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Armijo contends at U.S. Am qualifier

For three years at Cleveland High School, Alejandro Armijo performed quite the balancing act as a two-sport athlete during the spring.
He competed in track and field, and more importantly for him, he was also on the golf team. On the track and field team, he ran the 200- and 400-meter races. He was on three relay tams and also competed in the triple jump and long jump in his freshman, sophomore and senior years.
“It worked out fine,” Armijo said in a phone interview. “It was a tough path, but I was able to manage it.”
Golf always seems to be a tough path, but Armijo is managing it quite well. He shot a 3-under par 69 Monday and is in contention to grab one of two spots at the U.S. Amateur Qualifier at UNM Championship Golf Course.
Greg Yellin, an incoming sophomore at UTEP, leads after shooting 6 under. Zach Burkholder, who plays for Lubbock Christian University and is from Chandler, Ariz., shot a 68.
Yellin, Burkholder and Armijo tee off at 10 a.m. in today’s final round.
They are trying to advance to the 118th U.S. Amateur Championship at Pebble Beach Golf Links and Spyglass Hill Golf Course in Pebble Beach, Calif. Aug. 13-29.
Armijo, who graduated from Cleveland last month and is headed to play golf at Oregon Tech, an NAIA school, collected six birdies, four on the back nine, with three bogeys. He had his younger brother, Enrique, also a standout golfer at Cleveland, as his caddy.
Armijo opened his round with a birdie, but followed that up with a bogey. He said that has been a pattern for him in recent tournaments. He knew he had to switch gears.
He said his brother helped him change his thought process, focusing more on accuracy.
“I’m just going to go in with a clear mind,” Armijo said of today’s final round. “I like my position. I like the course. I’m just going to focus on being in the moment and staying relaxed. If I do that the rest will take care of itself.”
Dustin Anderson and Austin Escamillia both shot 70. Isaac Merry, the NMSU grad who recently won the New Mexico-West Texas Amateur Championship, and Patrick McCarthy, the two-time Greater Albuquerque City Championship winner, also broke par with a 71. Gustavo Morantes, who played at UNM, Tristin Goodwin and Bowen Davis, the Journal’s Metro Boys’ Golfer of the Year out of Manzano, also shot 71.

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