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Kingsport’s Worley qualifies for U.S. Amateur

Pat Kenney • Jul 26, 2016 at 1:10 AM

Kingsport golfer Brandon Worley earned a berth in the U.S. Amateur Championship at Oakland Hills Country Club in Bloomfield Hills, Mich., on Aug. 15-21.

Worley finished tied for second at the U.S. Amateur qualifier held at Willow Creek Golf Club in Knoxville on July 21. Worley shot rounds of 68-72 for a 140 total that got him in a playoff.

There were three golfers in the playoff vying for the final two qualifying positions.

“I had bogeyed my final hole of the day and then had to wait to see if I’d still have a chance,” Worley said.

Worley parred the first playoff hole and that was enough to get him through.

“I’d played in the Willow Creek Invitational the week before and finished second so I had some confidence coming into the qualifier,” said Worley, a graduate student at the University of Tennessee. “I played well in the morning round and then we had some weather issues in the afternoon that caused me some problems. But I was able to hold it together and just stay in it.”

Seven-nine golfers competed for three qualifying spots at Willow Creek.

“This is certainly the biggest thing I’ve done in amateur golf,” Worley said. “I just wish the tournament was this week. My game is really good right now.”

Worley, a Sullivan South High School alum who plays out of Warriors Path State Park, will travel to Oakland Hills early next month to play a practice round with Warriors Path head professional Mark Houser.

“Since I’m playing in the Tennessee State Am at Blackthorn the week before, I thought it would be best to go up early to check out Oakland Hills,” Worley noted. “When I’m finished with the state am, I’ll drive straight up there.”

In the U.S. Amateur, 300 golfers will play two qualifying rounds then the low 64 advance into match play.

“My hope is to play well at Blackthorn and have that give me some confidence going into the U.S. Am,” Worley said.

Glenrochie Invitational closes out local Am tour

The Glenrochie Invitational, set for July 29-31, is the final stop on this summer’s Tri-Cities Amateur Tour.

Entry fee is $170. High school players who are members of their school teams may enter for $120.

This is a 54-hole, stroke-play event with no cut. Divisions include championship, seniors, super seniors and regular flights. Flights will play at 80 percent of handicap.

For more information, call Glenrochie Country Club at (276) 628-3059.