Notables making some birdie putts
Locust Hill C.C. member Adam Condello fired a 2-under 69 at the U.S. Open local qualifier Monday at Mendon Golf Club, but fell one shot short of the cutline to make sectionals.
Only two spots were available to the 42 players who competed Monday. Gavin Hall blazed an 8-under 63 on his home track to grab one ticket for U.S. Open Sectionals. Danny Kim snared the other with birdies on 15 and 16 to complete one of the craziest rounds of 68 you’ll ever see.
Condello had a nice par save on 14 and rolled in a 30-footer on 16 for birdie to reach 2-under. He did outduel Luke Graboyes in a playoff for the Sectionals alternate spot.
Graboyes’ 69 was highlighted by a long eagle putt on 10 and a short birdie on 12. The sophomore at Cornell goes home with an excellent experience, but otherwise empty handed.
Among the others at qualifying Monday, Cobblestone Creek Head Pro Neil Reidy had an up and down day playing beside Hall. Reidy hit a deft pitch at the par-5 10th to set up an easy birdie. He rolled in another bird at 13 and made a nice putt to save par at 16. Reidy hovered around par all day but said “it feels like I’m shooting a million” next to Hall.
Another Locust Hill member, Matt Van Niekerk finished in 3-over 74, but had birdies on both the par-5 10th and 16th. The Allendale Columbia grad is just finishing his sophomore year at the U of R.
Ridgemont CC member Curran O’Brien got to watch the wild Kim round up close in the day’s final pairing. O’Brien struggled much of the day, but finished strong with a par save at 16 and a long birdie roll at 18.
Rounding out the final group was southern Ontario native Sean O’Hara who punctuated an otherwise forgettable round with an impressive birdie at 17.