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Valencia Country Club hosts U.S. Open qualifier

Hart grad Johnny MacArthur advances to next stage of U.S. Open qualifying

Posted: May 6, 2013 10:52 p.m.
Updated: May 6, 2013 10:52 p.m.
 

Johnny MacArthur just got one step closer to playing in one of the world’s biggest golf events.

MacArthur, a Hart High graduate, shot a 4-under 68 on Monday at Valencia Country Club to win the medalist honor in a 2013 U.S. Open Local Qualifying event.

That means MacArthur will move on to a Sectional Qualifying event, where he’ll have a chance to play his way into the U.S. Open from June 13-16 in Ardmore, Pa.

MacArthur won Monday’s event by one stroke over fellow amateur Jonathan Garrick. The top five finishers in the field qualified for the Sectional.

Also participating in the event on Monday was West Ranch High graduate J.J. Holen, who shot a 1-over 73 and missed the cut by two strokes.

“This was probably one of the best fields for a U.S. Open qualifier,” Holen said. “Just (because of the) course that it was at and there were a lot of good players in the field.”

Other Santa Clarita Valley golfers playing Monday included Hart High graduates Joe Greiner and Jason Semelsberger along with West Ranch graduate Kyle Blatchford.

MacArthur, who recently graduated from Pepperdine University after playing four year’s for the school’s golf team, was the only of the locals to make the cut.

He, like many other former high school golf starts from the area, had plenty of experience at Valencia Country Club.

“I definitely had some home-course advantage, but I kind of went out there with my mind set of just play myself,” MacArthur said. “And be myself. Play as good as a I can play.”

It was an wild day for MacArthur, but it finished on an upswing.

After a double-bogey on the sixth hole, he finished the day par, birdie, eagle on the seventh, eighth and ninth after starting his round on 10th hole.

His round also included an eagle on the par-4 fifth hole in which he holed out on a 106-yard pitching wedge shot from the fairway.

“I’ve been struggling lately, to be honest,” MacArthur said. “I haven’t been playing well, kind of lost some confidence, kind of haven’t been playing well. And I went out there with an open mind.”

Next up for MacArthur will be a 36-hole Section Qualifier, which will take place at two different courses, Big Canyon Country Club and Newport Beach Country Club, both located in Newport Beach.

That event will take place on June 3, and it will determine the limited number of golfers who will join the 156-player U.S. Open field later in the month.

A total of 9,860 players applied for U.S. Open Qualifying events this year, according to the United State Golf Association.

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