The Loop

Levin Qualifies, Starts Well At Sony

January 11, 2008

HONOLULU--Spencer Levin has never lacked for confidence, which he boldly demonstrated by traveling to Honolulu to attempt to Monday qualify for the Sony Open in Hawaii. The odds of succeeding in Monday qualifiers are not especially good--here, 64 players were attempting to qualify for four spots. To travel 2,500 miles to make the attempt is a leap of faith.

Levin's belief in himself paid off; he shot 67 at Makaha Resort and G.C., to make the field, then shot a three-under-par 67 at Waialae C.C. in the first round of the Sony to put himself on the leader board.

"If I don't make it (in qualifying), I'm in Hawaii," said Levin, who by virtue of tying for 42nd at the PGA Tour Qualifying School has full Nationwide Tour status. "If I don't make it, I was going to make a vacation out of it. In the meantime, I would get a little competition in."

Levin, 23, has not played in a tournament since the Qualifying Tournament. The Nationwide Tour does not begin until Jan. 24.

Last year, Levin played on the Canadian Tour, winning twice, on consecutive weeks. He introduced himself to the golf world when, as an amateur, he shot a 69 in the first round of the 2004 U.S. Open at Shinnecock Hills, a round that featured a hole-in-one at 17, his first swing following a rain delay. Eventually he tied for 13th and was the low amateur.

Lately, he has played well in practice at home in the Sacramento, he said, but came here expecting nothing.

"I never expect anything," says Levin. "When I play, my goal is to play my hardest on every shot."

--John Strege