June 4, 2012
RENO, Nev. – A pair of University of Nevada alums will tee it up at the U.S. Open at the Olympic Club in San Francisco in two weeks after making it through sectional qualifying on Monday.
Michael Allen and Scott Smith both tied for second at the Open’ s sectional qualifying event that concluded Monday in the Bay Area. They will join another Nevada golfer next week in the U.S. Open as Charlie Wi will also be in the field for the second major tournament of the season.
Allen, of Scottsdale, Ariz., shot 67 at Lake Merced and then came in with a 70 at TPC Harding Park to finish with a 2-under 137.
Smith, the Fallon native who turned pro last year after a stellar career at Nevada, also shot 137 to tie for second. Smith shot 68 at Lake Merced and 69 at Harding Park to get in. The duo was part of seven golfers who qualified for the Open from the sectional qualifying event.
For Allen, who has six professional wins including the 2009 Senior PGA Championship, this will mark his fourth career appearance in the U.S. Open and first since 2005. His best finish was a tie for 12th in 2001.
Smith made his pro debut last year at the Reno-Tahoe Open at Montreux Golf & Country Club. He was a two-time NCAA Regional participant during his career at Nevada.
Another former Nevada golfer, T.J. Duncan, also made it through local qualifying and on to sectionals. But Duncan shot 75-73 and was eight back of qualifying.
The sectional event in the Bay Area this week was won by James Hahn of San Bruno, Calif., who shot 70-67 to finish a shot ahead of Allen and Smith, who finished in a four-way tie along with Alex Cejka and Matthew Bettencourt.