Here is a recap of the U.S. Open sectional qualifier in Portland, Ore. For complete coverage of all U.S. Open sectionals, click here.
Portland GC, Par 71
Four spots available
MEDALIST: An Aussie cruises in the top spot, as Lucas Herbert goes 66-64 to finish with a three-shot win at 12 under.
Herbert made eight birdies in his 5-under morning round, and his afternoon 18 included two eagles. The 22-year-old turned pro in 2015 and has mainly played on the PGA Tour of Australasia. Monday’s result is his opening first-place finish as a pro, as his highest showing in an event on any tour is a second at the PGA Tour of Australasia’s NSW Open Championship in 2017.
The Aussie has dabbled more in European Tour events this season, with six starts that have netted a pair of thirds. He also finished T-49 last week on the Mackenzie Tour. But he’s never played a PGA Tour-counting event.
So it’ll be his first taste of that and major championship golf at the U.S. Open.
ALSO QUALIFYING: Holy Sulman Raza!
The only amateur in this field to qualify for the U.S. Open was quite a story in college.
Raza went 3-0 in match play at the 2016 NCAA Championship (with one of his takedowns being Sam Burns) and defeated Texas’ Taylor Funk in a playoff in the final to give Oregon a national title on its home course. Oh, and Raza is from Eugene. Absolutely magical.
Then, Raza went into a horrible slump. His driver was all out of whack and he could barely make Oregon’s starting lineup the season after winning the Ducks a national title. It was an arduous journey for Raza, but he found his way back. He helped lead Oregon to a second straight NCAA final, as he was a starter at 2017 nationals and sealed quarterfinal and semifinal wins for the Ducks under all the pressure.
So, what he did Monday was old hat. There was a morning 71 and he was 1 over through four in his second round, and then Raza played his final 14 holes in 6 under to post a 66, finish in a tie for third at 5 under and advance to his first major championship. Pretty cool.
Christopher Babcock, of Shoreline, Wash., went 68-65 to finish second at 9 under and advance. Michael Block, of Mission Viejo, Calif., posts at 5 under for the other spot.
ALTERNATES: Max Greyserman is the first alternate, while Brett Lederer is the second.
MISSED OUT: Former Vanderbilt All-American Hunter Stewart opens in 65. But an afternoon 74 relegates him to T-7 at 3 under and he fails to advance. … Derek Barron reached the U.S. Open in 2017 but no dice this year. A morning 72 left the former pro baseball prospect too far behind, as his afternoon 67 only put him up to T-7. … Andres Gonzales, a two-time Web.com Tour winner with 125 PGA Tour starts in his career, goes 70-73 to finish 1 over and fall short.