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AMATEURS LOOK TO `OPEN' DOORS BY QUALIFYING

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.