U.S. Open stepping stone, college tourney due at El Macero

By From page B1 | April 02, 2014

Once this week’s Masters is done entertaining the golf world, Northern California links enthusiasts will turn their attention to El Macero Country Club.

For a two-week stretch later this spring, the private country club will play host to its own golf classic April 18-20, which features the UC Davis men’s team competing with 11 other outstanding college golf programs.

Then on May 5, El Macero will be the home course for a U.S. Open local qualifier.

Held in conjunction with the United States Golf Association, 90 golfers will tee it up on the 6,862-yard championship course with the top qualifiers moving on to Sectional Qualifying on June 2 at Lake Merced Golf Club & the Olympic Club (Ocean Course) in Daly City. The 2014 U.S. Open will be played at Pinehurst No. 2 on June 12-15.

El Macero Country Club has been the site for two U.S. Amateur qualifiers (2008 and 2010) and last hosted a local U.S. Open qualifying event in 2005.

“I fully expect the entire community … to warmly embrace both of these great events,” said El Macero Country Club general manager Rich Riffle. “UC Davis has been a wonderful partner of El Macero CC and coach (Cy) Williams and his squad are primed for a run at the Big West title.

“The entire staff at El Macero is excited and ready to welcome the golfers for the U.S. Open qualifier. I couldn’t have asked for a more exciting two weeks of golf.”

Often called “golf’s longest day,” the five golfers who qualify from the El Macero event will play a section qualifying tourney that requires 36 holes in one day — 18 each at Lake Merced GC and the Olympic Club.

“El Macero is a marvelous golf course and will provide a challenging test for all of our golfers,” said Ryan Farb, assistant director of rules and competition for the Northern California Golf Association. “It’s a wonderful layout and I know Rich and his staff will have the course in pristine condition.”

The Aggies are coming off of a 10th-place finish at The Goodwin, hosted by Stanford, and play in the Wyoming Cowboy Classic next week before the April 18 classic. UCD’s roster includes sophomore Ben Corfee, who grew up just minutes from the El Macero Country Club.

El Macero’s course will offer no surprises to any of the Aggies, as the team has practice there since 1968.

“Any college golf program couldn’t ask for a better relationship than what we have at El Macero Country Club,” said Williams, who is in his 19th year at the UCD helm. “It’s always in tremendous shape and the staff is second to none.”

The Aggies won the Division II national championship in 1979 when El Macero CC hosted the title chase. It was the first national championship in UC Davis history.

El Macero Country Club is managed by Troon Privé, the private club division of Troon.

Riffle says gallery admission for the May 5 U.S. Open qualifying event is free of charge and the pro shop and snack bar will be open. Tee time is tentatively set for 8 a.m.

Enterprise staff

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