Hudson, Painton Qualify for US Amateur Championship
LAWRENCE, Kansas – Kansas sophomores-to-be Spencer Painton and Daniel Hudson turned in a pair of the best amateur golf performances in their regions over the past two days and qualified for the USGA’s US Amateur Championship, the world’s most prestigious tournament for amateur players.
Painton shot par or better on 35 of 36 holes and drained nine birdies to win the US Amateur Sectional Qualifier at Columbine Country Club in Colorado Tuesday afternoon, a stellar encore to Hudson’s 2-under 142 to force a playoff at the top of the leaderboard at the Wisconsin sectional at Mascoutin Country Club Monday. Hudson’s performance marked his second-straight summer to qualify for the US Amateur, held this year at Olympia Fields Country Club in the suburbs of Chicago, Aug. 17-23.
Painton played nearly flawless golf on the 7,394-yard, par-72 course in his home state, turning in a pair of birdies on the front nine in the first round before his lone bogey on No. 11. He immediately followed that up with a birdie on par-5, No. 12 and added another bird on No. 15 to finish the opening round with a 3-under 69. Painton, who played in one tournament as a scoring member for Kansas and three others as an individual last year, then put the tournament away with five birdies over the final nine holes to card an 8-under, 136 for the tournament.
Hudson found his own birdie streak during the second round of the qualifier in Berlin, Wisconsin, sinking three in a row to start the back nine and birdied No. 18 to force a tie for medalist honors with Marquette senior Zach Gaugert. Hudson, a LaGrange, Illinois native, turned into a regular leader for the Jayhawks during the spring semester of his debut season, finishing in the top 25 in each of the final four events, including a season-best tie for eighth at the Louisiana Classics.
Last year, Hudson and fellow Kansas golfer Brock Drogosch were among the more than 300 golfers in the championship field that included the best of nearly 7,000 entries into qualifying tournaments. Hudson and Painton will compete in two 18-hole rounds of stroke play on Aug. 11 and 12, with the top 64 advancing to match play competition Aug. 13-17.
Past US Amateur Champions include Scott Verplank, Phil Mickelson, Justin Leonard, Tiger Woods, Matt Kuchar and Ryan Moore, among others. This first three days of this year’s US Amateur will be televised on Fox Sports 1, with coverage switching to Fox for the semifinal and championship matches.
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