|Posted June 20, 2012|
Thomas qualifies for USGA Public Links Championship
Story courtesy of Gary Baines, CoGolf.org
Sean Thomas has competed in USGA qualifiers before, but he admits he probably wasn't as committed to the task at hand as he should have been.
"I look back on the past few years and I don't know if I actually wanted it," the Arvada resident and Colorado State University-Pueblo golfer said Tuesday. "I was more afraid of what would happen. You're nervous. You say you want it but you're not really sure. But yesterday I came in thinking, 'I really want to go (to the U.S. Amateur Public Links Championship). I'm playing really good and I want to do this and I have the game to do it.' And I came out and played really well."
The result is that Thomas will join two other Colorado-based college golfers in not only making their first appearance in the U.S. Publinks, but in any USGA championship.
CSU's Kirby Pettitt, Air Force's Kyle Westmoreland and CSU-Pueblo's Thomas earned the three available qualifying spots out of a field that originally numbered 78 Tuesday at Twin Peaks Golf Course in Longmont. And the reward is trips to the U.S. Publinks that will be played July 9-14 at Soldier Hollow Golf Course in Midway, Utah.
Pettitt, a senior-to-be at CSU, shot rounds of 67-72 for a 1-under-par 139 total at Twin Peaks. Westmoreland, who will be a junior at the Air Force Academy, went 68-71 to tie his fellow Mountain West Conference golfer. (Westmoreland is pictured above at left with his co-medalist Pettitt.) And Thomas, who's entering his final season at CSU-Pueblo, carded scores of 66-74 to gain the final qualifying spot at even-par 140.
For both Pettitt and Westmoreland, it was their first time even attempting to qualify for the U.S. Publinks.
"I'm very excited," said Pettitt, an Iowan now living in Fort Collins full-time. "To be able to go play in a USGA event and showcase your talent and compete at a very high level is exactly what I'm looking to do. I've got one more year at school and then I'll just see what happens. I'll try to play professional golf after that, I believe."
Being at the Air Force Academy, Westmoreland hasn't gotten a lot of chances to play tournaments in recent summers, but he made the most of his opportunity on Tuesday. He finished the day with an eagle, six birdies and seven bogeys over the 36 holes.
Suffice it to say qualifying for a USGA championship ranks up there with winning his first college tournament last fall -- the Service Academy Golf Classic against rival players from Navy and Army.
"It was a fun season for me, and this makes it even more fun," said Westmoreland, who hails from Katy, Texas near Houston. "This means a lot. It's a great opportunity to get to play some real high-quality golf. I'm thrilled."
Pettitt's performance Tuesday bore much resemblance to Westmoreland's as he recorded six birdies and five bogeys. Thomas, meanwhile, went bogey-free in his 66 and carded six birdies and six bogeys overall.
"I played so good today," said the 24-year-old Thomas, who needed just 24 putts in his first round. "... I drove three par-4s on my second 18 holes, and a couple of them were almost 400 yards. So I was hitting it really solid.
"I can't tell you what this means to me. It's fantastic."
U.S. Amateur Public Links Qualifying
At Par-70 Twin Peaks GC in Longmont
ADVANCE TO U.S. PUBLINKS
Kirby Pettitt, Fort Collins, Colo., 67-72--139
Kyle Westmoreland, Katy, Texas, 68-71--139
Sean Thomas, Arvada, Colo., 66-74--140
ALTERNATES (in order)
Brandon Bingaman, Montrose, Colo., 72-69--141
Kory Harrell, Colorado Springs, Colo., 70-71--141
FAILED TO QUALIFY
Chun-Ji Kim, Chandler, Ariz., 73-70--143
Eric Parish, Laramie, Wyo., 70-73--143
Steven Kupcho, Westminster, Colo., 71-72--143
Cameron Harrell, Colorado Springs, Colo., 73-70--143
Jeff Chapman, Denver, Colo., 71-73--144
James Kurtenbach, Highlands Ranch, Colo., 74-70--144
Wlad Colmenares, Aurora, Colo., 73-71--144
David Schroeder II, Colorado Springs, Colo., 71-73--144
Jon Lindstrom, Broomfield, Colo., 72-72--144
Stu Allen, Lakewood, Colo., 72-73--145
Lanny Cameron, Loveland, Colo., 73-72--145
Andrew Moore, Loveland, Colo., 77-68--145
Cameron Freeman, Fort Collins, Colo., 72-74--146
Derek Fribbs, Boulder, Colo., 74-72--146
Tristan Sanders, Denver, Colo., 71-76--147
Nick Burns, Denver, Colo., 76-72--148
Robert Clever, Firestone, Colo., 72-76--148
Wesley Martin, Denver, Colo., 73-76--149
Minkyu Jeon, Littleton, Colo., 73-76--149
Nicholas Sheedy, Denver, Colo., 75-75--150
Matt Porter, Castle Rock, Colo., 74-76--150
Russell Einspahr, Arvada, Colo., 75-75--150
Andy Yang, Denver, Colo., 76-74--150
Jason Coffin, Denver, Colo., 74-77--151
Brian Richmeier, Aurora, Colo., 75-76--151
Clint Miller, Englewood, Colo., 73-78--151
Nick Berry, Littleton, Colo., 76-75--151
Chris Ortiz, Rio Rancho, N.M., 77-74--151
Jonathan S Park, Denver, Colo., 78-73--151
Nicholas Tarasiewicz, Colorado Springs, Colo., 72-81--153
Christian Rundberg, Laramie, Wyo., 76-77--153
Steve Connell, Thornton, Colo., 77-77--154
Chris Longfellow, Castle Rock, Colo., 78-77--155
Kyle Beard, Denver, Colo., 75-80--155
Bryan Kruse, Westminster, Colo., 76-79--155
Christopher Good, Denver, Colo., 76-79--155
Charles Santaularia, Denver, Colo., 77-78--155
Robert Burke, Longmont, Colo., 76-79--155
Austin Vanderbloom, Cheyenne, Wyo., 75-81--156
Chad Hess, Colorado Springs, Colo., 80-76--156
Wes Adkins, Fort Collins, Colo., 76-80--156
Michael Glaesel, Arvada, Colo., 80-76--156
Adam Thoutt, Westminster, Colo., 77-80--157
Jordan Burgess, Windsor, Colo., 76-81--157
Chris Weinstein, Highlands Ranch, Colo., 79-79--158
Erik Helton, Brighton, Colo., 79-80--159
Bryan Doyea, Peyton, Colo., 75-84--159
Christopher Raap, Highlands Ranch, Colo., 79-82--161
Grant Rogers, Boulder, Colo., 81-80--161
Bill Parker, Aurora, Colo., 83-78--161
Danny Hahn, Denver, Colo., 78-83--161
Shane Unfred, Windsor, Colo., 84-77--161
Nathan Gruda, Golden, Colo., 83-81--164
Joshua Kim, Aurora, Colo., 80-85--165
Chase Nathe, Parker, Colo., 85-80--165
Jon Baldwin, Lone Tree, Colo., 83-84--167
Rupert Lona, Westminster, Colo., 86-84--170
Tom Trexler, Littleton, Colo., 85-86--171
Mitchell Smith, Elizabeth, Colo., 75-WD
Gary Driber, Castle Pines, Colo., 80-NC
Nicholas Purvis, Montrose, Colo., 88-WD
Travis Fore, Windsor, Colo., 79-WD
Scott Steger, Fort Collins, Colo., 86-NS
Troy Duerr, Colorado Springs, Colo., 83-WD
Branden Barron, Centennial, Colo., 76-WD
Dale Bonati, Colorado Springs, Colo., 97-NS