Pro golfers vie for U.S. Open spots on Hilton Head Island

USGA Final Qualifier was moved to HHI due to proximity to Congaree for Palmetto Championship
53 players battled it out for five spots in next week's U.S. Open field at Long Cove Club on...
53 players battled it out for five spots in next week's U.S. Open field at Long Cove Club on Hilton Head Island Monday.(WTOC)
Published: Jun. 7, 2021 at 6:33 PM EDT
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HILTON HEAD ISLAND, S.C. (WTOC) - There was little room for error for the 53 players who teed off in Monday’s USGA final qualifier at Long Cove Club on Hilton Head Island.

Only five would earn a spot in next week’s U.S. Open.

The final qualifier was moved to Long Cove Club due to Hilton Head’s proximity to this week’s Palmetto Championship at Congaree PGA Tour stop.

Long Cove head golf professional Bob Patton says the 36 hole events are as much a mental test are they are a physical one.

“You know you’re going to have to shoot well under par. But at the same time, on a difficult day on a difficult golf course, you don’t want to make big numbers. Big numbers equals are going to kill your day too,” Patton says. “I think it’s definitely going to take five or six under to get in. So what’s your mindset when you’re out there and the wind is blowing and you have to make some birdies?”

While Monday’s play was not a PGA Tour event, it is the latest showcase for golf in the Lowcountry.

The Palmetto Championship will be South Carolina’s third PGA Tour event in as many months, following the RBC Heritage on Hilton Head Island in April and the PGA Championship on Kiawah Island in May.

Patton says it’s nice to see the state’s golf industry be featured the way it has in 2021.

“It’s outstanding that the Lowcountry and golf in the Lowcountry is being showcased in this manner,” Patton says. “We’ve had a great year. Last year wasn’t such a great year. But this year is starting out great for golf and the Lowcountry, and we’re very happy about that.”

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