Phelan closing on US Open place again

WATERFORD CASTLE amateur Kevin Phelan is on course to qualify for the US Open for the second year in a row.

The 20-year-old scholarship student at the University of North Florida was one of just four players to advance to the US Open final qualifying stage when he finished second in a controversial local qualifier at Sawgrass.

Amateur Sean Dale of Jacksonville shot a three-under-69 to lead the qualifiers by a shot from Phelan but could lose out if the USGA rules that he used a nonconforming wedge on two shots during his round.

Initially told his wedge was nonconforming, he was later told to ship the wedge overnight to the USGA, where it will be tested to see if the grooves are too deep to comply.

Walker Cup hopeful Phelan faces no such problems.

“Once you get to a US Open, you always want to get back,” he said.

“But I tried to keep that out of my mind. You start looking ahead on this course, and it’s going to bite you.”

Claremorris’ Stephen Healy, a golf scholarship student at Jacksonville, is second alternate for one of 11 sectional qualifiers on June 6 after carding a level par 72. Kerry’s Sean Quinlivan qualified for the sectional qualifiers last week when he shot a 70 to finish third at Glen Head Country Club in New York.


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