Former University of Washington golfer from Shoreline, whose statistics from 2017 show him making a total $37.50 on one minitour for a 14th-place finish, fired a 68-65 Monday at Portland Golf Club.
PORTLAND — The U.S. Open is all about giving some obscure golfer a chance to win the national championship.
Chris Babcock is living that dream right now. The former University of Washington golfer from Shoreline, whose statistics from 2017 show him making a total $37.50 on one minitour for a 14th-place finish, fired a 68-65 Monday at Portland Golf Club, taking second in the U.S. Open Sectional and therefore earning a spot in the U.S. Open next week at Shinnecock Hills in New York.
Last year, Babcock tied for 21st in a qualifier for the PGA’s Mackenzie Tour in Canada, but played in just one tournament and missed the cut. He tied for 36th in a tour qualifier earlier this year, but hasn’t played in the first two stops of the tour.
Michael Putnam of University Place, who has been struggling to hold on to a PGA Tour card, fired a 64 in his second round in Columbus, Ohio, to go along with a 73 to tie for fifth and earn a spot. He had eight birdies and no bogeys in his 64.
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Joel Dahmen, another former UW golfer, made an 11-player playoff in the Memphis qualifier, but failed to earn one of the three spots.
Those spots in the U.S. Open are cherished. Adam Scott spent five weeks trying to move up in the world rankings to get into the U.S. Open. The last resort was his first 36-hole sectional qualifier, and the former Masters champion and world No. 1 made it Monday with one stroke to spare in the Columbus qualifier.
• Four members of the Washington women’s crew and one from Washington State have been named Pac-12 All-Conference by the Collegiate Rowing Coaches Association. From Washington, the honorees are Marlee Blue, Phoebe Marks-Nicholes, Brooke Mooney and Tabea Schendekehl. From WSU was Emily Morrow.
• Renick Meyer of Seattle Pacific was named the freshman of the year for track in the Great Northwest Athletic Conference. She won three events at the GNAC championships, taking the heptathlon, the long jump and the 100 meters, and she also led off the Falcons’ winning 400 relay team. Her coach, Karl Lerum, was named the women’s coach of the year in the GNAC.
• Gonzaga’s track program signed some of the top high school talent from around the Puget Sound. Distance runner James Mwaura from Lincoln High in Tacoma is heading to the Zags after posting the nation’s best 3,200 time in 8:46.87. He also had a personal best of 4:08.52 in the 1,600 meters. Also signing with the Zags was Matthew Roberts of Interlake High, who had bests of 4:24.49 in the 1,600 and 9:36.69 in the 3,200.