By Michael Curet, PGATOUR.COM Contributor
Former University of Alabama golfer Hunter Hamrick and PGA TOUR veteran Shane Bertsch earned medalist honors with 64s at Boulder Creek Country Club in the Monday qualifier for two of the four spots in this week’s Justin Timberlake Shriners Hospital for Children Open.
Patrick Reed, a six-time qualifier who shot 65, and Roland Thatcher were the other two to gain entry into the event. Reed was among a handful of golfer’s who competed for the last spot in a Tuesday morning playoff after failing to complete his round Monday due to darkness.
Hamrick, a Montgomery, Ala., native and a former teammate Bud Cauley, made his pro debut in this year’s U.S. Open at Olympic Club in San Francisco — securing a position on the weekend in his first major with a second-round 67. Once featured in Sport’s Illustrated’s “Faces in the Crowd”, Hamrick was the youngest player in the 2006 U.S. Amateur field at age 15.
Bertsch, a native of Denver and a Texas A&M graduate, first turned professional in 1994. This year, he’s made five of 13 cuts on the PGA TOUR, which included a tie for 31st at the True South Classic. His best career finish on TOUR came at last year’s Frys.com Open, where he tied for fourth. Bertsch also has a pair of Web.com Tour victories to his credit, at the Upstate Classic in 2000 and the BMW Charity Pro-Am at The Cliffs in 2005.
Once a highly-ranked junior tennis player, Bertsch, began seriously concentrating more on golf following a loss as a youth to former world No.1 Andre Agassi.
Reed, a 21-year-old San Antonio, Texas, native and former All-American at Augusta State, leads all PGA TOUR players in 2012 in successful qualifying attempts with six. He’s made five cuts in nine appearances on TOUR. Most recently, he posted his best outing — a tie for 21st at the True South Classic at the end of July. At the Travelers Championship, he tied for 47th with three rounds in the 60s. He also made the weekend at the Valero Texas Open (T35), Zurich Classic (T23) and Wells Fargo Championship (T32).
Thatcher enjoyed his best finish this year with a tie for fourth at the Travelers Championship. He also earned another top 25 in Puerto Rico, where he made one of his six cuts in 17 starts on TOUR. The 35-year-old was close to standing in the winner’s circle twice in his career, finishing runner-up at the 2009 Buick Open after a final round 64 and again in 2010 at the Children’s Miracle Network Classic.
- Shane Bertsch
- PGA TOUR
- Roland Thatcher