MURRIETA, CALIF., (June 4, 2007) -- PGA Tour player Kevin Sutherland of Fresno used a hole-in-one as the springboard to a 7-under-par 65 in his morning round, then coasted home with an even-par 72 in the afternoon to earn medalist honors in U.S. Open sectional qualifying at Bear Creek Golf Club.
Sutherland was three shots clear of another Tour player, Andrew Buckle of Cleveland, Oh., and amateur Richard Lee, age 16, from Chandler, Ariz. Buckle shot 70-70 and Lee shot 69-71; each finished with 2-under-par 140 totals. Both players birdied their final hole in the afternoon to avoid a what became a four-for-one playoff, Lee making a 3 on the 18th hole and Buckle two-putting for 4 on the par-5 ninth hole. Michael Block of Aliso Viejo birdied the first playoff to win become the fourth qualifier.
All four earned entry into the Open, which will be played June 14-17 at Oakmont Country Club in Oakmont, Penn.
The 42-year-old Sutherland had six birdies and just a single bogey (on his final hole) in his morning round but sank a 6-iron from 186 yards on the par-3 eighth hole for a hole-in-one. "The funny thing is," said Sutherland afterwards, "that no one in the group saw it go in. When we got to the green, I looked at the ball mark and said to myself 'I'll bet it went in' and when I looked in the cup there it was." It was his first ace since the 17th hole of the Bob Hope Chrysler Classic's Palmer Course at PGA West several years ago.
Sutherland had no idea where he stood in the afternoon. "I didn't look at the morning scores at all," he admitted later, "but I thought 7 under was pretty good." He began his round on the 10th hole with a bogey, then posted three birdies to make the turn at 2 under, only to go bogey-double bogey to begin his second nine. "Experience was a help there," admitted Sutherland later; "I've been there before." He steadied himself by making birdie 3 on the fifth hole (his 14th of the round) and parred in for an even-par 72.
SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA GOLF ASSOCIATION
107th U.S. Open Championship
at Bear Creek Golf Club; Murrieta, Calif.
7,150 yards; par 72
Final 36-hole results:
137 -- Kevin Sutherland, Sacramento, CA 65-72.
140 -- Richard Lee (a), Chandler, AZ 69-71; Andrew Buckle, Cleveland, OH 70-70.
141 -- Michael Block, Aliso Viejo, CA 69-72.
Block birdied the first playoff hole to win final qualifer spot.
ALTERNATES (in order):
141 -- Brett Paquet, Phoenix, AZ 72-69; Steve Conway, Murrieta, CA 70-71.
DID NOT QUALIFY:
141 -- Joseph Bramlett (a), Saratoga, CA 70-71.
143 -- Tyler Crawford (a), Rancho Mirage, CA 73-70.
144 -- Danny Lee (a), New Zealand 71-73; Erik Flores (a), Grass Valley, CA 71-73; Jonathan May, Wichita, KS 69-75.
145 -- Jesse Lanham, Moville, IA 72-73; Eric Meeks, Las Vegas, NV 70-75; Ben Murray (a), La Quinta, CA 73-72; Nickolas Jones, Los Angeles, CA 75-70.
146 -- John Colyar, Santa Clara, CA 73-73; Matthew Pierce Jr (a), San Juan Capistrano, CA 70-76; Kevin Streelman, Winfield, IL 73-73; Henry Liaw, Beaumont, CA 74-72; Jake Ellison (a), Provo, UT 69-77.
147 -- Tyler Erickson, Bozeman, MT 74-73; John Lepak, La Habra Hts, CA 66-81; Bryan Harris (a), Rancho Mirage, CA 70-77; Rickie Fowler (a), Murrieta, CA 76-71.
148 -- Alex Ching (a), Honolulu, HI 74-74; Jeff Hood, San Luis Obispo, CA 73-75; Matt Vancleave, Maryville, MO 72-76; William Lunde, Las Vegas, NV 74-74; Edward Lee, Corona, CA 76-72; Josh Anderson (a), Murrieta, CA 76-72.
149 -- Robert Caton, Huntington Beach, CA 73-76; Matt Metje (a), Bonita, CA 77-72.
150 -- Samuel Shin (a), New Zealand 74-76; Bo Dehuff (a), Coto De Caza, CA 75-75; Clark Corbett, Long Beach, CA 74-76; Shawn Kelly, Auburn, CA 74-76; Jordan Nasser (a), Anaheim Hills, CA 74-76.
151 -- John Burckle, San Clemente, CA 78-73; Jerry Sneve, Carlsbad, CA 73-78.
152 -- Joshua Warthen, Pismo Beach, CA 75-77; Brett Whiteman, Scottsdale, AZ 72-80; Connor Driscoll (a), Encinitas, CA 73-79; Sihwan Kim (a), Buena park, CA 76-76; Nathan Celusta, Ventura, CA 77-75.
153 -- Adam Tebbs (a), Henderson, NV 77-76; Sandy Morrison, Palm Springs, CA 72-81; Curtis Deal, North Las Vegas, NV 75-78; Doug Garwood, Valencia, CA 74-79.
154 -- Chad Vivolo (a), Carmel, CA 76-78; Ian Hjulberg, Riverside, CA 73-81; Alex Kuyumjian, Thousand Oaks, CA 76-78.
155 -- Greg Bruckner, Phoenix, AZ 78-77; Mark Scheibach (a), Bermuda Dunes, CA 74-81; Dean Vomacka, Oro Valley, AZ 77-78.
156 -- Ricky Montanez (a), Helendale, CA 82-74; James Watt (a), Lodi, CA 75-81.
157 -- Greg Cesario, San Marcos, CA 78-79; John Ray Leary, Woodland Hills, CA 77-80; Mike Fergin, Santa Ana, CA 77-80; Greg Galasso, San Jose, CA 77-80.
158 -- Jeremy Moreno (a), Visalia, CA 76-82; Steve Daniele, Fresno, CA 78-80.
159 -- Casey Watabu (a), Kapaa, HI 81-78.
160 -- Dugal Milne, Makena, HI 75-85; Mike Sica, La Quinta, CA 78-82; Ebon Slack, South Lake Tahoe, CA 79-81.
162 -- Roger Gunn, Oak Park, CA 79-83.
163 -- Ryan Kennedy, Ventura, CA 81-82; Arvo Voip (a), San Jose, CA 77-86.
164 -- George McKean III, Fresno, CA 80-84.
171 -- Corey Campbell (a), Salinas, CA 83-88
DID NOT FINISH
WD -- Scott Gordon, Fair Oaks, CA 75-WD; Jerry Chen, Union, NJ 71-WD; Jason Carbone, Avondale, AZ 83-WD.
NC -- Ryan Dillon, Desert Hills, AZ 73-NC.
NOTE: Qualifiers advance to U.S. Open June 14-17 at Oakmont CC, Oakmont, Penn. Complete scores (including nonqualifiers) are at www.scga.org.