May 19, 2009
LONE TREE, Colo. - Air Force golfer Tom Whitney (Jr., La Quinta, Calif.) finished fifth at the U.S. Open Local Qualifying at Lone Tree Golf Club on Monday to advance to the Sectional Qualifying, which is the final step en route to the U.S. Open, which will be played June 18-21 at Bethpage State Park's Black Course in Farmingdale, N.Y.
Whitney, who finished Monday's round tied for fifth place with a 4-under-par 68, chipped in for a birdie on the second playoff hole to earn the final qualifying spot over Colorado's Tom Gempel. He joins Pat Grady, Jason Preeo, Caine Fitzgerald and Jacob Letishen, who will all move on to the Sectional Qualifying tournament, which will be held June 8 at Columbine Country Club in Littleton, Colo.
Whitney is coming off a 27th-place finish at the 2009 NCAA Men's Golf South Central Regional Championship, which was held last weekend at the Karsten Creek Golf Course in Stillwater, Okla. He was the Falcons' top performer throughout the 2008-09 season, finishing the year with a 72.0 stroke average, setting a school record in that category.