Area golfers do well in Open qualifiers

 Jessica Korda was wearing a new pair of contact lenses Monday at the U.S. Women’s Open qualifier at The Oaks Club.
That’s why she did not get a good look at her signature shot. It came on the ninth hole of the Eagle course, a par 5.

 "I knew I had hit low and hard," she said. "But I didn't see where it ended up. I asked my caddie (Terry McNamara), and he said I was putting for an eagle"

This came on the second 18 of the 36-hole qualifier. It ended up 15 feet from the hole, and Korda rolled it in. The eagle gave her a 30 for the front nine, and it catapulted her to a round of 66 and medalist honors for the second year in a row at 8-under-par 136.

Bradenton and Sarasota golfers dominated women's and men's U. S. Open qualifiers on Monday on two separate courses.

Korda will be going to the U.S. Women's Open at Broadmoor in Colorado Springs, Colo., but not before she attends her senior prom at Pendleton High School in Bradenton on Thursday.

Also qualifying were Victoria Tanco of Bradenton by way of Argentina, and Doris Chen, the 2010 U.S. Girls Champ. Tanco finished six strokes behind Korda, and Chen, who attends IMG Academies along with Tanco, survived a playoff for the third spot.

Jane Park of California defeated Hannah Yun of Bradenton for the fourth and final berth. This is the fourth consecutive trip to the U.S. Women's Open for Korda and Tanco.

 "I like this golf course," said Korda, who matched her 2010 qualifying score on the same tract. "It is just visional comfortable."
 The tall, long-hitting Korda posted a 70 on the first 18.

"I was shaky at the start, but then I just started ripping it," she said.

At the Ritz-Carlton Members Club, three guys who competed against each other in high school advanced to the sectional qualifying.

Mike Barbosa of St. Petersburg birdied three of the last four holes to shoot a 67 for medalist honors. Barbosa played high school golf at Saint Stephen's in Bradenton and earned a scholarship to Georgia Tech. After getting a law degree, he works as a financial consultant in St. Petersburg.

Joey Lamielle, who advanced through the rigorous qualifying process in 2008 to reach the U.S. Open, shot a 68 with seven birdies. Lamielle finished second in the just-completed West Florida Golf Tour. Lamielle prepped at Booker High and went to college at Florida Gulf Coast University.

Brian Ward, Riverview High and University of Tampa grad, was one of five players tied at 69. He survived a playoff for one of the five qualifying spots.

       All three are 28-years-old and plan to enter the sectional at Vero Beach on June 6.

On Monday, May 9, one day after winning the City of Sarasota Men's Championship, Chris Kennedy of Lakewood Ranch fired a 68 to qualify at Hunter's Green in Tampa. Television golf analyst Gary Koch was the medalist with a 67.

U.S. Open Women's Sectional Qualifier At The Oaks Club
Four Spots
Jessica Korda, Bradenton, 136, medalist
Victoria Tanco, Bradenton, 142, qualified
Doris Chen, Bradenton, 144, qualified
Jane Park, California, 144, qualified
Hannah Yun, Bradenton, alternate
Jodi Ewart, Sarasota, 144, alternate

U.S. Open Local Men's Qualifier At The Ritz-Carlton Members Club
Five Spots
Mike Barbosa, Saint Petersburg, 67, medalist
Joey Lamielle, Sarasota, 68, qualified
Brian Ward, Sarasota, 69, qualified
Luis Thiele, Brazil, 69, qualified
Travis Perkins, Lewis Center, Ohio, 69, qualified
Tyler Witman, Bradenton, 69, first alternate
Cole Taylor, Oakland, Ill., 69, second alternate


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