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Dallas Sectional: Walker Lee Realizes His U.S. Open Dream
Walker Lee is the lone amateur to qualify from the Dallas site
Walker Lee is the lone amateur to qualify from the Dallas site

By Art Stricklin, for AmateurGolf.com

DALLAS, TX (June 5, 2017) – Just two years after watching close friend Cole Hammer qualify for the U.S. Open as a 15-year-old, Houston’s Walker Lee achieved his own US Open amateur dream Monday, shooting a 10-under 132 to qualify for the 2017 US Open at Erin Hills Golf Club as a high school senior.

“I was nervous all day, but this just proves that all things are possible. All things are achievable,” he said after his afternoon 67, which followed his morning 65.

A disciple of Texas golf legend Jack Burke, Jr., Lee, 19, said his biggest thrill in golf had been committing to Texas A&M to play golf there in the fall and came in the sectional qualifying, much like Hammer two years ago, with little notice or advance billing.

“I’ve always felt I had it (greatness) in me, but I never really showed it. It hasn’t hit me yet, but this is incredible. Some of those drives at Erin Hills will be scary, but I can’t wait,” Lee said.

Harlingen, Texas mini-tour player Roman Robledo earned medalist honors at 13-under-par 129 with former U.S. Amateur champion Nick Flanagan, from Australia who now lives in San Antonio, second at 11-under 131.

“I came here to win it and I knew you just had to keep making birdies to do it,” Robledo said. It will be his first U.S. Open appearance, the second for Flanagan, after his 2003 U.S. Amateur victory.

Just barely missing the playoff for the two alternate spots was Mexican amateur Aaron Terrazas, which finished at 6-under-par 136. He will play in the Mexican Amateur this week in Campeche, Mexico.

“This is the best I have ever done,” the upcoming junior golfer at the University of Texas at El Paso said. “I felt I was playing good all spring.”

Hammer finished tied for 14th at 138 along with Louisiana amateur Phillip Barbaree, who recently finished his first year at LSU.

PGA Tour veteran Ryan Palmer claimed one of two alternate spots with a birdie on the first playoff hole. Darkness did not allow the second spot to be awarded, so Mexican amateur Alvaro Ortiz and PGA Tour player Edward Loar will return early Tuesday morning to decide the second spot.

ABOUT THE U.S. Open Sectional Qualifying

Sectional qualifying for the U.S. Open Championship. International qualifiers will be played in late May while domestic sites play on the Monday a week and half before the U.S. Open. 36 holes of stroke play at each site.

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