Rick Tenbroeck, of Evergreen Park, Ill.
There were 129 players in the field who
were competing in the U.S. Mid-Ama-
teur for the first time. Of those, 83 were
playing in their first USGA champion-
ship. There were 93 reinstated amateurs
in the field.
In the Women’s Mid-Am, the average
age of the competitors was 43.48. The
youngest player in the field was Paige
Bromen, 25, of Stillwater, Minn. There
were six other 25-year-olds in the field,
all in their first year of eligibility. Deborah
Anderson, 60, of Rancho Mirage, Calif.,
was the championship’s oldest competitor.
Jeronimo Esteve, 30, was diagnosed
with Hodgkin’s Lymphoma on March
28, 2011, the same day he won the club
championship at Indian Creek CC in
On the day of his sectional qualifier
in the Houston area for the Mid-Am, he
teed off at 8 a.m., finished playing about
12: 15 p.m., and ran to the hospital to get
his radiation treatment. After his treatment, he ran back to the golf course
where he survived a five-for-four playoff
to earn a place in the field.
The Puerto Rico native, who now
resides in Windermere, Fla., was two
weeks removed from his final radiation
treatment when he teed off in the first
round of the Mid-Amateur. He shot 149 in
stroke play qualifying but lost in the play-
off for the final three spots in match play.
Esteve wasn’t the only cancer survivor
in the field. Virginia’s Michael Muehr, 39,
won a battle with melanoma after being
diagnosed in 2002. At the time, he was
playing on the PGA Tour, but the cancer
caused him to give up competitive golf
altogether. He returned to the game in
2007 and regained his amateur status,
and since then has turned in a number
of impressive performances. He won the
2007 Crump Cup as well as the 2007 and
2009 Middle Atlantic Amateur titles.
Competing in his second Mid-Amateur,
Muehr advanced to the quarterfinals with
a 3-and- 2 win over Kris Mikkelsen before
going down to Engler, 3 and 2.
Josh Gregory, 36, of Dallas, served
as the head coach of the Augusta State
University men’s golf team that won
back-to-back NCAA Division I national
championships in 2010 and 2011. He
is now the head men’s golf coach at
Southern Methodist University. Gregory
advanced to match play and won a
match before losing to Aaron Hickman
in the second round, 2 and 1.
Jason Pridmore, 41, of Ventura, Ca-
Michael Muehr won his battle with melanoma
after being diagnosed in 2002.
lif., is a motorcyclist who was the 1997
AMA 750 Supersport national champion
and the 2002 AMA Formula Extreme
national champion and won the 2003
FIM World Endurance Championship. He
qualified for the 2005 U.S. Amateur but
was unable to play after breaking his leg
in a race a day prior to the championship. He did not qualify for match play.
Joe True, 30, of Milwaukee, worked
as an operations intern for the American
Junior Golf Association during the summer of 2004. He was one of six recent
college grads who drove around in one
van pulling a 15-foot trailer more than
12,000 miles in 11 weeks to run 10 golf
tournaments for the nation’s best junior
golfers. He now serves as the director of
development for athletics at Marquette
University. True did not advance out of
stroke play qualifying.
Nick Biestecker’s golf back story is
not unlike many others in the field for
the 31st U.S. Mid-Amateur Champion-
ship. He picked up the game at a young
age ( 8) and was influenced by a family
member (great uncle Roland Garmon);
played collegiately (Southern Methodist
University) and briefly as a professional
(mostly Monday qualifiers) before be-
ing re-instated as an amateur (October
2007); and is now enjoying success at
the state and regional amateur level.
But don’t expect to find Biestecker playing casual weekend rounds.
“I would probably like to bird hunt
– whether it’s goose, duck or pheasant –
than play (golf),” said Biestecker, who is
a Ducks Unlimited committee chairman.
“I’m not one to go out and play a four- or
five-hour round on a Saturday morning.
There are too many other things I like to
do as much. But I like this competition
and what it does to you.
Biestecker won the Virginia State
Golf Association’s 2008 and 2009 Mid-
Amateurs and 2011 Four-Ball Champi-
The USGA made two Mid-Amateur
site announcements last week. For-
est Creek Golf Club in Southern Pines,
N.C., has been selected to host the 2013
Mid-Amateur Championship, Oct. 5-10.
The championship will be played on the
North and South Courses, both of which
were designed by Tom Fazio. The South
Course opened in 1996, while the North
Course was added in 2005.