Tyson Alexander qualifies for U.S. Open

Published: Tuesday, June 9, 2009 at 1:46 p.m.
Last Modified: Tuesday, June 9, 2009 at 1:46 p.m.

Florida golfer Tyson Alexander kept a pretty special and unique family tradition going when he rolled in a pressure-packed birdie putt on his final hole in a U.S. Open qualifier at Lake Nona in Orlando on Monday.

The former Buchholz star’s 17-foot putt earned him a spot in the U.S. Open field at Bethpage Black, where he will extend the Alexander family’s Open tradition.

He will be the third generation in his family to play in America’s national golf championship, following in the footsteps of his father, UF golf coach Buddy Alexander, and his grandfather, Skip Alexander.

“Those last couple holes, I was fighting not to think about what was at stake,” Tyson Alexander said. “I was just trying to hit good golf shots. It’s hard when the U.S. Open in on the line.”

Alexander’s closing birdie gave him a 66 in the afternoon round and left him one shot behind former UF golfer and assistant coach Josh McCumber, who finished at 8-under 136 in the 36-hole Open qualifier. Alexander (137) finished second and Gary Woodland, who was paired with Alexander, took third, one shot behind Alexander. The top three finishers qualified for the Open.

More than 750 golfers across the country were competing in qualifiers the past few weeks to earn one of the 63 remaining spots in the field.

The Open is June 18-21 on the Bethpage Black Course in Farmingdale, N.Y.

Getting into the Open is huge. Especially in the Alexander family.

Tyson’s father played in two U.S. Opens, once after winning the U.S. Amateur in 1986 and a second time in 1994. Skip Alexander played in the U.S. Open five times, between 1946 and 1950, finishing as high as 11th (1948).

Tyson is the only UF player to qualify for the Open. Four others tried.

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