Wil Collins, a former UNM standout who played on the PGA Tour in 2009, is hoping the third time is the charm in his quest to make it to the U.S. Open again. For the third straight year, Collins grabbed a U.S. Open local qualifying spot to advance to sectional qualifying.
Collins, UNM senior Gustavo Morantes and Albuquerque Academy alumnus Chandler Smith-Stetson are wanting to take the next step from sectional qualifying on June 4 to move on to the 188th U.S. Open at Shinnecock Hills in Southampton, N.Y., June 14-17.
Collins, Morantes and Smith-Stetson each shot 1-under-par 71 to fill the three spots among a field of 44 at the U.S. Open local qualifier at the UNM Championship Golf Club’s South Course on Tuesday.
“This is my third year in a row going to U.S. Open sectionals,” said Collins, who did not make it out of the sectionals the past two years as he did in 2005 and 2013. “I would like to get to New York. This gives me a reason to go to bed early and practice before I head to the office.”
Collins, who had four birdies and three bogeys amid a windy day, lives in Albuquerque as a mortgage salesman. He said he wrote a few emails and made a couple phone calls with regard to work upon finishing his round.
He said Tuesday’s event, “was a nice a distraction and break from the job.”
Morantes, a native of Venezuela, recently finished his senior season with the Lobos. He finished 46th at the Mountain West Conference Championships that ended April 22, shooting 74-78-80 (232) at Gold Mountain-Olympic Course in Bremerton, Wash.
The next closest score to the qualifying 71 was 74 shot by Anton Salome and Tiger Lee, a UNM redshirt sophomore and Morantes’ teammate. Lee won a playoff to be a first alternate for sectional qualifying. Salome, a former Socorro High golf coach, is the second alternate.
Rounding out the top 10 were the following.
T6 (75): Craig Dorcey, David Muttitt, Trey Diehl and Jere Pelletier.
T10 (76): Micah Rudosky, Galven Green, Alejandro Armijo, Greg Condon, Sean Carlon and Tony Mike, Jr.
The U.S. Open qualifier at the UNM Championship Golf Club was the third of 122 local qualifiers nationwide, including May 14 at New Mexico State University Golf Course.