Who won the first-ever Donald Ross Memorial Invitational boys individual title?

Monday, June 6, 2011

U.S. Open sectional qualifying underway across nation

The last stage of qualifying for the 111th United States Open is conducted at various sectional venues around the country today.

Stay tuned throughout the day for updates on how area players are faring in their bid for a berth into next week's U.S. Open.

For now, a quick peak at the lone Florida sectional tournament through the morning 18 holes:

Five players advanced from the local qualifier held at the Ritz-Carlton Members Golf Club in May.

Here's how they stand as the players are beginning the afternoon 18 hole round:

Former IMG Academies and Saint Stephen's standout Michael Barbosa, of Saint Petersburg, shares the first-round lead with several other players including Sarasota's Joey Lamielle.

Both carded 68s at Quail Valley Golf Club in Vero Beach to join a five-way logjam atop the leaderboard. Only the top three players progress to Congressional Country Club for the Open.

Brian Ward, the West Florida Golf Tour regular who needed extra holes to secure a spot into sectionals, sits three shots adrift at 71.

Luis Thiele
, who progressed from the playoff with Ward at the local stage, is well back after an opening round 87. The amateur and IMG Academies alum is in dead-last.

Travis Perkins
, another WFGT participant from Lakeland by way of Lewis Center, Ohio, shot 75 in the morning.

Cardinal Mooney alum and reigning City of Sarasota Men's Amateur champ Chris Kennedy also carded a first-round 75. He advanced to the Florida sectional from a different local qualifying site.

Other notable results include Arnold Palmer's grandson, Sam Saunders, who shot 69 in the morning.

And Valrico's Steve Runge, who plays on the WFGT, is a former Nationwide Tour winner and currently teaches at IMG Academies, is also in the field. He opened with a 71.

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