Niceville gives strong showing - but comes up short for qualifying

Five golfers will move on to the next round of qualifying for the US Open Golf Tournament at Los Angeles Country Club in June.ย 

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Chad Smith of Valdosta, Georgia took home the medal for the lowest round at the Rocky Bayou Country Club Qualifier Monday – he shot a 68, which was good enough to take first place for himself.ย 

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Benjamin Purdue (-2) of Chipley, Florida took second place on the day. Jonathan Fricke of Destin shot one under par. Bradley Funderburke of Trussville, Alabama, and Brad Thornton of Lucedale, Mississippi shot even par to round out the group that will move on to the next round.ย 

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The best golfers in the tournament for the Niceville area were Patrick Poate (+3), Caleb Maraman (+4) and Bob Mathers (+5). Poate played during his undergraduate days at Florida Atlantic University in Boca Raton. He currently plays for the University of West Florida as a graduate transfer. Caleb Maraman played at Niceville High School and is currently a Golf Instructor at Regatta Bay in Destin. Bob Mathers is an area golf legend who played at the University of Alabama.ย 

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The five players who qualified will now head to one of 11 courses around the globe for final qualifying – where they will compete for a total of 530 spots against more than 9,000 competitors.ย 

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Niceville Alum Patrick Poate
Niceville Alum Caleb Marian
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