Unfortunately for Wright, pretty well wasn’t low enough to qualify for the U.S. Open Sectional on June 2 that will be played at 10 different locations around the nation, including Ansley Golf Club-Settindown Creek in Roswell.
The seven lowest scorers moved on to the sectionals, and six had already posted lower scores than Wright when stroke play concluded at Marietta Country Club. Wright was in a playoff with seven other golfers for the final qualifying spot and two alternate positions. Following a brief lightning delay, Andres Echavarria of Columbia, South America, claimed the final spot, while Bo Andrews of Georgia Tech and Cameron Hopper of Atlanta finished as the alternates.
Dominic Bozzelli of Pittsford, N.Y. and Maurice Jeffries tied for medalist with a 64. Former University of Alabama golfer Richard Todd, son of the former NFL quarterback of the same name, shot 65, and Georgia’s Mookie DeMoss, Kyle Scott of Tallapoosa and Wade Binford of Fayetteville each fired a 66.
Despite the outcome, Wright said he had one of his better rounds. He ended up with four birdies and just one bogey.
“I was hitting well (today),” Wright said. “I hit a lot of fairways, which was really important out there. The greens were rolling good so if you hit your putts on the line, they were going to go in. I made a couple of good putts.”
Starting on No. 10, normally a par-5, but played as a 486-yard par 4 on Monday, Wright made his first birdie of the day when he sank a 30-foot putt after hitting a 5-iron into the green from 175 yards. The hole helped him set a tone.
Wright went on to birdie Nos. 12 and 14, bogey 16, and then made all pars with the exception of a birdie on No. 8.
Bozzelli came away with seven birdies and one bogey. Also starting on the back nine, he ended his round with three straight birdies. His only bogey came on No. 5 when he lipped out a 10-foot par putt.
Jeffries also finished on the front nine and said his group was put on the clock when he reached the No. 2 hole because of slow play. The quicker pace worked to his advantage. He went on to birdie three in a row, starting at No. 3. He went on to finish with six birdies and no bogeys.
“I hit the fairways and greens, just tried to keep it simple,” Jeffries said. “I putt really well on the (front nine) and stayed patient all day. Bogey-free rounds are also great.”
Kennesaw Mountain standout Jonathan Keppler was 3-under after his first 14 holes, but a bogey on 15 and a triple-bogey on 18 after driving the ball out of bounds knocked him out of contention and finished with a 71.
“They weren’t bad swings, I just didn’t hit the spots I wanted,” Keppler said. “I still shot pretty well, even with a triple on the last hole. Once I bogeyed 15, I knew I had to birdie out.”
Georgia Tech’s Anders Albertson of Woodstock shot 70. Jonathan Cox of Marietta and Kennesaw State’s Jummy Beck both finished with a 71, and Walton’s John Yi shot 73.