Hopefully for Zane Thomas his math final went as well as his round of golf Monday at TPC Summerlin.
The UNLV sophomore and former Arbor View High School star shot an even-par 71 in the local qualifying for the U.S. Open to advance to sectional play. Thomas was one of eight players in a field of 153 to move on to the 36-hole sectionals, which will be contested June 2. This year’s U.S. Open will be played June 12 to 15 in North Carolina at Pinehurst No. 2.
Joining Thomas were Boulder City’s Joe Harrison and Eric McCardle of Las Vegas, who shared the day’s best round at 1-under-par 70. The other qualifiers were Peter Campbell of Cardiff by the Sea, Calif., David Byrne of Essex, Ontario, and Las Vegas’ John Buffalo, each who had a 1-over 72. The final two spots went to PGA Tour veteran and Henderson resident Craig Barlow and Las Vegas’ Kenny Ebalo, who won a three-way playoff with Matt Nolasco of Henderson after the trio finished at 2-over 73.
Thomas had a busy day Monday and it appeared he was going to have to sweat out his spot in the top eight. He was 2-over with three holes to play. But he made birdie at the par-4 No. 7 and then birdied the par-5 ninth to get to even. He hustled over to UNLV for his final exam, then went to McCarran International Airport for a flight to Chicago, where UNLV is competing in the NCAA Regionals beginning Thursday.
And while Thomas was impressive, his round took a back seat to Harrison’s and McCardle’s, the only players in the field to break par.
“I didn’t know what anyone else had shot,” said Harrison, who teed off in the early afternoon, unaware of McCardle’s 70. “I was able to get up and down a lot and I putted well.”
Harrison also managed his club selection well. He said he hadn’t been hitting his driver well of late, so he left it in his bag for the most part, teeing off with a rescue utility club. His big hole came at the par-5 13th where he made an eagle to go 2-under.
Contact reporter Steve Carp at firstname.lastname@example.org or 702-387-2913. Follow him on Twitter: @stevecarprj.