Berger, Lindheim open with 66s at Florida sectional
VERO BEACH, Fla. – Quail Valley is playing at 7,460 yards for the U.S. Open Sectional Qualifier on Monday.
That's on paper. With 20 mph winds and gusts that reached higher than that, it is an incredibly difficult track – fitting for the U.S. Open, where par is a great score.
PHOTOS: U.S. Open Sectional Qualifying (Vero Beach, Fla.)
Check out images from Quail Valley during the U.S. Open Sectional Qualifier in Vero Beach, Fla.
The closing stretch of the Nos. 16-18 will prove to be the ultimate test when the field of 55 players heads back out for the second round this afternoon, particularly the par-3 16th, where it is playing at more than 250 yards, but downhill and with the wind – you know, just to throw more question marks into a difficult-to-gauge tee shot.
With water long, players are clubbing down and coming up short of the green, leaving themselves with an impossible chip on a slick green that runs fast around the hole.
There are a handful of players that managed their games well through 18 holes, led by Daniel Berger and Nicholas Lindheim, who both fired 6-under 66s to put themselves in good position for one of the four automatic bids coming out of the Florida sectional.
Other players of note who finished in the red: Andres Echavarria (2 under), Marco Dawson (1 under) and Jeff Golden (3 under).
Sam Horsfield, the defending Florida State Amateur champion and a University of Florida commit, matched 1-over 37s for a 2-over 74 and will need to go low in the afternoon to have a chance at Pinehurst No. 2.
A surprising name near the bottom of the leaderboard is longtime pro Nick O'Hern, as he opened with an 8-over 80. There were 10 players to record a round of 80 or worse.