Golf's Conor McMahon Qualifies for U.S. Public Links Tournament
June 27, 2007
WHEATON, IL -- George Washington's Conor McMahon (Portsmouth, RI) has qualified for the 2007 U.S. Amateur Public Links (U.S. APL) to be held July 9-14 at Cantigny Golf Club in Wheaton, IL. The rising senior earned the second of three spots by shooting 144 at Red Tail Golf Club in Devons, MA. This will make the second consecutive year that McMahon has earned a spot in a USGA Championship. He qualified for the U.S. Amateur last year at Hazeltine National Golf Club in Chaska, MN. The winner of the tournament receives an invitation to play in the 2008 Masters.
McMahon, who transferred to GW from Eckerd College in Florida, competed in 12 tournaments during the 2006-07 season. He placed among the top 10 in two tournaments and has three top-20 finishes as well. His 76.5 stroke average over 24 rounds was third-lowest on the squad. He shot a season-low round of 70 in the first round of the 2007 Atlantic 10 Championship on May 4 at Winter Garden, FL, en route to a tie for 13th place among 60 individuals.
This makes four consecutive years, and five of the last seven, that a Colonials golfer has qualified for the U.S. APL. Brian Carroll ('06) played in the event in 2005 and 2006. In 2006 he finished 8th in the stroke play portion of the event shooting 73-69 and advanced to match play. Fellow GW senior Tim Johnson (Marblehead, MA) qualified in 2004 and Ryan Day ('01) qualified in for the 2001 U.S. APL.
The U.S. Amateur Public Links Championship began in 1922, giving exposure to many public-course players who otherwise might not have an opportunity to compete in a national championship. The championship's prime mover was James D. Standish Jr., of Detroit, who convinced his colleagues on the 1922 USGA Executive Committee that the time was right for such a grass-roots competition. Standish pointed to the public-course golfer, whose ranks were swelling following World War I, and to the growing number of municipal and daily-fee courses in America. The second-ever U.S. APL took place at one of GW's home courses, East Potomac Park in southwest Washington, DC. From the initial entry of 140 players, today's annual entry has surged to a massive 6,000 competitors or more. The championship continues to attract bus drivers, bartenders, firemen, waiters, riveters, engineers, and college professors. It also has been a springboard for the likes also been a springboard for the likes of U.S. Open champions Ed Furgol, Tommy Bolt, and Ken Venturi; British Open champion Tony Lema; PGA champions Dave Marr and Bobby Nichols; and Masters winner George Archer. In 1959, it produced the first African-American winner of a USGA championship in William A. Wright, who later became a teacher. More recent winners have included PGA Tour winner Jodie Mudd (1980, 1981), and PGA Tour winner Billy Mayfair (1986).