Golfers take shot at US Open
Posted May 16
They all have a shot at living a dream. One hundred and twenty golfers hit the course Thursday and Friday at Chapel Hill’s Governors Club all looking at a chance to play in the US Open.
“It’s pretty much all or nothing today. You gotta go out there and play pretty solid the entire round, you can’t make any mistakes,” said East Chapel Hill High School’s Ben Griffin.
The top six players from local qualifying rounds advance to sectional qualifiers and the top players there earn spots in the US Open. Griffin is a two-time state high school champion and just missed the cut Friday but will keep firing away at that US Open dream.
“I’d argue that it’s probably tougher to get out of this local qualifying event. Obviously when you get to sectionals and you’re playing 36 holes against some touring pros but here you’ve only got 18 holes to perform,” said tournament director Rusty Harder.
And since local qualifiers are only one round, every shot is that much more important.
“Yeah if you have one bad hole it’s tough to come back from,” said Harder.
They come from all walks of life and all age groups, Wake Forest golfer Akshay Bhatia is only twelve.
“I’ve played in a couple tournaments with older people and I’ve gotten a lot of compliments, I mean I haven’t heard anything bad,” said Bhatia.
Bhatia won’t make this year’s US Open but he did score his first hole in one at Pinehurst No. 2 last year.
Charlotte’s Brien Davis and Inman, South Carolina’s Daniel Stanley shot 2-under-par 70s to tie for the lead at the qualifier and advance to the sectional round. Sanford’s Jonathan McCurry (1-under-par 71), St. Paul, Minnesota’s Brandon Hartzell, Keswick, Virginia’s Dustin Groves and Stokesdale’s Matthew Younts (all an even 70) rounded out the group of six that advanced.