Blog 209, 6/4/12 - Hard Luck Luke

Casey Martin, shown here at the 1998 US Open, will return to the Olympic Club for next week's championship.
Lake Padden's Luke Bennett will not play in this year's US Open, sadly. At sectional qualifying Monday, the Director of Instruction at Lake Padden shot a morning six-over 77 on the 7,136-yard  Bob Baldock-designed (Dan Hixson-renovated) Emerald Valley GC course in Creswell, Ore., which is home to the University of Oregon golf team, then withdrew in the afternoon.
After a couple of opening pars, Bennett made consecutive bogeys at the 3rd and 4th, then another at the 9th to turn in three-over 38. On the much tougher back nine, he bogeyed the 10th and made a double-bogey six at the 453-yard 14th.
At lunch, Bennett stood eight behind first-round leaders TJ Bordeaux of Tacoma, David Dragoo of Phoenix, Ariz, and Casey Martin, the head coach of the Oregon Ducks who lives with a rare circulatory disorder in his legs called Klippel-Trenaunay-Weber syndrome that makes him unable to walk 18 holes.
Bennett, who was 33rd after the first round, withdrew early. Martin shot a second consecutive 69 to win the sectional and will play in the US Open for the first time since 1998 when the championship last visited the Olympic Club in San Francisco. That year, Martin was allowed to ride a cart and finished tied for 23rd, 11 shots behind winner Lee Janzen.
Joining Martin at Olympic will be either Nick Sherwood, of Albany, Ore., or Daniel Miernicki, of Santee, Calif. The two amateurs both shot three-under 139 for the two rounds to tie for second a shot behind Martin. They will play off in the morning to decide who will be the second automatic qualifer and first alternate.
Scores here.

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