For the second straight season, Ohio State rising senior Maxwell Moldovan will participate in the U.S. Open as an amateur. Moldovan was the first alternate from the Springfield qualifier and the third alternate over all. He found out late Sunday evening that he had officially made the field for the 123rd U.S. Open at Los Angeles Country Club.
His day of qualifying was one for the ages.
At Springfield Country Club, there were 75 golfers vying for five qualifying spots and two alternates.
Oklahoma State University alum Sam Stevens shot 65-62 to earn medalist honors at 13-under par. Kent State University alum Taylor Pendrith shot 66-64 to finish 10-under par to finish second and University of Illinois alum Nick Hardy shot 71-61 to finish 8-under par and in solo third place.
Dylan Wu and Alex Schaake both finished 7-under along with Moldovan to force a three-man playoff to two qualifying spots. Wu birdied the first playoff hole (hole 10) to earn the fourth qualifying spot while Schaake and Moldovan played seven additional playoff holes as the sun quickly set on Springfield Country Club.
On the eighth playoff hole, the par-5 17th, Moldovan’s second shot into the par-5 landed in the front bunker, leaving an incredibly difficult chip to match Schaake, who made three feet for birdie. Schaake made his birdie putt while Moldovan made par, earning Schaake the final qualifying spot.
Moldovan was 2-under par through his eight playoff holes, including a birdie on the tough par-3 13th, but that was not enough to take down Schaake, a University of Iowa alum. Schaake earned the fifth and final qualifying spot while Moldovan earned the first alternate spot and Vincent Whaley earned the second alternate spot.
Fortunately for him, the why the draw broke down, Moldovan received a spot in the U.S. Open field this week, despite his alternate status returning him to one of the biggest stages in golf for the second year in a row.
Last season, Moldovan qualified for the 122nd U.S. Open at The Country Club in Brookline, Mass., he played in the Springfield qualifier last season as well. Moldovan shot 72-75 at The Country Club for a final score of 7-over par, missing the cut by four shots.
Moldovan set Ohio State’s single-season scoring record for the third straight year with a scoring average of 70.64 and participated in the prestigious Palmer Cup last week.
He will tee off on Thursday at 3:26 p.m. ET when he will be paired with Carlos Ortiz and Simon Forsstrom.