Four grab spots into U.S. Open Final Qualifying
Survive and advance was the name of the game at Monday’s U.S. Open Local Qualifier at Beaver Hills Country Club, Cedar Falls. With four qualifying spots up for grabs into Final Qualifying for the U.S. Open, players battled nerves as well as the elements, which included off and on rain most of the day, in pursuit of a dream.
Des Moines’ Tripp Kinney, who was -9 at one point in his round, shared medalist honors with Andrew Petersen, of Bondurant, (both pictured above – Kinney left, Petersen right) as both posted rounds of 66 (-6) to secure two of the four qualifying spots available. Sam Meuret (right), of West Des Moines, shot 67 (-5) to elude a playoff of five players, who shot 69 (-3) chasing the final spot.
With a birdie on the first playoff hole, Ottumwa’s Matthew Walker (left) captured the lone remaining spot. All four are now one step closer to the U.S. Open and will compete at Final Qualifying locations across the country in a couple of weeks.
“I chipped in for eagle on #2,” Kinney, who shot 30 (-6) on his opening nine holes, said. “I hit it to an inch on #7, so those were my two eagles. I made a couple of other good putts from 10-15 feet on the front (nine). I was really happy with the way I hit it all day.”
With rain in the forecast, Kinney felt like he could score well – making six birdies and a pair of eagles during his round.
“You had to figure out the course,” Kinney said. “You have a lot of wedges into these greens, but the ball would still skip somewhat before spinning back. Without the wind you can attack this course and hit it close. I had prepared really well for today and it translated.”
Kinney commented that he never looked at the leaderboard during the day.
“I just tried to keep attacking the course,” Kinney said.
Andrew Petersen, who made seven birdies against just a lone bogey, said keeping the ball in play and under control was important.
“I was able to hit every green today,” Petersen said. “I had a lot of looks at birdies. A little bit of moisture softened things up some, as it was dry when I played my practice round. I tried to take advantage of the par 5 holes when I could and everything else just fell into place.”
Petersen said he wasn’t really keeping an eye on where he stood during the day either.
“Honestly, I usually have enough going on with my own play,” Petersen said. “I just tried to keep track of my own ball. I didn’t have any idea where I stood. I set myself up off the tee well today and had a lot of wedges into greens. I could have putted better, but I gave myself a lot of opportunities.”
Kinney and Petersen both commented they hope to head to Ohio for Final Qualifying.
“Maybe I can rub elbows with some of the tour guys,’ Petersen said.
Kinney said he looked at the two Ohio options due to the simple fact he could drive to either. A total of 10 Final Qualifying sites will be used in the United States on May 24 and June 7.
Marion’s Luke Slaymaker (1st) and LeClaire’s Jack Dumas (2nd) earned alternate status into Final Qualifying on Monday as well.