SAINT LEO, Fla. –Saint Leo junior-to-be Austin Grey was one of thousands of golfers to enter a U.S. Local Qualifying event with dreams of making it through Sectional Qualifying and into the field at the 2013 U.S. Open.
Grey, entering the local qualifying event at Lake Jovita Golf and Country Club, was one of seven golfers to shoot low enough to advance to the next stage—the Sectional Qualifying Event. Grey, a native of Spring Hill, Fla., fired a round of 36-34—70, and after 18 holes was knotted in a four-way tie for the final qualifying spot. The four players all holed pars on the first playoff hole, and on the next, the second to last spot was clinched on a birdie putt by Sam Horsfield.
With two golfers remaining and one final spot to be clinched, Grey sunk a five foot putt for birdie to snag the final qualifying spot to earn a trip to the Sectional Qualifying Event.
After the field was narrowed down at the 111 local qualifying sites, the advancing golfers will play 36 holes at one of the 13 sectional qualifying events.
"Playing to get into the U.S. Open is a grind and having to clinch the last spot in a playoff was an intense experience," Grey said. "I tried qualifying in 2011 and missed it by a few shots, so being able to draw on that really helped."
The next step for Grey is the sectional qualifying event in Bradenton, Fla. at the Ritz-Carlton Members Golf Club on June 3, where he will play for a chance to advance to the U.S. Open at the Merion Golf Club in Ardmore, Pa.
"I've been working hard on the course management aspect of my game and it's starting to pay off," Grey added.
Only a handful of golfers from each sectional site will advance to the U.S. Open, with the exact number depending on the quality and size of the field at each location.
"I am so thankful for my mom and Jim, my dad, my brother Cody, and my wife Gina for all their help and support," Grey said.
For the latest news on Grey's progress in the Sectional Qualifying Event, check back here at SaintLeoLions.com and follow us on Twitter at @SaintLeoLions.