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By Susan Jenior | Correspondent
The PGA-sanctioned Web.Com Cleveland Open will bring 156 golfers to Lakewood Country Club, beginning Thursday and running through Sunday for 72 holes of stroke play. All will vie for a purse worth $600,000.
The rich history of the event includes Arnold Palmer winning the first open in 1963 at Beechmont Country Club.
Before the golfers take to the links at Lakewood Country Club, more than 200 would-be competitors arrived at Windmill Lakes Golf Club in Ravenna and Shady Hollow Country Club in Massillon on Monday to qualify for 12 open spots in the Web.Com Cleveland Open.
Six spots at each club were available.
AT WINDMILL LAKES
Sejun Yoon of San Diego, Calif., was in the morning wave of golfers and put up the best score early at Windmill, a 7-under-par 63. Golfers chased Yoon's score the rest of the day.
While Yoon stood at the top throughout the day, it was Brett Cairns of Courtland, Ontario, a former standout on the Kent State University men's golf team, returned to his home course of Windmill Lakes to fire a 67. Cairns was in the second-to-final pairing.
The top-five golfers included Yoon and a second-place tie between Colin Biles, former Ohio State University golfer, and Justin Hueber, an alumnus of the University of Indiana. Each fired rounds of 66.
In fourth was Cairns, who was tied with Ian Davis. Davis just finished his senior year at Oklahoma State University, where the Cowboys were the runner-up Division I NCAA Champions.
Then, the playoff between Horacio Leon of Tequesta, Fla., Steve LeBrun of Greenacres, Fla., Golf Channels' Big Break contestant Brent Long of Murfreesboro, Tenn., and C.J. Kim of Chandler, Ariz.
Each turned in cards of 68s and had to compete in a sudden-death playoff for the final qualifying spot.
After a battle, LeBrun -- a former Florida Atlantic College golfer, who is looking to make his way back to the PGA Tour -- grabbed the final spot.
It was a tough field at Windmill Lakes, with seven golfers just finishing out of the final six golfers with rounds of 69.
Tyler Light of Massillon, who had just returned from the NCAA Division II championship playing for Malone University (third place), fired a respectable round of 70 with Nathan Tarter of Mogadore on the bag as his caddy. Tarter finished his career at Malone as a member of the PING All-American Team for Division II.
Rootstown High School graduate and former University of Akron standout Katie Jenior was the caddy for Big Break TV contestant Brent Long.
AT SHADY HOLLOW
Si Woo Kim of Buena Park, Calif., fired a round of 65 to lead the field at Shady Hollow followed by Matt Hughes of Dalton, Ga., and Justin Itzen of Pomona, Calif., each with rounds of 66.
Four golfers tied and competed in a sudden-death playoff for the final three spots after carding rounds of 67. The playoff included Jonathan Krick of Scottsdale, Ariz., Chase Seiffert of Panama City, Fla., Martin Ureta of Palm Beach Gardens, Fla., and Blake Sattler of New Philadelphia.
Sattler grabbed one of the spots. An alumus and four-year starter for the University of Akron Zips, Sattler has been competing on the National Golf Association Tour.
Jonathan Krick lost the playoff as Ureta and Seiffert joined Sattler to advance in the top six.
It was a busy day for the Northern Ohio PGA section. Given the responsibility of running the two qualifiers at Shady Hollow and Windmill Lakes, the day also brought together many Golden Flashes alum, including David Griffith, tournament director of the NOPGA, who played golf for KSU.
Griffith ran the tournament at Windmill Lakes and oversaw the playoff to determine the final six golfers from the course in Ravenna. Griffith was aided by NOPGA office manager Lynne Plaisance.
At Shady Hollow, Dominic Antenucci, executive director of the Northern Ohio PGA, and his wife, Eileen Antenucci, Junior Golf Director, both of Aurora, handled the qualifier.
The Northern Ohio PGA will continue to play a big part in the success of the Cleveland Open this coming weekend.