June 8, 2015
A former NCGA champion came up big at Monday’s U.S. Open Sectional qualifier at Big Canyon Country Club and Newport Beach Country Club in Southern California,
Professional Kevin Lucas of Folsom, who won the 2010 NCGA Stroke Play Championship at Poppy Hills, was medalist at the qualifier, posting a score of 9-under 134. A University of Nevada-Reno alum, Lucas still shares the record with two-time NCGA Player of the Year (and also now pro) Ben Geyer for lowest 54-hole score in the Stroke Play Championship at 11-under 205.
Three amateurs advanced through the qualifier, but none of them had NCGA ties. Amateurs Beau Hossler of Mission Viejo, Jake Knapp of Costa Mesa and Irvine’s Brian Campbell all punched their tickets to the U.S Open, finishing within the top six in the 36-hole Sectional. Both Hossler and Knapp shot 136 to finish T-2, while Campbell shot 137 to finish fifth.
Following the U.S. Open at Chambers Bay, Hossler and Knapp are slated to compete in this year’s California Amateur Championship at Lake Merced GC in Daly City.
The only other player with NCGA ties to advance through any of the 10 Sectional qualifiers was NCAA champion and Junior Tour of Northern California alum Bryson DeChambeau.
DeChambeau, who hails from Clovis, shot 11-under 133 in the Columbus, Ohio qualifier, posting rounds of 66-67 to finish T-3. Having started his first round on the 10th tee, DeChambeau went on a string where he carded seven straight birdies. He’d close out his first round with birdies from No.7 through No.9 and opened his second round with four straight birdies.
A junior at Southern Methodist University, DeChambeau, shot a final round 1-under 71 last week at The Concession Golf Club in Florida to win the NCAA Championship individual title by one over runner-up Cheng-Tsung Pan of the University of Washington.
DeChambeau finished the 72-hole NCAA tournament with a total of 8-under 280, becoming the first SMU player to ever win a national title. The Mustangs claimed the team title in 1954.