June 8, 2009
Clemson, SC-Ben Martin and Kyle Stanley, two members of Clemson’s 2009 team and Lucas Glover, an All-American for the Tigers between 1998-01, all qualified for the 2009 United States Open on Monday. The Tigers will have a record four former or current players in this year’s tournament at the Black Course at Bethpage Golf Club in Farmingdale, NY June 18-21, as D.J. Trahan had qualified for the tournament with his fourth place finish last year.
Martin and Stanley both had the top scores at their respective qualifying sites on Monday, while Glover was tied for third. Stanley had a 132 total to tie for medalist honors with George McNeill in Columbus, OH, while Glover had a 133 total for the 36 holes at the same site.
Martin had perhaps the best day of golf of his life as he shot a pair of 68s at Woodmont Golf Club in Rockville, MD. His eight under par total was one shot better than the 137 total by Michael Sim, the top money winner on the Nationwide Tour this year.
Monday’s performance took away the sting Martin endured last year when he lost in a playoff in US Open qualifier in Georgia to Trahan, who went on to finish fourth at the US Open at Torrey Pines in San Diego. Martin had just two bogeys for his 36 holes on Monday. He had eight birdies and an eagle.
“I knew I was playing well, but I didn’t take anything for granted until it was over,” said Martin, who had his father caddy for him for all 36 holes. “Last year was a great disappointment because I came so close and thought I was in when I finished the round.
“I played consistent today and hit a lot of fairways. I only three putted once and had just two bogeys in 36 holes. The pins were accessible and I took advantage of it.”
Martin, a native of Greenwood, SC, is just the third Clemson golfer to qualify for the US Open as an amateur, as he joins Kyle Stanley (2008 and 2009). Martin, who was second on the Clemson team in stroke average last year, will be back for his senior year as the top Tiger golfer in 2009-10.
Stanley became the first Clemson golfer in history to qualify for the US Open as an amateur twice. He received an exemption to the sectional qualifier by virtue of his selection to the 2007 Walker Cup team.
Stanley had a 62 at the Lakeside Golf Course in Columbus, then had a 70 at Brookside Country Club in Columbus in the afternoon. His 62 included 10 birdies and no bogeys. He made just one bogey for his 36 holes on Monday.
“I drove the ball very well today,” said Stanley, who will play his first professional tournament at The Travelers in Cromwell, Ct June 25-28. “I had a lot of wedge shots to the green. If it is possible to shoot a boring round of 62, I did it this morning. In the afternoon it was more of a grind. But it feels great to qualify for the US Open for the second straight year.”
Stanley’s 62 tied his career low round in any competitive tournament. He shot a 62 at the Players Amateur three years ago.
Glover had rounds of 63 and 70 in Columbus. He had nine birdies and no bogeys in his morning round at Lakeside Golf Club, the same course Stanley shot his 62. He also shot a 70 at Brookside.
Glover, a native of Greenville who is 31st on the PGA Tour money list this year, will be playing in his fourth US Open. He also played in the 2002 event at Bethpage Black, where he had rounds of 74-77 and missed the cut.
This will be the first time four current or former Clemson golfers have played in the same US Open. Last year three Tigers played at Torrey Pines, CA. Kyle Stanley failed to make the cut, but Trahan finished fourth with a two over par score of 286. It is the best finish in history for a golfer with ties to Clemson in a Major.
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