Local duo fall short of spot in US Open
WALLA WALLA, Washington — T.T. Crouch was on the cusp of qualifying for the U.S. Open on Monday.
The Mount Vernon native was in the thick of things until the end in the U.S. Open Sectional Qualifier at Wine Valley Golf Club in Walla Walla, Washington, but couldn’t quite get over the hump. Crouch finished the two-round tournament at 5-under par and in sixth place, just two shots out of the top three spots that qualified for next week’s U.S. Open at Pebble Beach.
Crouch looked like he might be in command for one of those spots through 13 holes of his second 18-hole round of the day. But, a bogey and double bogey put him on the outside looking in, and despite a birdie on his 16th hole, he wasn’t able to qualify. Eric Dietrich won the qualifier with an 11-under-par score for the two 18-hole rounds, while Matthew Naumec and Spencer Tibbits took the other two spots at 7-under par.
Crouch started the long day with a solid 4-under par 68 on the par 72 course in Washington. After shooting 2-under on the front nine, he closed the day with three birdies on the final four holes to shoot 68.
He had five birdies in his second round, as well, but this time had two bogeys and a double bogey to finish just out of a qualifying spot.
Drew Salyers also had a strong showing in his qualifier, this one at Springfield Country Club in Ohio.
The East Knox High School senior had a roller-coaster ride to start his day, going bogey, birdie, double bogey, birdie in the first four holes. He settled down from there, getting par on the next eight holes before finishing with three birdies in the last six holes to card a two-under-par 68.
That score left him in the hunt for one of the five spaces that qualified for Pebble Beach. But, after a 1-over-par 36 on the front nine of his second 18, things unraveled quickly for Salyers. He bogeyed four holes on the back nine and birdied two to fire a 3-over-par 73. That left him tied for 24th place at 1-over par for the day.
Zac Blair, Chip McDaniel, Brian Stuard and Nick Hardy all shot 6-under par for the day to win the qualifier at Springfield. Brett Drewitt of Australia took the final spot by winning a playoff at 4-under par.