Blog 263, 6/5/13 - Wong Comes Up Short at Tumble Creek

TylerWongTyler Wong (right) finished tied for 21st in US Open sectional qualifying at Suncadia's Tumble Creek course on Monday shooting rounds of 76 and 78 on the tough, 7,043-yard Par 70 designed by Tom Doak.
Only two players from the field of 34 made it through to the championship to be played at Merion GC in Philadelphia next week - Wil Collins from New Mexico who completed the 36 holes in two-under 138, and Taiwan's Cheng-Tsung Pan, a sophomore at the University of Washington, who finished a shot behind.
Wong had earned his place at the sectional by finishing tied for sixth in a regional qualifier held at Bellingham Golf & Country Club on May 6th. That day he shot two 69s, and he was just two more good rounds away from teeing it up against the best players in the world on one of the country's most revered courses. BellinghamGolfer caught up with Tyler yesterday.

How did you play? Did you hit the ball well and have trouble on the greens, or vice versa?
I thought I played pretty well in the first round. The course was in perfect condition, but the wind was blowing. In conditions like that, if you miss-hit a ball slightly the wind can do anything to it. I hit three shots that I felt were great but which the wind picked up and left me in difficult situations. The greens were running at about 13 on the stimpmeter, and there were some tough pin locations too which just made it really difficult.
I didn't play as well in the afternoon, but in both rounds, I had trouble on the 7th, 9th and 16th holes. I doubled 16 twice. 

How did you feel driving home?
Brian Kruhlak (who caddied for me) and I were bummed, but it was fun. I'm a golf junky so we played 36 holes on Sunday in the practice round, and obviously 36 again on Monday, and we had a blast. But we were disappointed my first-round score didn't really reflect how well I'd played. It wouldn't have mattered ultimately, but it would have been nice to post something in the low 70's. Either way, it was really fun.

How does this affect your outlook going forward? Will knowing you came pretty close to qualifying for the US Open help your confidence for future tournaments?
I honestly don't know yet. I'm pretty motivated to play well, but we'll see. 

Western Washington University's Jack Kelly finished T30 on 162. Canadian James Allenby, who won the regional qualifier at Bellingham GCC thanks to a first-round 61, came back to Earth with a bump, shooting 82, 73 to finish tied for 24th.
Results here.



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