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Daniel Augustus clinches first alternate spot for final US Open qualifier

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Daniel Augustus (Photograph supplied)

Daniel Augustus is eagerly awaiting a telephone call to determine whether or not he will compete in the final US Open qualifier.

The Bermudian professional came out on top of a three-man play-off for the two alternate spots available in an 18-hole local US Open qualifier at Mission Inn Resort & Club El Campeon Course in Florida on Wednesday to keep his qualifying hopes alive, if only by a thread.

“This was local qualifying and the next part is regional, so if you get through regional, then you are in the US Open,” Augustus told The Royal Gazette.

“But because of the strength of my field at the qualifying site that I was at, I have a better chance of getting a phone call to play than most sites, so there is a good chance I may get a phone call to get through to the next stage.

“There were 84 players at my site and the top five spots get in, while first and second alternate may get a phone call.

“First always has a better chance than second, but being that my site had a stronger field than most of the US Open sites and one of the bigger fields as well, I have a good chance of getting a call.

“I knew that going into the play-off to get the first alternate spot. I realised that and buckled down instead of treating it like it’s nothing.”

Daniel Augustus (Photograph supplied)

Nine of the ten 36-hole final US Open qualifiers taking place in the United States will be held on June 3 with one additional event being played on May 20.

Ken Venturi and Orville Moody are the only two golfers to have won the US Open after qualifying through local and sectional play, while Gene Littler, Jerry Pate, Steve Jones, Michael Campbell and Lucas Glover won after advancing through final qualifying.

Nick Jones came up short of becoming the first Bermudian to qualify for the US Open when he competed in the 36-hole final qualifier at Canoe Brook Country Club in New Jersey last year.

Augustus ultimately secured the first alternate spot at this week’s local qualifier after two-putting for par on the fourth play-off hole at the par-5 17th.

“Seventeen at El Campeon is one of the most goofiest par 5s you will ever see in your life,” he said.

“I hit my drive right down the middle but it was tough lay-up shot and going for it was not in the cards because it was 280 yards over the water for the second shot and it was into the wind.

“I ended up hitting the green about 20 feet left, pin high and two -putted for par. He missed his 25 footer for par and that was the end of the play-of for the first alternate spot.”

Gerardo Gomez secured the second alternate spot up for grabs in the play-off that also involved fellow amateur Palmer Haynes, who was eliminated on the first play-off hole.

The three players had all finished two-under at the end of regulation play, with Augustus’s impressive rounds featuring six birdies and four bogeys.

American professional and inaugural Butterfield Bermuda APGA Championship winner Willie Mack III shot a five-under 67 to finish as joint winner with compatriot, amateur Jake Peacock.

American amateur Nolan Harper and professionals Kevin Andre Wright, of Norway, and Puerto Rican Roberto Nieves secured the remaining three qualifying spots available.

The golf action on island continues when the Gosling’s Moongate Tour hosts an 18-hole medal event at Ocean View Golf Course Club on Friday.

Among those battling for honours are Dwayne Pearman and Tour co- founder Chaka DeSilva.

Reigning Tour Championship champion Oliver Betschart, Jevon Roberts and Damien Palanyandi are among the top amateurs in the field which also features Ebonie Cox, the sole woman competing.

Pearman has already enjoyed success on the Tour this year after winning the previous event by one shot over nearest rival Chris Ford at Port Royal last month.

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Published April 25, 2024 at 2:34 pm (Updated April 25, 2024 at 2:34 pm)

Daniel Augustus clinches first alternate spot for final US Open qualifier

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