Winters gets 1st alternate at Kaua‘i U.S. Open qualifier

PO‘IPU — Bronzen Winters of Princeville dropped a three-way tie in a sudden death playoff with Sean Maekawa of Pa‘auilo, Hawai‘i Island and D. Matthew Pakkala of Honolulu, Tuesday at The Club at Kukui‘ula.

Playing under calm winds on the typically breezy Kukui‘ula scene, Maekawa won the playoff for the qualifying spot with Winters ending as the first alternate and Pakkala, the second alternate.

Maekawa finished the course on an even par 72 along with Winters and Pakkala.

Thomas Freestone of Lihu‘e followed three strokes back at 75 and Glenn Tamagawa, the Kaua‘i High School golf coach, ending at 76, four strokes off the pace and tying with Kristopher Kitt of Kailua-Kona on the Big Island.

Chad Dusenberry of Waimea ended with a 77 followed a stroke back by Kaua‘i High School’s No. 1 golfer Pono Tokioka at 78.

Ryan Forster of Princeville finished tied with Samuel Rodriguez III of Kaneohe, O‘ahu, at 79 and Dave Werner of Princeville finished tied with Douglas Sutter of Greeley at 80.

Brian Paul of Kalaheo rounded out the field at 82, a stroke back of Chris Keiter of Kailua-Kona and Clint Tanaka of El Sobrante withdrew.

The United States Golf Association conducts 111 local qualifiers for the U.S. Open annually around the United States and two outside the U.S.

The top qualifiers from each Local Qualifier will advance to one of 11 36-hole Sectional Qualifiers.

Of the 11 Sectional Qualifiers scheduled around the country, at least one player from each qualifier will advance directly to the U.S. Open Championship at The Olympic Club, San Francisco, Calif. June 14 through 17.

The U.S. Open is one of 13 national championships conducted annually by the United States Golf Association.

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