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No SCV golfers qualify for U.S. Open

Two local products play in U.S. Open Sectional Qualifying events; both fall short

Posted: June 2, 2014 10:48 p.m.
Updated: June 2, 2014 10:48 p.m.

It’s often referred to as the longest day in golf.

Thirty-six holes in one day for a chance to play in the U.S. Open.

For two Santa Clarita Valley players in U.S. Open Sectional Qualifying events on Monday, a long day became longer.

Both Hart High graduate Jason Gore and West Ranch graduate J.J. Holen failed to advance to one of golf’s most revered tournaments.

The two of them were among nearly a thousand professional and amateur golfers vying for around 70 spots remaining in the U.S. Open.

Gore and Holen were competing in Daly City at both Lake Merced Golf Club and the Olympic Club Ocean Course.

There were a total of 110 players at the Daly City qualifier with the top five moving on.

Gore, who turned 40 last month, finished with a 36-hole score of 2-under 141 and tied for 14th place, while Holen ended up at 7-over with a score of 150.

The needed score to qualify was 6-under.

“(During my practice rounds), I was hitting little 5-yard draws off the tee and today everything was going right,” said Holen, who finished up his junior year with Long Beach State’s golf team. “These courses up here, you’ve got to be on the fairways to score.”

Holen posted scores of 73 at the Ocean Course and 77 at Lake Merced.

Gore started his day off with a 74 at Lake Merced, but then fought back into contention when he eagled the 11th hole on the Ocean Course and was within two strokes of cracking the top five.

A bogey late in his round ended his chances though. He shot a 67 for his second round.

So far this season, Gore has enjoyed a strong season playing on the Tour, which is the PGA’s developmental circuit.

Gore is ranked 13th on the money list. His status on the tour gave him an exemption to Monday’s qualifier.

Had Gore qualified, he’d be headed to the U.S. Open from June 12-15 at Pinehurst Country Club, the same course where he once captured the nation’s attention by becoming an unlikely co-leader after the first two rounds of the 2005 U.S. Open.

Holen, on the other hand, is still a young amateur making his way through the college circuit.

He had to earn his way into Monday’s event by making his way past a Local Qualifier on May 5 held at TPC Valencia.

He shot a 2-under 70 that day to advance while playing among a field filled with local golf talent.

“It’s still sinking in,” Holen said. “I was super pumped after the local qualifier. That was good. I was actually probably more nervous at the local qualifier. I don’t know if that’s because it was at TPC, at a local course or what.”


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