Golf

TCU sophomore qualifies for U.S. Amateur Golf Championship

TCU's Turner Maclean earns spot at US Amateur

Turner Maclean had an opening round 68 and closed with a
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Turner Maclean had an opening round 68 and closed with a

TCU’s Turner MacLean and New Mexico’s Andre Garcia are just a couple of college golfers looking down the road at potential professional careers.

Both secured some building blocks for the future Tuesday at Mira Vista Country Club, as the two locals captured co-medalist honors in qualifying for the 2016 U.S. Amateur Championship.

Both, in their first attempts to qualify for any USGA event, earned berths in the championship field to be held in August at Oakland Hills Country Club in Michigan.

“It’s unreal, I’m not really sure how to describe it,” MacLean said. “I didn’t think even par would get in, but then as the day went on, as the conditions got a little worse, I thought there might be a chance.”

In MacLean’s first round, the Fort Worth Country Day alum and sophomore Horned Frog, breezed to a 2-under 68 in benign conditions before collapsing summer storms brought lots of wind without the rain for the final round.

MacLean got off to a tough start, but held on with a 72.

It’s unreal, I’m not really sure how to describe it. I didn’t think even par would get in, but then as the day went on, as the conditions got a little worse, I thought there might be a chance.

TCU golfer Turner MacLean

Garcia, a senior for the Lobos and a Mansfield High School graduate, opened with a 72 in the first round and closed with a 68 to match MacLean.

Then the waiting began as a handful of contenders tried to hang on to early leads.

“It was a grind all the way,” Garcia said. “These 36-hole days, you know they’re going to be long and then you post your score and you got to sweat out the rest of the field after that.

“It was a lot of holes and despite the temperature, it was almost like playing three different seasons out there with all the wind.”

A birdie and a bogey on the back nine (Garcia’s front nine in the second round) set up some heroics on the closing holes.

Garcia birdied No. 5 and No. 8 with laser-like approaches to get it into the clubhouse.

It was a grind all the way. These 36-hole days, you know they’re going to be long and then you post your score and you got to sweat out the rest of the field after that.

New Mexico golfer and Mansfield graduate Andre Garcia

MacLean wasn’t nearly as fortunate, playing a tough stretch of holes at the peak time of the heavy winds, coming away with a couple of bogeys and a front nine 37.

After a bogey on 15 that left him outside the number, he bounced back with a birdie at No. 16 that ultimately sealed the deal.

Pasadena’s Michael Perras closed with a second-round 72 to finish one stroke back and become first alternate.

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