Eric Lilleboe (Okemos/Lansing Catholic Central) and Garrett Simons (Grand Ledge), both members of the 2009-10 Ferris State University men's golf team, will be competing in the upcoming 2010 U.S. Amateur Championship after the two recently attained medalist recognition at their respective United States Golf Association (USGA) qualifying tournaments.
Lilleboe achieved co-medalist laurels at the United States (U.S.) Amateur Qualifier held July 22 in Harbor Springs, Mich. Lilleboe carded a two-round 139-strokes total (68-71=139) to tie Boyne City's Peter Jensen for top honors on the Boyne Highlands Resort's Heather Course.
Simons produced his first-place performance on Aug. 2 at the U.S. Amateur Qualifying Tournament conducted at the Oakland Hills Country Club in Bloomfield Hills, Mich. Simons fired a two-round 139 score (71-68=139) to share the top position with Bloomfield Village's Francesco Ruffino.
Lilleboe and Simons will now advance to the 110th U.S. Amateur Championship, which will take place Aug. 23-29 at the 7,742 yard Chambers Bay course in University Place, Wash. The course will also serve as the site for the 2015 U.S. Open.
"Eric and Garrett are two of the hardest working and most passionate people I have ever been around," said Ferris State men's golf head coach Mike Mignano. "There are a lot of great players in Michigan and for these two to earn co-Medalist honors at their qualifying sites is an outstanding accomplishment. After talking with Ferris State Professional Golf Management Director Matt Pinter, we are confident that this is an unprecedented achievement by these two, to have two Bulldogs in the U.S. Amateur in the same year.
"We are so proud of their accomplishments and I look forward to supporting them out at Chambers Bay," added Mignano.
Lilleboe turned in an outstanding four-year (2006-10) career at Ferris State averaging 73.67 strokes per round (7,588 total strokes) in 103 rounds. The 2009-10 Division II Men's Golf PING All-America First-Team selection registered 29 top 10-place performances during his career, highlighted by 18 top-five place efforts. He paced the 2009-10 Bulldog squad with a 73.00 stroke average (2,409 total strokes) in 33 rounds.
A two-time (2008-09 and 2009-10) PING All-Midwest Region pick, Lilleboe was also recognized as the Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference's (GLIAC) Men's Golf "Athlete of the Year" for the 2009-10 season. The three-time (2007-08, 2008-09, and 2009-10) All-GLIAC First-Team honoree garnered the 2007-08 GLIAC Men's Golf "Athlete of the Year" recognition as well.
Following the completion of his senior season, Lilleboe was named a 2009-10 co-recipient of the Ferris State Athletics' Dean Davenport "Bulldog of the Year" Award. The award is presented annually to the most outstanding Ferris State male and female student-athlete.
Simons, who averaged a team fourth-best 74.97 strokes in 33 rounds for the 2009-10 season, has compiled a 75.35 stroke average (3,466 total strokes) in 46 career rounds to date. The 2008-09 team's Bulldog Award recipient has chalked up eight career top 20-place showings, including five among the top 10. Simons will embark on his senior season with the start of the 2010-11 campaign.
Lilleboe and Simons each played an integral part in leading the nationally-ranked Bulldogs to a program record seventh-place tying finish at the 2010 NCAA Division II Men's Golf Championships (May 18-21) in Noblesville, Ind. Lilleboe tied for 37th place following a four-round 311 stroke total while Simons claimed a share of 54th place as a result of shooting a 316 score.