PGA Tour regular Len Mattiace shot a 7-under-par 65 in the second round yesterday in Summit, N.J., to take medal honors and join Fuzzy Zoeller and five others in qualifying for next week's U.S. Open.
Mattiace finished 36 holes on a hazy day where temperatures hovered near 100 degrees with a 6-under-par 138 total at Canoe Brook Country Club's North and South courses.
Zoeller, who won the Open at Winged Foot in 1984, and Geoffrey Sisk of Marshfield Country Club were two shots back and one ahead of John DiMarco of Laurel Creek Country Club outside Philadelphia.
New Jersey's Jim McGovern, a former PGA Tour pro now playing on the Nike Tour, and Mark Mielke, the 1992 Met Open champion from Mill River, had rounds of 70-72 to finish at 142.
Tom McKnight, the 1998 U.S. Amateur runner-up, rolled in an 18-foot birdie putt to win a three-way playoff with Rick Kuhn and Jeev Singh Milkha to earn the last qualifying spot for the Open, which will be held June 17-20 at Pinehurst Resort and Country Club in North Carolina.
Among those who didn't qualify were PGA Tour pro Billy Ray Brown (152) and P.J. Cowan (154), a Nike Tour winner from Long Island.
"I just wanted to play some golf and actually the last six or seven holes I didn't know my score," Mattiace said. "That was good because I didn't want to play those holes feeling I had to make birdie or make par, that's not how you play the game."
Mattiace's best round of the year featured seven birdies and no bogeys.
"This is gone and gone now, gonzo," he said. "Mission accomplished. The Open will be a whole different ballgame."
Twenty-four players qualified at the Memphis National Golf Club in Germantown, Tenn. The field was large because the PGA Tour is in Memphis this week for the St. Jude Classic.
David Toms had rounds of 64 and 63 to win the session by four strokes over Bob Burns, who had rounds of 68 and 63. Among others gaining spots in the Open were PGA Tour veterans Jay Haas, Craig Parry and Brad Fabel, all at 135.
At Dallas's Thorntree Country Club, Jeb Stuart had rounds of 70 and 65 to take one of two spots at stake. The other went to Greg Gregory of Burleson, Tex., with rounds of 70 and 67.
Gregory, like Stuart a mini-tour player, got the second spot by beating PGA Tour player Harrison Frazer in a playoff. Frazer birdied the last two holes to complete rounds of 68 and 69 and force a playoff, which Gregory won with a six-foot birdie putt on the first extra hole.