U.S. Open sectionals: Former Oregon national title hero qualifies in Portland

Golfweek/Tracy Wilcox

U.S. Open sectionals: Former Oregon national title hero qualifies in Portland

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U.S. Open sectionals: Former Oregon national title hero qualifies in Portland

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, Oregon

Portland GC, Par 71

Four spots available

Scores

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.

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