The amateurs dominated at the U.S. Open local qualifying Monday at Hidden Valley Country Club.
Amateurs captured two of the three qualifying spots and two of three alternate spots in a 24-man field which consisted mostly of professionals.Todd Pence, who just completed his collegiate career at BYU, and Jason Wight, the reigning State Amateur champion and Utah State golfer, both fired 3-under-par 69s to lead the group of hopefuls trying to qualify for next month's U.S. Open.
Eaglewood assistant pro Matt Johnson grabbed the third spot with a 70, while Idaho Falls pro Randall McCracken and BYU golfer Joe Summerhays just missed with 71s. Sixteen-year-old Boyd Summerhays was all alone at 72 and took the third alternate spot.
Pence, Wight and Johnson will all head in different directions for sectional qualifying tournaments June 3 and 4, which will determine the final field for the U.S. Open at Oakland Hills, Mich., June 13-16.
Pence, a native of Cheney, Wash., will play close to home at Vancouver; Wight goes to Daly City, Calif.; and Johnson will head to Denver. Their chances at the qualifiers will be about 1 in 10.
Making it through the local qualifying was especially sweet for Pence, who lost in a playoff for the final spot last year after three-putting the final hole.
For Kim Thompson, it was a sad case of history repeating itself. In 1987, the last time the local qualifying was at Hidden Valley, Thompson was in a good position to qualify, only to bogey 17 and triple-bogey 18. On Monday, he was 2-under going into 17, but bogeyed that hole and double-bogeyed No. 18 to finish with a 73.