Berkmeyer set to play in his 25th USGA tournament
By: Warren Mayes
Since having to go to the hospital for sucumbing to the dreadful heat during the 22nd annual Metropolitan Amateur, Skip Berkmeyer has played little golf.
He did leave the hospital to return to play in the championship match of the tournament in early August. Berkmeyer finished second to Kyle Weldon.
He was among the 74 golfers who vied for five spots at the U.S. Mid-Amateur Qualifying on Aug. 8 at Persimmon Woods Golf Club in Weldon Spring.
Berkmeyer was second in the qualifying with a 2-under 68 to earn a spot in the USGA event.
Now, he’s ready to be playing some serious golf again.
The 2012 championship is being played at Conway Farms Golf Club in Lake Forest, Ill. It will begin Saturday (Sept. 8) and run through Thursday (Sept. 13).
“This the tournament for me,” Berkmeyer said. “This is the national championship for 25 and over and that’s my classification so to speak.
“It’s one I feel I can win if everything goes right. I can play about as well as anybody in the tournament. I’m going to let the chips fall where they may and see what happens.”
Conway Farms will be hosting its second USGA championship in the U.S. Mid-Amateur. Designed by Tom Fazio and opened in 1991, Conway Farms hosted the 1998 U.S. Junior Amateur. With its gently rolling terrain and open vistas, Conway Farms’ links-style layout was inspired by the Old Course at St. Andrews, Scotland, and Shinnecock Hills Golf Club in Southampton, N.Y.
Berkmeyer played the course three ago when he was in the Western Amateur.
“I didn’t make the cut then but I enjoyed the golf course a lot,” Berkmeyer said. “I’m looking forward to playing it again.”
Berkmeyer will be playing practice rounds Thursday and Friday to get ready for the tournament.
He drove to Iowa on his way to the tournament to pick an old college friend of his from his days at St. Ambrose. That friend, Chad Volquardsen, will be his caddy for the Mid-Amateur.
“The competition is unbelievable for this tournament,” Berkmeyer said. “It’s like the U.S. Amateur, just older golfers playing. I can hit the shots most everybody in her can. Everybody here pretty much is the same. Most have employment responsibilities and a family and more to do than just play golf.”
This will be Berkmeyer’s seventh time competing in the tournament. Overall, it’s his 25th USGA tournament.
“I haven’t played a lot of golf since the Metropolitan Amateur,” Berkmeyer said. “I feel good now. There were no lasting repercussions from it. It’ll be cooler at this tournament.
“Hopefully, I can play well. We’ll see.”