Hughes medals at U.S. Open qualifying


ROCKVILLE -- Bradley Hughes, a touring pro from Melbourne, Australia, earned the medal with 64-67131 in sectional qualifying for the U.S. Open at Woodmont Country Club and Congressional Country Club yesterday.

With the field of 150 shooting for 34 places, 29 players had 139 or better, and 14 players played off for the last five spots.

Among those missing was Wayne DeFrancesco, a teaching professional at Woodholme CC, who went out at the third extra hole.

Players had one round over Congressional's Gold Course and one round over the North Course at Woodmont. Tommy Armour III shot 7-under-par 63 (with a bogey) for the low round at Congressional and followed it with a 1-over-par 73 at Woodmont for 136.

PGA Tour players Clark Dennis (132) and Brian Kamm (133) fol

lowed Hughes, with four more players at 135, including John Stacey, a professional from Congressional CC.

Mark Brooks, who won the Kemper Open on Sunday, got in with 71-68139. Playing Woodmont in the afternoon, he had seven birdies and three bogeys. He got the stroke he needed to stay out of the playoff when he hit driver, 8-iron to 10 feet and made the birdie putt at the 385-yard 17th.

Aside from Stacey and DeFrancesco, other area scorers included Donnie Hammond, 141; Phil Henry of the Elkridge Club, 149; Brett La- Pierre, Baltimore CC, 154; and amateur Adrian Druzgala of Hobbit's Glen, 156.

Hughes won the Australian Masters last year and was second on an Order of Merit list to get an invitation to the Memorial and, subsequently, a foreign player exemption to the Kemper, where he tied for 57th after a closing-round 76.

As for the U.S. Open, "I was exempt to play here -- I don't know how -- and I figured since I was here, I'd try and play in it," Hughes said.

Dennis, who had shot 75 at the Kemper Sunday and tied for 44th, opened at Congressional with a 5-under 30.

"The Kemper was my seventh tournament in a row and I'm a little fried. I was either going to be really good, or really bad," he said of his 65-67.

Metropolitan qualifying

Leigh Farrell, from the Country Club of Maryland, won the medal with a 3-over-par 76 during qualifying for the annual event at Woodholme Country Club.

Connie Pifer of Hunt Valley shot 79, and was the only other to break 80 among 70 starters.

The first round of match play will be today at Sparrows Point CC, where defending champion Andrea Kraus of Woodholme CC, heads the 16-player championship draw.

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