U.S. Open Local Qualifying
May 7, 2012
EL DORADO HILLS – San Jose’s John Ellis shot an immaculate 7-under par 65 Monday to take top honors at the U.S. Open Local Qualifying at Serrano CC. Starting his day off the 10th tee, Ellis got off to a quick start with three birdies (11, 13 and 15) and an eagle (14) in his first six holes to get to 5-under par. From there Ellis put his game into cruise control as he made 10 consecutive pars before birdieing Nos. eight and nine to finish a bogey-free round of 65. Cameron Rappleye finished not far behind with a 5-under 67 on the day. The Elk Grove resident had five birdies and an eagle in his round, but relinquished strokes on holes 10 and 12 with bogeys. Earl Cross had two birdies on each nine with one bogey on the day to finish alone in third at 3-under 69. The Grass Valley resident took advantage of the course’s five par 5s as three of his four birdies came on those holes.
Four players came in at 2-under par 70, meaning a playoff was needed to decide the final three qualifying spots. In the end Matthew Hollinsead, Ryan Sloane and Vincent Venard advanced with Donnie Baucom being left out in the cold. Hollinsead and Sloane were the first two to advance after the first playoff hole, while Venard and Baucom battled it out for an additional four holes before Venard prevailed on the fifth playoff hole. Hollinsead of Fair Oaks started his 18-hole round off with two pars and ended with five pars, while somewhere in between he had four birdies and two bogeys. Sloane, who started his round off the 10th tee, couldn’t have felt well about how he ended his round. After an opening nine holes of 4-under par with two birdies and an eagle, the Campbell resident took back-to-back bogeys on Nos. five and six, erased those mistakes with an eagle on the eighth, but then gave it right back with a double-bogey on the ninth. Sacramento’s Venard had two bogeys and four birdies on his day, none more critical than the birdie-3 on the 18th to get into the playoff.
Baucom of Orangevale automatically earned the first alternate spot after coming up short in the playoff. His round 2-under par 70 consisted of six birdies and four bogeys. He will be joined in his alternate role by Zack King of Brentwood, who earned second alternate after the second playoff hole against three others finishing at 1-under 71. Those three who came up short in the playoff include Steve Daniele of Fresno, Scott Gordon of Fair Oaks and El Macero’s Tyler Raber.