Max Adler's dream of playing in next month's U.S. Open at Bethpage Black is still alive -- at least technically.
Adler, a Golf Digest Associate Editor who has been writing about his preparation for Open qualifying in a regular diary on GolfDigest.com, tied for sixth with a one-over 70 in Local Qualifying at The Misquamicut Club in Westerly, R.I., on Thursday. Although only the low-four finishers in the 57-player field were assured spots in Sectional Qualifying next month, Adler did win a three-man playoff for second alternate, allowing for at least an outside chance that he can play 36 holes for a spot in the Open.
"In the words of the USGA official, 'I'd love to wish you luck in sectionals, but it's a pretty slim chance,'" Adler said. "But it was still fun to win the playoff."
Adler, a former college golfer at Washington and Lee University, chose Misquamicut as his Local Qualifying site after firing a 67 there in a casual round last summer. But Thursday, with a spot in sectionals on the line, was a sterner test, and Adler was pleased with how he held up under the strain of competition. His round featured 17 pars, with his lone bogey coming on the par-5 17th hole.
"I had a little nerves, but it wasn't too bad," Adler said. "I managed to keep myself composed and relaxed. I tried to walk slow and not get too amped up ever ... I had some good chances but I also had some really good par saves, so I can't really complain."