By Mike Dougherty
MAMARONECK – Team golf occasionally requires a different approach, but Michael Quagliano decided against overthinking the Anderson Memorial at Winged Foot.
The master plan was perfectly executed, too.
“My strategy was clear,” the 28-year-old White Plains native said after taking on the restored East Course in the opening round of qualifying Thursday. “Get Cameron Young to play with me.”
Qualiano is back on the local scene after chasing the dream for two seasons and growing tired of life on the mini-tours. A cranky back did not help that situation. The former state high school champion joined the working masses and eventually had his amateur status reinstated. He also became a member at Sleepy Hollow, where Cameron Young had developed into a nationally-ranked amateur.
The answer was yes.
“I’m just a golfer on weekends,” said Quagliano, who played at Duke and now lives in New York City. “Not being able to play as much is rough, and you can tell by my game, so I had to recruit a good partner, ignore the fact that he’s going to be a Wake Forest guy and lean on him for pars and birdies out there.”
That’s sound logic.
We’ve only played one round together before today,” Quagliano said. “We gave it a little bit of a test run last weekend at Sleepy Hollow. I didn’t need to see much. Cameron was 8-under so I knew everything would be good to go.”
Good luck matching the resumes these guys built over the last decade at the junior level.
Despite the combined experience, Quagliano and Young opened with a 4-over 74 and are tied for 38th. They were slightly offline on the fast-forward greens and will have to make up ground on Friday in order to get in the top 16 and land a line on the match-play bracket.
And they are playing the famed West Course.
“The course is in perfect shape,” said Young, who graduated last week from Fordham Prep. “The fairways are so tight and the rough is basically impossible. There are four-footers that make you scared because you could have another four-footer coming back.
“We both struggled today, for sure. We didn’t ham-and-egg it very well. We seemed to mess up the same holes all day, even so, playing in the Anderson, it’s the kind of thing where once you play, you can’t imagine not coming back.”
The future is very bright.
Young is attempting to qualify for the U.S. Open at Old Oaks and Century on Monday, and will play the Sunnehanna Amateur in Pennsylvania if he’s unable to secure a spot. The summer also includes plans to play in the AJGA’s Rolex Tournament of Champions, The Players Am, The Ike, the New York State Open and the U.S. Amateur.
And then it’s off to college.
“I’m jealous,” Quagliano said. “That is the best four years of golf you can have. All of your trips are paid for. You don’t have to plan them. You just show up and they take you to great courses. It could be worse.”
79th Anderson Memorial
at Winged Foot
East Course – Par 70
1. R. Newsom / A. Horton, Elizabeth Manor Golf & CC 63
2. P. Smith / D. Crockett, The Country Club 64
3. J. Saladino / D. Boccia , Huntington Country Club 65
4. M. Butler / B. Ruch, Louisville Country Club 67
5. K. Devlin / C. Smith, Foxland Harbour Golf Club 68
6. A. Adams / K. Hammer, Biltmore Forest 69
6. S. Bernstein / W. Bernstein, Century Golf Club 69
6. R. Floyd Jr. / R. Floyd, Old Palm Golf Club 69
6. M. Gauley / B. Smith, Raleigh Country Club 69
10. P. Grizot / J.J. Wolff, LePrieure Golf Club 70
10. L. Fernando Barco / P. Alzamora, Lima Golf Club 70
10. T. Strange / W. Pierce, Eagle Point Golf Club 70
10. M. Mattare / M. McGowan, Saucon Valley CC 70
10. D. Bartman / R. Funk, Bear Creek Golf Club 70
10. G. Rohlf/ J. Putman, Winged Foot Golf Club 70
16. M. Thompson / T. Schmitt, Garden City Golf Club 71
16. L. Watcham / G. Mumford, Harpenden Common 71
16. T. Kane / M. Sughrue, Bethesda Country Club 71
16. J. Kemp / S. Jensen, Woburn Golf Club 71
16. D. Keogh / B. Hutcheson – Taboo Golf Course 71
1. J. Sessa / D. Enga, Cherry Valley Club 70
2. T. Blank / M. Dugan, Oak Hill Country Club
2. J. Pumphrey / D. Clement, Desert Mountain Club 72
2. G. Marucci / K. Miller, Seminole Golf Club 72
5. J. Graham / J. Sommers , Winged Foot 73
5. M. Burke / J. McVaney, Lochinvar Golf Club 73
7. B. Goodwin / M. Peck, Old American Golf Club 74
7. R. Yoder / S. Melnyk, Timuquana Country Club 74
7. R. Dew / R. Costa, Abacoa Golf Club 74
7. J. Reid / R. Kise, Guthrie Golf and Country Club 74
7. B. Fairchild / B. Sparrow, Canterbury Golf Club 74