LAKEWOOD — LAKEWOOD – Jarred Bossio’s 71/2-hour solo drive back home to Olympia on Friday was miserable.
The former Capital High star had just blown a three-stroke lead at the Pacific Coast Amateur at Bandon Dunes in Oregon. He shot a 10-over 82 in the final round to finish well out of a playoff.
And he knew his chances of a crowning capper for his amateur career were passing him by.
That is, until Wednesday – when Bossio, 22, was one of three golfers to qualify for the 141st U.S. Amateur, which starts Aug. 13 at Cherry Hills Country Club in Denver.
Mike Haack, the assistant bar manager at Meridian Valley Country Club in Kent, was the qualifying medalist at RMG Club at Oakbrook at 6-under-par 134. He shot two rounds of 67.
Woodinville’s Jarrett Foote, a former University of Portland golfer now at Washington State, was second at 138. He was one of three golfers to shoot 67 in the morning round.
And Bossio, who just finished his playing career at Idaho, rallied with an afternoon 68 to claim the final spot at 139.
“There was definitely some disappointment (at Bandon) because I felt like I was ready to enter that new level and break through,” Bossio said. “But I would have given that (win) up to qualify for the U.S. Amateur. ... It is the next-best thing to the U.S. Open.”
The turning point came at the 13th hole, or his fourth hole in the afternoon. It was a par 3 over a pond. Earlier, Bossio chunked an 8-iron in the water hazard, and made double bogey.
This time, he struck his tee shot much better, landing it 8 feet from the hole, and sinking the putt for birdie.
And on the next hole, a straightaway par 5, he rolled in a 6-footer for another birdie.
“The birdies,” he said, “started to fall.”
When the last few contending groups came in with higher scores than his, it was then Bossio started to celebrate. He made it to the 2010 U.S. Amateur at Chambers Bay Golf Course, and lost to Harris English in the first round of match play.
“I wasn’t ready for this qualifier to be my last amateur event,” said Bossio, who has one more semester of school to complete before he turns professional. “I still have got some work to do, but my games fits the USGA-style courses – high and long.”
As for Haack, 33, this is also his second U.S. Amateur – but first one in 14 years.
He earned a spot at the 1998 U.S. Amateur at Oak Hill Country Club in North Carolina after his freshman season at the University of Nevada in Reno.
What does he recall from that experience?
“How overwhelmed I was,” he said. “Being a freshman, you haven’t really even learned how to play golf yet.”
Spencer Weiss, the third person to shoot 67 in the morning, was done in by a triple bogey at the 18th hole in the afternoon to finish at 140. The Eastlake High junior lost in a three-hole playoff for the first-alternate spot to Kyle Cornett, who will be a senior at Jackson High School.firstname.lastname@example.org 253-597-8442 blog.thenewstribune.com/golf @ManyHatsMilles