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Rotz tries to push his way into U.S. Open

May 20, 2007|By TIM KOELBLE

When Chambersburg senior Clayton Rotz graduates June 8, he hopes to have already claimed a graduation present.

On June 4, Rotz will descend on the Woodmont Country Club in Rockville, Md., seeking a spot in the U.S. Open the following week at Oakmont Country Club in suburban Pittsburgh.

Rotz carded a 2-under-par 69 in a recent local qualifier at Wren Dale Golf Club in Hummelstown, Pa., which gained him a spot in the sectional qualifier for the second straight year at Woodmont and the grueling 36-hole stretch in one day.

"I've been doing my exercising and building my stamina back up," said Rotz. "The conditions at Wren Dale were tough with the wind and it was a tough place to walk.

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"With the winds, the greens got real firm and I putted very well," he said.

The United States Golf Association has not yet announced the number of qualifiers to come out of Woodmont, but Rotz is looking forward to the challenge.

"Last year I learned it takes a lot of patience because you are playing 36 holes and you want to stay away from the big numbers," he said.

Rotz said he will be playing in the Sunnehanna Amateur Tournament and some other state events prior to his departure for the next phase in his life when he reports to Louisiana State University for classes beginning Aug. 27.

Back to the grind

Another few days at home and then it's on the road again for Hagerstown's Ashley Grier.

Taking a three-week hiatus from the Duramed FUTURES Tour, Grier heads back into competition June 1 in the Aurora Health Care Championship in Lake Geneva, Wis.

When she leaves home on Memorial Day, her car will be ready for the remainder of the season. Plenty of miles will be put on the odometer by the time the season concludes on Sept. 7.

"I'll play in all the tournaments except one the rest of the year," said Grier, who will skip only the tournament slated in New Hampshire Aug. 3-5.

The closest Grier will come to Hagerstown will be Aug. 24-26 for the Gettysburg Championship at the Links of Gettysburg, where her father, David, owns the course record at 69. He also will caddie for Ashley during that tournament.

Coming off a successful stint on the Hooters Women's Winter Series in which she finished third on the money list, Grier has cashed in low finishing positions on the FUTURES and experienced missing the cut.

Nonetheless, she's gaining valuable experience.

"The Hooters Tour experience helped a lot playing every week for 12 weeks," said Grier. "I don't really feel pressure in this first year. Right now, no one knows who I am. I've got plenty of years to come."

Franklin County debut

A new men's tournament is set to unfold with the debut of the Franklin County (Pa.) Open.

The tournament is slated for July 13 at Chambersburg Country Club. The event is open to any male amateur or professional residing in Franklin County. Golfers with any handicap can participate, but the tournament will be held in a scratch format.

Entry fee is $70, which includes cart, lunch and prizes.

Name, handicap, preferred tee times and contact information can be submitted to Justin Lamason, golf professional at Chambersburg Country Club, at 717-263-8296.

Tournament success

The 13th annual Chambersburg Area School District Foundation Golf Tournament, which was held May 7 at Chambersburg Country Club, was a success, organizers said.

Executive Director Beth Luka said early indications showed over $10,000 was raised to help support students and staff of the Chambersburg Area School District.

The field for the 2007 event was the largest ever with 120 golfers.

"The money raised will have a direct and immediate impact on the students and staff at CASHS and enable us to increase and expand our programs," said Luka.

Since its inception in 1990, the foundation has awarded more than $230,000 in grants to teachers for innovative programs not funded through the regular school district budget, including $33,000 for the 2006-07 school year.

In the tournament itself, winners in the Men's first flight were John McNew, Mike Hernley, Bernie Kotula and Rob Rahal; second flight: Todd Campbell, Cindy Campbell, Tate Campbell and Tucker Rotz; third flight: Walt Jarrett, Mickey Benedict, Jim Baird and Joel Happel; Women's division: Linda Baird, Pat Schweitzer, Robyn Wells and Beth Luka.

Planning for the 2008 event, scheduled for May 5, is already under way. For information, contact Luka at 717-263-8825.

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