The weather could not have been any better for the thirty-eight players who teed it up today at Pete Dye Golf Club in Bridgeport, WV looking to claim one of the two spots in the U.S. Open Local Qualifying. Comfortable temperatures and a slight breeze welcomed the players to the 7,111 yard Pete Dye designed course that provided a tough test of golf for most of the field as the average score for the day was 80.58. As 16 professionals and 22 amateurs battled for the two qualifying spots it was two West Virginians, one a new professional and the other a decorated junior amateur player, who carded the only two under-par rounds of the day.
Davey Jude of Kermit, WV is new to the professional ranks. A graduate of Marshall University last year, Jude decided to turn Professional and move to Florida where he could hone his game on the next stage. Coming back home for Local Qualifying was a great decision as Jude claimed medalist honors today with a two under-par round of 70. A bogey, double-bogey, bogey three hole stretch on holes nine, ten, and eleven gave Jude some concern as he made his way to the back half of his round but he quickly righted the ship and carded four consecutive birdies on holes twelve through fifteen getting him back to two under for his round and placing him atop the leaderboard.
Claiming the second qualifying spot was Mason Williams of Bridgeport. The Pete Dye Golf Club member entered today on the heels of a title defense of the WV Junior Match Play Championship this past weekend at Parkersburg Country Club. Williams round began on the back nine of Pete Dye Golf Club this morning and began as somewhat of a roller coaster round. Three bogeys and two birdies put Williams one over par making the turn to the front nine. After birdies on one, three, and four Williams played steady golf coming in adding just two bogeys and one final birdie to post a one under-par round of 71. This is the second consecutive year that Williams has advanced to U.S. Open Sectional Qualifying as he also claimed one of the 3 spots in last year’s Local Qualifying at Pete Dye Golf Club.
Claiming the first alternate position was Ashton Poole of Charlotte, NC. Poole found himself in a tie with Venetia, PA’s, Jacob Sollon, at the end of competition as both players carded rounds of one over-par, 73. The two players then advanced to a sudden-death playoff for seeding of the alternate positions which began on the par-4 first hole. After both players traded pars on the first two holes, Poole was able to make a great par putt on the par-4 third hole to claim first alternate.