Most golf fans know that Raymond Floyd was one of the game’s great players, winning four majors, including the 1986 U.S. Open at the age of 43, en route to a Hall-of-Fame career. His eldest son with the same name also is quite good with a club in his hand. While he was more successful in the financial world, Raymond Floyd Jr., has managed to qualify for 11 USGA amateur competitions.
And after carding a 1-under 70 in a local qualifier on April 24 at Shorehaven Country Club in Norwalk, Conn., the Tunbridge, Vt., resident is 36 holes away from competing in his first U.S. Open. Floyd was one of five to advance from the site, which included 2007 U.S. Amateur Public Links runner-up Cody Paladino, a reinstated amateur from West Hartford, Conn.
In all, 91 golfers advanced from 20 qualifiers this past week.
In Las Cruces, N.M., on April 25, Garrison Smith, of Mansfield, Texas, survived a seven-hole playoff to grab the last spot. His New Mexico State teammate, Alexandre Bauduin, of France, was the medalist. At the same site, recent Korn Ferry Tour winner Spencer Levin, of Elk Grove, Calif., shot a 69 to advance. In 2004 at Shinnecock Hills, Levin posted the best finish by an amateur in 33 years when he tied for 13th.
In Murfreesboro, Tenn., Jackson Van Paris, of Pinehurst, N.C., posted a 7-under 65 to earn medalist honors. The Vanderbilt sophomore has struggled to make the starting five this past season, competing in just five of 11 events, but now is a step closer to playing at The Los Angeles Country Club in June. Five years ago, at age 14, Van Paris became the youngest player to win a match in the U.S. Amateur since Bob Jones in 1916.
At The Cape Club of Palm City (Fla.) on April 27, 2018 U.S. Amateur Four-Ball champion Garrett Barber, of Stuart, Fla., overcame a triple-bogey 8 on his final hole to qualify in a 5-for-2 playoff. The Louisiana State University graduate student carded a 3-under 69, the same score posted by Olin Browne Jr., of Hobe Sound, Fla. He is the son of 2011 U.S. Senior Open champion Olin Browne. At the same site, Andy Pope, of Glen Ellyn, Ill., posted a 67 and now has a chance to play in his fourth U.S. Open by surviving both stages of qualifying.
And on April 26 at River Landing Golf Club’s River Course in Wallace, N.C., Smith Summerlin, of Raleigh, N.C., graduated to final qualifying three years before the 15-year-old (he turns 16 on June 11) is scheduled to receive his diploma from Broughton High. The third-youngest competitor in the 2021 U.S. Junior Amateur at The Country Club of North Carolina posted a 4-under 68 on April 26. At that same qualifier, North Carolina State freshman Michael La Sasso, of Raleigh, birdied the sixth playoff hole to secure the final spot.