July 29, 2013
SANTA CRUZ – After a morning of several under-par scores, red numbers were hard to come by Monday afternoon at Pasatiempo GC in U.S. Amateur Qualifying. The beneficiary of a lack of red scores was Luke Vivolo, who was able to post the only red number over the final 18 holes, vaulting him to the top of the leaderboard to earn medalist honors.
Opening with a two-over-par 72, Vivolo finished strong with a three-under-par 67 to finish at one-under-par 139. The Carmel resident found himself outside the top-15 after Monday morning, but that didn’t seem to deter him as his final round score proved. Starting off the No. 10 tee, Vivolo opened up with a bogey, but then made four birdies from there on out converting them on Nos. 12, 1, 4 and 8.
Also qualifying for the U.S. Amateur were Mac McClung of Fremont and Bobby Schaffer of La Quinta, who finished at a 36-hole score of 140, even-par. McClung and Schaffer needed to beat out Skyler Finnell in a sudden-death playoff to earn their spots, which was decided after the first hole when Finnell missed a short bogey putt. Much like Vivolo, McClung and Schaffer both started the final 18 holes on the outside looking in. McClung had back-to-back rounds of 70 that were very similar, making five birdies in each, while taking a triple-bogey and two bogeys in his first round compared to three bogeys and a double-bogey in his second round. Schaffer began the final 18 barely on the outside in a tie for fourth place after opening with a 69 and then closing with a 71.
Besides Finnell earning first alternate, four playoff holes were needed to decide second alternate as Andrew Buchanan finally staved off William Brueckner and Sebastian Crampton. All three players finished with scores of 141, with none more disappointed than Crampton who opened with a four-under-par 66 and the outright lead.
The three qualifying players, Vivolo, McClung and Schaffer advance to the U.S. Amateur Championship at The Country Club in Brookline, Mass. August 12-18.