The rain fell steadily Tuesday at the 116th U.S. Amateur, which should have made Puyallup’s Vinnie Murphy feel right at home.
But even he couldn’t find a home-weather advantage.
Needing something under par on the final day of stroke-play qualifying, Murphy made seven bogeys and shot a 5-over-par 75 at the Oakland Hills Country Club South Course in Bloomfield Hills, Michigan.
At 8-over 148, the former Puyallup High School golfer missed the cut, tying for 185th.
“It was brutal. It was tough,” Murphy said. “That course is a beast out there today. If I wanted to get anything done, (Monday) was the day to do it — and I shot
Murphy said if he was going to make a move, it had to be on the first two holes — especially No. 2, a par 5 that most of the field could get to in two shots.
But Murphy’s drive landed in a fairway bunker, and his second shot barely cleared the lip, advancing 30 yards.
He bogeyed two of his next three holes, and Nos. 10 and 11 at the turn, to fall out of contention.
Alex Smalley, out of Wake Forest, North Carolina, was the medalist at 8-under 132.
“It was a great event. It felt like I was playing in a major,” Murphy said. “They treat you like a king. It’s cool.”
Thornton up 5 at Northwest Open
Sumner’s Brian Thornton blistered his opening drive Tuesday and turned to his wife, Jill, in the cart and made one comment:
“I told her it’s time to get this going early,” he said.
Indeed, he did.
Thornton shot a 10-under-par 62 in the second round of the Northwest Open at Wine Valley Golf Club in Walla Walla.
At 13-under 131, Thornton has a five-shot lead over a pair of amateurs — Clarkston’s Michael Baldeck (66) and Richland’s Drew McCullough (69).
Thornton, the 2011 Northwest Open champion, made 10 birdies — including six over his final seven holes.
He was one stroke off his personal-best score — a 61 at Meridian Valley Country Club in Kent, where he is an instructor.
Lakewood’s Highsmith, Oregon’s Slama ARE medalists at PNGA Junior Amateur
Lakewood’s Joe Highsmith birdied the final hole to grab medalist honors at the PNGA Junior Boys Championship at The Home Course.
Highsmith shot 6-under 66 to post a two-round total of 7-under 137 — one shot ahead of Spencer Tibbits.
On the girls side, Ellie Slama, the reigning Pacific Northwest girls player of the year, shot a 68 and grabbed the No. 1 seed at 7-under 137 — four strokes better than Brittany Kwon.
Slama will be a senior this fall at South Salem High School and is Oregon’s reigning Class 6A champion.