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In bid for next level, Wisler gets big boost

After a distinguished career as an amateur and a college player, Chris Wisler has found the top level of professional golf a difficult step to reach.

After a distinguished career as an amateur and a college player, Chris Wisler has found the top level of professional golf a difficult step to reach.

Wisler, a teaching pro at Tee It Up Golf Center in West Chester, has competed in the PGA Tour Qualifying Tournament four times but never has made it to the third and final stage, where playing privileges are on the line.

"I got to second stage a couple of times, and missed getting to third stage one year by one shot," Wisler said Tuesday. "But, yeah, tour school is definitely still in the back of my mind."

The 30-year-old Wisler spoke after winning the Philadelphia Section PGA Haverford Trust Classic at Sunnybrook Golf Club and collecting $42,500, one of the top prizes for a one-day club professional event in the country.

He said the money "probably" will get him back to the PGA Tour qualifying grind in the fall. He realizes that his chances at the big show may be dwindling.

"We'll see," he said. "I guess only time will tell. But it's time to get going. That window is definitely closing, so I've got to get on it and do it."

Wisler, of Smyrna, Del., was a three-time all-American at East Tennessee State. He won the 2000 Porter Cup, a top amateur competition, and made two U.S. Palmer Cup teams.

He competed in 10 events on the Nationwide Tour in 2002 and 2004. He played from 2002 through 2005 on the Canadian Tour, posting three victories. He won more than $65,000 in 2004, good for third on the tour's Order of Merit.

As for this summer, Wisler said he plans to play in section tournaments and try to qualify for some Nationwide Tour events.

Last chance. Eleven Philadelphia-area players will try to earn a place in the U.S. Open in 36-hole sectional qualifying Monday.

Two amateurs from Laurel Creek Country Club - David Sanders of Mount Laurel and Geoffrey Cooper of Philadelphia - will make their bids at Canoe Brook Country Club in Summit, N.J., where 62 players are shooting for four berths in the Open.

Also competing at Canoe Brook will be Peter Barron III of Mays Landing, Travis Deibert of Jamison, Tom Gramigna of Haddonfield, Zachary Herr of New Hope, and Blaine Peffley of Lebanon.

Four area players - Amory Davis of Chadds Ford, Mike Ladden of Exton, Billy Mullen of Jeffersonville, and Cole Willcox of Berwyn - will try to take the next step at Woodmont Country Club in Rockville, Md., where 78 players are vying for seven spots.

Others trying to get to Pebble Beach are former champions Tom Kite, Corey Pavin, and Lee Janzen, along with Tom Lehman, Davis Love III, Rocco Mediate, and Dallas Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo.

The U.S. Open begins June 17.

Oliver course redo. The Ed "Porky" Oliver Golf Club in Wilmington has opened its renovated clubhouse and completed some major work on its course.

Course officials said bunkers have been redone on nine holes, and trees have been pruned throughout. The course has brought in new golf carts, plus new tees and yardage markers.

The clubhouse, measuring 4,000 square feet, includes its renamed restaurant, Green Hill Pub.

The facility is managed by Billy Casper Golf.