Beaufort News

Burger feasts on Dye course again in US Amateur qualifying

Jacob Burger might have known Colleton River Plantation's Dye Course better than anyone in the U.S. Amateur sectional qualifying field.

He certainly has enjoyed his share of success on the links layout.

Burger, an Orangeburg native entering his senior year at Clemson, fired a second-round 71 on Tuesday to qualify for the U.S. Amateur, which will be held in Erin Hills, Wis., at the end of August. He shared medalist honors at 146 with Charleston native and Duke golfer Austin Cody and Lake City's Tripp McAllister. Jay Degenhart earned the fourth and final berth with a birdie on the first playoff hole.

Burger has qualified for the U.S. Amateur three times on the Dye layout. He also emerged from a U.S. Open local qualifier on the course.

"I love this golf course," Burger said of the 7,200-yard track. "It sets up well for me."

Cody's chances looked slim after he made the turn at 6-over par for the tournament, but he made six birdies on the back nine to punch his ticket. Earlier this year, Cody won the prestigious Rice Planters Amateur in his native Charleston. He said the victory gave him confidence entering the rest of his summer schedule.

Cody made birdies on Nos. 10, 11 and 12 and fired off another string on 15, 16 and 17. Two bogeys kept him from solo medalist honors.

"I knew I had to shoot something under par to have any kind of chance," said Cody, whose 2-under 70 on Tuesday was the best round of the tournament. "I had a pretty good summer coming in. I knew eventually the putts would have to go in."

McAllister, who led after the first round, wanted only to make pars on the final day. The course, set up especially difficult for the sectional qualifier, earned rave reviews for its toughness. And McAllister, set to graduate from Coastal Carolina in December, wanted no part.

But after a bumpy start, including a double bogey at No. 4, McAllister changed his mind-set.

"It kind of went from trying to make pars to trying to make something happen there," he said.

McAllister made birdie at No. 12, and his birdie at the par-5 16th briefly put him back in the lead. Knowing a qualifying spot was all but secure, he played the finishing hole conservatively, laying up on the par 4 and making bogey.

McAllister had previously qualified for a U.S. Junior, but will make his first appearance at a U.S. Amateur.

Degenhart also earned his first trip. His drive on the first playoff hole left him with an awkward lie in a fairway bunker, forcing him to stand in the trap and hack out with a pitching wedge. Degenhart's approach stopped 15 feet behind the hole, and he drained the putt to grab the spot from Jarryd Dillas.

"I knew the way I had been putting, if I could get it up on the green, I would have a chance," said Degenhart, who is from Savannah.

Dillas will be the first alternate and John Varol the second alternate.

Degenhart also had kind words for the course, which will play host to the S.C. Golf Association Amateur Championship on Aug. 4-7. McAllister, Cody and Burger are among those planning to return for the event.

"I cant wait to play it," Cody said. "The scores are going to be high. You've just got to hang around there and shoot even par."

U.S. Amateur Sectional Qualifying

Final round, Tuesday at Colleton River Plantation, Dye Course; Par 72; 7,270 yards

Qualifiers

Tripp McAllister 71-75--146

Austin Cody 76-70--146

Jacob Burger 75-71--146

Jay Degenhart 74-73--147 (won first playoff hole)

First alternate

Jarryd Dillas 74-73--147

Second alternate

John Varol 72-76--148

Failed to qualify

Dykes Harbin 75-73--148

Lee Palms 73-76--149

Jack Hall 75-74--149

Clint Tolleson 76-73--149

John Patterson 76-74--150

Justin Hoft 76-74--150

John Skeadas 73-77--150

Rob Simmons 77-73--150

Scott Melton 76-75--151

Jason Cohan 79-72--151

Matthew Molloy 73-78--151

Cary Phillips 76-75--151

Damon Postal 75-76--151

Daniel Mobley 75-76--151

Jones Brown 73-78--151

Brandon Truesdale 74-77--151

Clark Palmer 74-78--152

Austin Parks 76-77--153

McCuen Elmore 77-76--153

Jon Weiss 76-78--154

Coley Davis 75-79--154

Parker Allen 79-75--154

Layton Truax 78-76--154

David Dannelly 78-76--154

Matthew Laydon 76-78--154

Fredric Nordhoff 79-76--155

Colby Averitte 75-80--155

Austin Frick 78-77--155

Aaron Monson 78-77--155

Casey O'Toole 77-78--155

Camiko Smith 73-82--155

Brian Langley 78-77--155

Michael Grabowski 79-77--156

Matthew Faulkner 77-79--156

Tate Hoisington 76-80--156

Daniel Stanley 78-79--157

Drew Aimone 75-82--157

Brad Sill 78-80--158

Samuel Odi 79-79--158

Justin Olds 78-81--159

Ryan Lynch 78-82--160

Alan King 79-81--160

John Michael Cole 78-82--160

Christopher Faulkner 76-85--161

Jesse Key 77-85--162

Scott McCoy 79-84--163

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