Golf’s longest day had a familiar survivor Monday and a fresh face: David Toms and Sam Burns.
Toms, the former LSU All-American and 2001 PGA champion, made it through U.S. Open sectional qualifying in Memphis, Tennessee, tying for fourth at 7 under par to snag one of the 10 available spots there.
Burns, who just completed his freshman year at LSU, also qualified, fighting through a six-man playoff to grab one of the last two spots after tying for ninth.
Ten 36-hole sectional qualifiers were held across the nation Monday, often billed as “golf’s longest day.” The U.S. Open will be June 16-19 at Oakmont Country Club near Pittsburgh.
Burns, 19, finished at 6-under then had to head back out for extra holes. He sank an 8-foot birdie put to advance while Sung Kang grabbed the other spot with a 20-foot birdie.
Burns said he and his family were driving the 6½ hours back to Shreveport on Monday night.
“I could drive 30 hours right now,” Burns told PGATour.com.
Toms birdied his last hole at Germantown Country Club to avoid the playoff and shoot a 2-under 69 after a 5-under 66 next door at Ridgeway Country Club.
This will be the 19th U.S. Open for Toms, 49, since his first appearance in 1996, only missing in 1998 and last year. Toms tied for fifth the last time the U.S. Open was at Oakmont in 2007.
Former LSU and Episcopal golfer Andrew Loupe tied for 34th in the 121-player field in Memphis, while former LSU golfer Stewart Jolly tied for 63rd.
Already exempt from qualifying for the U.S. Open are former LSU golfer Smylie Kaufman, former University High golfer Patrick Reed and two-time Masters champion Bubba Watson, whose long-time caddy is Lafayette native Ted Scott.
Four local area golfers competed Monday in a sectional at Lakeside Country Club in Houston after advancing from local qualifying at The Bluffs in St. Francisville. The four – Jacob Bergeron of Slidell, Gregory Berthelot of Baton Rouge, Patrick Christovich and Casey Clendenon of New Orleans – fell short of grabbing any of the three available qualifying spots.
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