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SEEKONK, Massachusetts – Two professional golfers with direct ties to Massachusetts were among the four competitors who advanced from Monday’s U.S. Open Local 18-hole qualifier at Ledgemont Country Club in Seekonk. After firing even-par 70’s, the duo of Billy Walthouse (Longmeadow) and Eric Barlow (Canton) came out in a four-for-three playoff – knocking off Vesper Country Club golf professional Rich Berberian, Jr. – a recent PGA Championship qualifier – to advance to advance to the 36-hole sectional round qualifier taking place on June 3, 2019.
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Walthouse joins medalist Fletcher Babcock (Danielson, Conn.) and lone amateur Tyler Cooke (Warwick, RI) to complete the first stage of U.S. Open qualifying while Berberian, Jr. and Peter French (Franklin, Mass.) garnered first and second alternate status respectively.
Walthouse, who recently qualified for the PGA Tour Canada’s MacKenzie Tour with a T6 finish in their Tour Qualifier held at Dye’s Valley Course at TPC Sawgrass, registered three birdies to three bogeys to finish at even-par 70, one stroke behind the medalist Babcock. With his finish on Monday, this marks the second straight year that the University of Rhode Island alum, entering his second full year as a professional, has advanced to the sectional round of U.S. Open qualifying. Last year, he advanced from the Pawtucket Country Club local qualifier.
Eric Barlow, of Canton, Mass. and the Director of Instruction at Winchester Country Club, rebounded from an early double-bogey on the par-3 sixth hole by registering four birdies in his final 11 holes to earn a spot in the eventual playoff that decided who would advance to next month’s sectional round.
Earlier this season, the 39-year old Barlow was part of the winning team that captured the NEPGA’s Massachusetts Chapter 6,6,6 Tournament that was contested at Norton’s TPC Boston course.
The two qualifiers join fellow Bay Staters Jim Renner, Matt Parziale, Jimmy Hervol, and Rich Werenski who have now advanced to sectional qualifying, either by advancing through the local qualifying round or via exemption. Wellesley resident Michael Thorbjornsen, the reigning U.S. Junior Amateur champion, is automatically exempt into the Championship Proper at Pebble Beach as a result of his national championship victory last summer.
Mass Golf will be conducting two additional U.S. Open qualifiers this week. On Tuesday, May 7, two competitors will qualify for the sectional round of U.S. Open qualifying at Berkshire Hills Country Club in Pittsfield while five spots to sectional qualifying will be on the line Thursday, May 9, at Pinehills Golf Club in Plymouth. Both qualifiers will be contested at 18-holes.
Mass Golf will provide coverage for the two remaining U.S. Open local qualifiers being contested in Massachusetts on May 7 and May 9. Visit MassGolf.org and follow @PlayMassGolf on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram for the latest information. To join the conversation, use the hashtag #MassGolf and #USOpen.