Men’s Golf: Hinsdale’s Tomfohrde takes aim at Western Am
Updated: September 3, 2012 1:02PM
HINSDALE — Within a few hours after getting the phone call that he was added to the field for the 110th Western Amateur, Brett Tomfohrde was out on the course at Exmoor Country Club in Highland Park.
Tomfohrde couldn’t play a practice round and wasn’t even able to take any practice shots on the course since Exmoor was hosting a tournament on Sunday. Tomfohrde’s caddie for the tournament is the son of a club member, so that could give him additional help on an unfamiliar course.
Through an associate of his father, David, Tomfohrde was able to walk the course with a club member in preparation for the tournament, one of the biggest of the year for the Western Golf Association.
“He told me where was the good rough, how far to hit it and when hazards come into play,” Tomfohrde said. “What’s most important is what tee shots to make.”
Tomfohrde, a 2009 Hinsdale Central graduate and Hinsdale resident, shot a 4-over-par 76 in his opening round Tuesday, but can comeback Wednesday and Thursday in stroke play until cuts are made match play beginning Friday.
Admission is free for the tournament, billed as the second oldest amateur tournament in the country. Previous winners include Jack Nicklaus, Ben Crenshaw, Curtis Strange, Tiger Woods and Justin Leonard.
The Western Amateur does not require a qualifier. Golfers apply to the WGA to gain a berth. Tomfohrde was listed as an alternate until gaining a last minute berth when previous applicants dropped out.
The Western Amateur field includes two other Hinsdale residents. Scott Rowe shot a 77 in his first round Tuesday and Theo Lederhausen teed off later in the day.
Tomfohrde is one of two seniors playing for Miami, Ohio’s men’s college team this fall. Tomfohrde was one of two RedHawks players to compete in all 12 tournaments last season. His lowest round of the college season was a 69 at the Florida Atlantic University Spring Break Classic.
He shot a 69 twice at the 63rd Illinois Open, which ended July 18 at the Glen Club in Glenview. Tomfohrde (69-71-69—209) tied for third and finished as the low amateur, three shots behind champion Max Scodro of Chicago.
“It felt really good. I needed to boost my confidence,” said Tomfohrde, who carded a 30 on the back nine to end the Illinois Open.
He nipped Roselle resident and St. Viator graduate Daniel Stringfellow as low amateur by one stroke. Hinsdale resident John Callahan, a Benet graduate and Santa Clara freshman, tied for 11th (72-67-73—212) at the Illinois Open.
On Monday, Tomfohrde played in a 36-hole U.S. Amateur qualifier at Edgewood Valley in La Grange, but was not able to gain one of the four qualifying berths. Stringfellow advanced while Callahan earned an at-large spot.
Tomfohrde returns to school Aug. 17. After the Western Am, he will go on vacation to Oregon with his dad before beginning his final college season.