He was virtually the youngest player in the field. But that didn’t stop him from hitting pin seekers.
Dupont’s Andrew Golden, a Wyoming Seminary junior, played alongside some terrific talent — including nearly 30 professionals — Thursday in a local qualifier for the 2014 U.S. Open at Huntsville Country Club in Shavertown.
Things started well for Golden, but the youngster couldn’t get over the hump and on to the next round. Golden finished the day with a 95, but he took away so much more than that.
Members of Huntsville, Andrew and his father Paul read putts side-by-side Thursday, with Paul admitting he doesn’t try and help Andrew too much.
Andrew has been playing the game for only four years. He’s been a talented ice hockey player for the Blue Knights for several years now. This year, he decided to commit to golf.
Golden made his presence known early on the first two holes. After putting his opening tee shot on No. 1, a 518-yard par-5 down near some fescue, he was able to recover nicely and finish with par.
On the second hole, a dog-legged par-4, Golden hit 3-wood off the tee and was left with about 120 yards. He stuck his wedge to about six feet. Although he missed the putt, Golden was not being shy playing alongside professionals.
The USGA accepted over 10,127 entries, a record number, for this year’s open. Among the record total are 51 players, including 12 past champions, who are currently fully exempt into the field. To be eligible, a player must have a Handicap Index not exceeding 1.4, or be a professional. Huntsville was one of 111 local qualifying sites in the United States.
The US Open will be played on June 12-15 at the famed Pinehurst Resort & Country Club No 2 in Pinehurst, North Carolina. Those players advancing out of local qualifying will move on to one of 13 sectional sites. Sectional qualifying, played over 36 holes, will be conducted on Monday, May 26, at two international sites (Japan and England) and on Monday, June 2, at 10 sites in the United States, ranging from New York to California.
Fellow Dupont native Brandon Matthews was exempt from this year’s local qualifying. He’ll tee it up on June 2 at Old Oaks Country Club and Century Country Club in Purchase, N.Y. Those two courses have been nice to Matthews, who was an alternate for the U.S. Open last year held at Merion.