Local players vying for a berth into next week’s United States Open didn’t advance past the sectional qualifiers held across the country on Monday.
West Florida Golf Tour members Kevin Aylwin and Sam Osborne fell short at the lone Florida sectional, which was held at Jacksonville’s Timuquana Country Club and finished Tuesday following Monday’s suspension due to darkness. Aylwin (4-under par 140) fell short of one of the four qualifying spots by two shots, while Osborne withdrew after a first-round 73. Scotland’s Paul Ferrier, who progressed from the Sara Bay local qualifier like Aylwin and Osborne did, fired a 150.
Bradenton’s Tyler Sluman and IMG Academy alumnus Cristobal Del Solar also competed in Jacksonville. Del Solar, a Florida State University golfer, fired a 66 in the first round, before fading with a 74 in Tuesday’s completed second round. Sebring’s Rocky Khara, a Lakewood Ranch High alumnus, didn’t get through the sectional in Rockville, Md., while IMG Academy alum Casey Wittenberg didn’t make it past the Memphis, Tenn., sectional. South Dakota’s Bobby West and Trinity’s Tim Rosenhouse, who also advanced from the Sara Bay local qualifier, had their U.S. Open dreams shattered at the sectional stage.
There is a local presence, though. Former U.S. Amateur champ and alumnus of the former Bradenton Prep Academy, Ben An, and IMG Academy alum Emiliano Grillo are in the field at Oakmont Country Club.
State Senior Amateur Match Play arrives Sunday
The Florida State Senior Amateur Match Play Championship is scheduled to start Sunday at the Founders Golf Club in Sarasota. The event features 36-holes of stroke play, with the field cut down following Monday morning’s round. The top 32 seniors and top 16 super seniors advance to the championship flight’s match play portion. The Round of 16 matches are scheduled for Tuesday, while the quarterfinals and semifinals are slated for Wednesday. The championship matches for both divisions begin Thursday morning. Bradenton’s Paul Kirby, Bradenton’s Jim Stone, Lakewood Ranch’s Gregg Van Lue and Bradenton’s Bob Wentzell are the Manatee County golfers competing.
West Florida Golf Tour happenings
The West Florida Golf Tour begins its summer tour on Monday at River Wilderness Country Club in Parrish. The 14-week summer series concludes in September with the WFGT Tour Championship at Lakewood Ranch Golf and Country Club. Each of the 14 stops are 54-hole tournaments, and the top three players on the money list at the end of the Tour Championship receive a $2,000 bonus for a qualifying school in the fall.