Pebble Beach's Big 11
There's still one sectional qualifier to be completed today in Texas—the finish was delayed because of weather issues—with a few amateurs/collegians in the hunt for the two spots being offered at The Woodlands. Otherwise, here's your roster of amateurs, all but one being a current college player, who will compete in next week's U.S. Open at Pebble Beach.
Ben An, California,*
Bennett Blakeman (graduated from Illinois Wesleyan in 2009)
Joseph Bramlett, Stanford**
Russell Henley, Georgia
Morgan Hoffmann, Oklahoma State
Scott Langley, Illinois
Alex Martin, Indiana**
Ben Martin, Clemson**
Kevin Phelan, North Florida
Andrew Putnam, Pepperdine
Hudson Swafford, Georgia
** Incoming freshman
** Graduating senior
*By comparison, 16 amateurs played last year at Bethpage, Ben Martin being the only "repeat" competitor.
A few of the stories for getting in are pretty cool. Kevin Phelan holed a 30-yard bunker shot on the last hole at Macarthur GC in Florida for an eagle to earn his spot. (This is after he birdied his final hole in local qualifying to advance there last month.
Hudson Swafford redshirted this past season at Georgia after labrum surgery last summer. He was medalist at the qualifier in Memphis that was comprised of primarily PGA Tour pros. Alex Martin was the lone amateur to qualify in the Columbus sectional, where many tour pros who competed at The Memorial were in the field.
Meanwhile, Langley, fresh off his NCAA victory at The Honors Course, claimed the lone spot available at the qualifier outside St. Louis. Not a bad week for the Illinois junior, if you ask me.