David Toms didn’t have the status to get in the field for the Masters tournament, this season’s first major.
He left little to chance for the U.S. Open.
The former LSU All-American and 2001 PGA champion finished in a five way tie for third place Monday in the 36-hole sectional qualifier on two courses at Colonial Country Club in Memphis, Tennessee, easily earning one of the 13 available qualifying spots for the 145-man field there.
Toms shot rounds of 66-69 to finish at 8-under par 135, two back of Hudson Swofford.
“It’s a long day,” Toms said. “With the rain the last few holes, it was a tough finish and I just hung in there all day. I really hit a lot of good shots. It’s just nice that it’s over and I had a solid day.”
A 25-year pro golf veteran, the 47-year-old Toms said he relaxed his mind with a nothing to lose attitude to start the qualifier.
“At this point in my career, it’s kind of a free will deal,” he said. “If you don’t happen to make it in the U.S. Open, I have a week off and can go to the lake. For me, I was kind of freed up starting the day.”
Sometimes billed as the longest day in golf, the sectional qualifier in Memphis was one of 10 being contested Monday across the country. Two others were held last month in England and Japan.
The U.S. Open will be played June 12-15 at Pinehurst No. 2 in Pinehurst, North Carolina.
Only two spots were available at the qualifier in Roswell, Georgia, and former LSU golfer Smylie Kaufman grabbed one of them.
Kaufman followed up a 5-under 67 with a 3-over 75 at Ainsley Golf Club and had to wait as a wave of contenders came at him.
But his 2-under 142 total held up, as Kaufman finished two back of Henrik Norlander and one ahead of fellow amateur Trevor Cone.
Reigning Zurich Classic of New Orleans champion Seung Yul Noh sailed through qualifying in Columbus, Ohio, a day after the Memorial Tournament in nearby Dublin.
Noh tied for first at 5-under 137 with former British Open champion Justin Leonard and Justin Thomas.
Two other former LSU players — PGA touring pros Andrew Loupe and John Peterson of Baton Rouge — also tried to qualify in Memphis but finished well off the number. Both tied for 66th at 2-over 145.
LSU’s Curtis Thompson tied for seventh in Vero Beach, Florida, but finished two strokes out of the fourth and last qualifying spot at even par 144.
Teammate Eric Ricard was one of four Louisiana golfers who were unable to advance out of the sectional at Lakeside Country Club in Houston. Also attempting to qualify there were Michael Smith and Brian Rowell of Houston and Jacob Bergeron of Slidell.
Follow Scott Rabalais on Twitter: @RabalaisAdv.