June 4, 2018
A Ban brother came up big again at Lake Merced Golf Club in Daly City.
San Jose resident and 2016 NCGA Player of the Year Shintaro Ban was one of five players advancing thru Monday’s 36-hole U.S. Open Sectional qualifier at Lake Merced GC and the Olympic Club (Ocean Course). The recent UNLV grad opened with a 4-under 67 at Olympic and followed that up with a 69 at Lake Merced to come in at 7-under 136.
Chun An Yu, who plays at Arizona State, paced the field with a score of 135 (65-70). The other three players advancing were Stanford’s Franklin Huang (137), Rhett Rasmussen of Utah (137) and pro Sung Joon Park of South Korea (137).
Ban’s older brother, Shotaro, won the California Amateur at Lake Merced GC in 2016.
“One of Shintaro’s biggest shots was a hole-out for eagle from 100 yards out on the par-4 6th. As a bonus, he’d card back-to-back birdies on the ensuing next two holes.
“We got up to the hole and no one knew where my ball was. No one had seen it go in. My round at Olympic helped with momentum,” said Ban, who had started his round on the back.. “Before that run I kept battling–bogey/even par, bogey/even par.”
Later at Lake Merced, Ban made another back-nine charge despite strong winds, carding three birdies and closing with an eagle on the par-5 18th.
“I like playing in tough conditions,” said Ban, who was playing Lake Merced for the first time since Shotaro;s California Amateur win. “It’s an exciting time.”