MACON, GEORGIA – Kennesaw State redshirt freshman Grant Sutliff qualified for the 2018 U.S. Amateur Championship after tying for fourth place during sectional qualifying that concluded Tuesday (July 24) at the Brickyard Golf Club in Macon, Ga.
Sutliff posted rounds of 71 and 70 for a 3-under par total of 141 on the par-72, 7,128-yard layout to tie Davis Stone of Brentwood, Tenn., and finish two shots behind Ryan Marter (Columbia, S.C.) and Trent Phillips (Immon, S.C.), who shared co-medalist honors with 5-under par scores of 139.
“It’s pretty exciting qualifying for the U.S. Amateur,” Sutliff said. “I wasn’t coming in set on qualifying, I just wanted to come in have fun, play well and see where I ended up. The course was wet and they couldn’t cut the fairways so that made it a little more difficult, but I was able to play consistent golf, hitting fairways and greens and two-putting.”
The Cumming, Ga. native was one of six individuals from the sectional to qualify for the 118th U.S. Amateur Championship that will be contested Aug. 13-19 at Pebble Beach Golf Links and Spyglass Hill Golf Course in Pebble Beach, Calif.
“It’s amazing now to have the chance to play Pebble Beach and Spyglass Hill,” Sutliff said. “I’ve been talking the last couple weeks that the reason I wanted to qualify was for the opportunity to go out and play Pebble Beach and Spyglass Hill in the U.S. Amateur. That may be a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.”
Sutliff posted three birdies, including one on the 18th hole to post a 1-under par 71 during Monday’s opening round before recording four birdies during a 2-under par 70 round on Tuesday. After a bogey on the par-4 13th hole dropped him to even on his final round, Sutliff registered birdies on the par-3 143-yard 14th and par-4, 424-yard 16th to move to 2-under before recording pars on the 17th and 18th holes.
“I knew exactly where I stood on the back nine,” Sutliff said. “I like to know where I stand because I don’t want to be too aggressive if I don’t need to be. I birdied No. 12 then gave it back on No. 13 and knew I had to make two birdies coming in.”
Sutliff is one of seven Kennesaw State individuals to qualify for the U.S. Amateur Championship. Others who have qualified include Jeff Karlsson and Matt Nagy in 2011, Jimmy Beck and Austin Vick in 2014, Chris Guglielmo and then incoming freshman Jake Fendt in 2015, and Guglielmo in 2016. Beck advanced to the first round of match play in 2014.
“I am extremely proud of Grant for qualifying for the U.S. Amateur Championship,” Kennesaw State head coach Bryant Odom said. “It’s the biggest and most prestigious amateur tournament in the world and a USGA national championship. I couldn’t think of a better way for a golfer to end the summer before starting the fall collegiate season.”