4

(7) Matthew McClean def. (58) Christopher Anderson 6&4

(62) Matt Parziale def. (3) Dalton Melnyk 2&1

(35) Josh Persons def. (30) Pat Wilson 4&2

(14) Stewart Hagestad def. (51) Jason Schultz 2&1 


Michael R Fermoyle

Mike Fermoyle’s amateur golf career features state titles in five different decades, beginning with the State Public Links (1969), three State Amateurs (1970, 1973 and 1980), and four State Four-Ball championships (1972, 1985, 1993 and 2001). Fermoyle was medalist at the Pine to Palm in 1971, won the Resorters in 1972, made the cut at the State Amateur 18 consecutive years (1969 to 1986), the last being 2000, and amassed 13 top-ten finishes. Fermoyle also made it to the semi-final matches at the MGA’s annual match play championship, the Players’, in 1982 and 1987.

Fermoyle enjoyed a career as a sportswriter at the St. Paul Pioneer Press Dispatch before retiring in 2006. Two years later he began a second career covering the golf beat exclusively for the MGA and its website, mngolf.org, where he ranks individual prep golfers and teams, provides coverage on local amateur and professional tournaments and keeps tabs on how Minnesotans are faring on the various professional tours.

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