Two UW golfers advance to U.S. Open final qualifying round
LARAMIE -- Wyoming's John Murdock and Kirby Coe-Kirkham both advanced to the 2021 U.S. Open Final Qualifying round when they each placed in the top five individuals at the Walnut Creek Golf Preserve Local Qualifier in Westminster, Colo., this week.
Murdock tied for second in the Walnut Creek Local Qualifier, firing a 71 (-1). Coe-Kirkham shot a 72 (Even) in regulation and tied with two other individuals for fifth place.
Since only a maximum of five individuals could advance to the final qualifying round from the Walnut Creek Local Qualifier, Coe-Kirkham had to win a playoff against Kory Harrell of Denver and Daniel Sutton to earn the fifth and final spot.
The field included 84 golfers, primarily from Colorado, but included individuals from as far away as New York and California.
"I'm really happy for both John (Murdock) and Kirby (Coe-Kirkham) for being two of the individuals moving on to the Final Qualifying tournaments later this summer," said Joe Jensen, University of Wyoming Director of Golf. "To be two of only five from their local qualifier to advance is a great representation of our program.
"Kirby is really playing well right now. I'm thrilled for him. This is the first time he has qualified for the U.S. Open sectionals. I'm proud of my old player and assistant coach, John. I think this is John's second time moving on to the sectionals."
In the Local Qualifying round there were 8,680 individuals competing for 500 spots. Those 500 then advance to one of 12 Final Qualifying tournaments that will be played May 24 and June 7.
Murdock and Coe-Kirkham will find out at a later date which Final Qualifier they will be assigned to play in. The individuals who qualify in the Final Qualifying tournaments will play in the U.S. Open. The 121st U.S. Open Championship will be played June 17-20, 2021 at Torrey Pines Golf Course in San Diego, Calif.
Murdock, a native of Laramie, Wyo., concluded his college playing career at the University of Wyoming in the 2018-19 season.
He capped off his senior season by placing fifth at the Mountain West Conference Championship in April of 2019. In the summer of 2019, he was named a Golf Coaches Association of America (GCAA) Srixon/Cleveland Golf All-America Scholar, marking the second consecutive year that he earned that honor.
As a senior, Murdock tied for first at the Wyoming Cowboy Classic, and he posted six Top 25 tournament finishes. In February of 2019, Murdock was one of only 12 collegiate golfers invited to play in the 2019 Genesis Open Collegiate Showcase. In the summer of 2018, Murdock became only the second amateur in the first 62 years of the Wyoming Open to win the event.
He finished as the first alternate in the U.S. Amateur Qualifier hosted at Wyoming's Glenn "Red" Jacoby Golf Course in the summer of 2018. It was the first time a U.S. Amateur had been hosted at Jacoby.
Murdock also placed third at the 2018 Wyoming State Amateur. He was one of three amateur golfers to earn a spot on the three-man state of Wyoming team that played in the Pacific Coast Amateur at The Olympic Club in San Francisco in July 2018.
As a junior in 2017-18, he posted six Top 25 finishes, including winning his first college tournament at the Gene Miranda Falcon Invitational. He placed second at the Colorado State Ram Masters Invitational, third at the Wyoming Cowboy Classic, fourth at the Wyoming Southern Dunes Invitational and fifth at the Mark Simpson Colorado Invite.
Over his four-year career, he earned Academic All-Mountain West honors all four years and was a three-time Mountain West Scholar-Athlete recipient.
Coe-Kirkham finished the 2020-21 season on a high note. He posted back-to-back Top 25 finishes in the final two tournaments of the season.
Coe-Kirkham placed 12th at the BYU Cougar Classic, with a three-round total of 210 (-6) that tied him for the low tournament score of the season by a Cowboy. His final round of 67 (-5) at the Cougar Classic also tied him for the low individual round by a Cowboy for the season.
He followed up his strong finish at BYU with a 23rd place finish at the Mountain West Conference Championship, which pushed his career total of Top 25 finishes to 11.
Coe-Kirkham had an outstanding 2019-20 season. The sophomore set a new Wyoming school single-season record for lowest scoring average at 71.50. He placed in the Top 20 in five of eight tournaments, and placed in the Top 10 in three of those eight tournaments.
Coe-Kirkham placed 10th at the prestigious Ka'anapali Classic in Maui, Hawai'i in November in a field that included eight of the Top 50 ranked teams in the nation (based on Golfstat rankings).
He shot a 204 (-9) at the Ka'anapali to tie for 10th. The other individuals in the Top 10 were all from Top 50 ranked teams (No. 5 Oklahoma, No. 15 Clemson, No. 18 Washington, No. 19 Georgia, No. 23 UCLA, No. 31 South Carolina, No. 37 Liberty and No. 44 Kansas).
Coe-Kirkham also posted finishes of 6th place at the Gene Miranda Falcon Invitational, 7th place at the Ron Moore Intercollegiate, 16th place at the Ram Masters Invitational and 20th place at the Mark Simpson Colorado Invitational. In the months of October and November, Coe-Kirkham shot a combined 17-under par in the three tournaments he played.
Coe-Kirkham also was one of only 13 college players who participated in the 2020 Genesis Invitational Collegiate Showcase at Riviera Country Club in Los Angeles.
In the summer of 2019, he was part of the state of Wyoming's three-man team that competed at the Pacific Coast Amateur played in Albuquerque, N.M.
He finished as the second alternate (third place) at the U.S. Amateur Qualifier hosted at Wyoming's Jacoby Golf Course in July 2019. Academically, Coe-Kirkham was named a Srixon/Cleveland Golf All-America Scholar by the Golf Coaches Association of America (GCAA).
He was selected an Academic All-Mountain West honoree, and earned MW Scholar-Athlete honors. Coe-Kirkham also was named to the CoSIDA Academic All-District Men's At-Large Team for the 2019-20 academic year.
2021 U.S. Open Local Qualifier at Walnut Creek Golf Preserve, Westminster, Colo.
1. Zahkai Brown, Golden, Colo. 69 (-3)
T2. John Murdock IV, Laramie, Wyo. 71 (-1)
Jim Knous, Basalt, Colo. 71 (-1)
Calvin McCoy, Highlands Ranch, Colo. 71 (-1)
5. Kirby Coe-Kirkham, Sheridan, Wyo. 72 (Even)
* University of Wyoming press release
HISTORY: 4 Of Wyoming’s Oldest Things