June 15, 2012
HATTIESBURG, Miss. - Southern Miss men's golfers Kevin Brady and Casey Fernandez have advanced to the championships of a pair of prestigious tournaments this past week.
Brady shot a tournament-best five-under 67 in the Southern Amateur Qualifier at Old Waverly Country Club in West Point, Miss., to lead a group of 33 golfers on Thursday. The junior from Brandon, Miss., advances to the 106th Southern Amateur to be played at Chenal Country Club in Little Rock, Ark., July 18-21.
"I hit the ball great," said Brady. "I kept hitting it really close, so I didn't have any long putts. I just kept getting a bunch of tap-in birdies. I didn't go into the tournament with high expectations, but I figured I would qualify if I just played solid, which I did and I ended up winning. I'm really excited to move on to the next stage."
Fernandez shot a 36-hole total of 134 to win his qualifying round of the U.S. Amateur Public Links Championships at Trosper Park Golf Course in Oklahoma City, Okla., on Thursday. The McAlester, Okla., native advances to the U.S. Amateur Public Links Championships in Midway, Utah, at Soldier Hollow Golf Course, July 9-14.
"I played pretty well," said Fernandez. "I shot 65-69. The winning was blowing about 20-25 miles an hour so (the course) played pretty tough. I struck the ball pretty well and really made every putt that I looked at. It's pretty exciting to be playing for a national championship."
The winner of the Public Links Championship will receive a 10-year APL exemption, exemptions into the next two U.S. Amateurs, a three-year exemption from local U.S. Open qualifying (provided he remains an amateur) and a likely invitation to the 2013 Masters Tournament.