Sam Horsfield, others trail Daniel Chopra at U.S. Open sectional in Jacksonville

Sam Horsfield, others trail Daniel Chopra at U.S. Open sectional in Jacksonville

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Sam Horsfield, others trail Daniel Chopra at U.S. Open sectional in Jacksonville

With Tropical Storm Colin bearing down from the west, play continues at the U.S. Open Sectional qualifier at Timuquana Country Club in Jacksonville, Fla. There are 63 players vying for four spots, and nearing 2 p.m., there is a pretty even mix of veterans and youth on the board.

Leading at 7 under through 24 holes is two-time PGA Tour winner Daniel Chopra, who won the PGA Tour’s Tournament of Champions in 2008. He leads former University of Georgia player Joey Garber, who now plays the Mackenzie Tour in Canada.

Among those vying closely for the fourth spot is another Tour veteran, Patrick Sheehan. Sheehan, 46, played seven seasons on the PGA Tour, the last being in 2012, and shot 69 in the morning.

Some young players who played collegiately in Florida are high up on the board: Florida State rising senior Cristobal Del Solar made seven birdies and shot 66 in the morning. University of Florida teammates Jorge Garcia and Sam Horsfield shot 67 and 68, respectively, to open and now are a few holes into their afternoon 18. Horsfield was at 5 under through 24 holes; Garcia is 1 over through five holes of his afternoon round, and 4 under for the day.

Horsfield, who lives outside Orlando in Davenport, Fla., was awarded this year’s Phil Mickelson Award as the nation’s most outstanding freshman. He qualified for last year’s U.S. Open via sectionals after beating Del Solar in a playoff at The Bear’s Club in Jupiter, Fla. The Venezuelan-born Garcia narrowly missed earning a trip to the Masters earlier this year when he was beaten by Paul Chaplet at the Latin America Amateur in the Dominican Republic.

Also in the mix to earn one qualifying spots: Zachary Edmonson of Cary, N.C., who shot 68, North Carolina amateur Scott Harvey (70), the 2014 U.S. Mid-Amateur champion, and New Zealand touring pro Tim Wilkinson (69). Shortly after 2 p.m., there were seven players tied at 3 under.

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