Former Troy State golfer qualifies for U.S. Open field

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, June 12, 2001

Former Troy State men’s golf standout Ben Bates has qualified for the 101st United States Open Golf Championship. The Championship will be held at Southern Hills Country Club in Tulsa, Okla., June 14-17.

The Havana, Fla. resident emerged from sectional qualifying when he finished third among 48 qualifiers at Woodmont Country Club in Rockville, Md. with a 65-71-136 total. He will tee off at 11:20 a.m. on Thursday and 7:00 a.m. on Friday. The starting field of 156 golfers will be cut after 36 holes to the low 60 scorers (and ties), and any player within 10 strokes of the leader.

Bates, who lettered at TSU from 1979-1984 (1981-82 was a redshirt year), was a second team All-America selection in 1983 and a member of four Gulf South Conference team championships. As a sophomore, he won the 1981 GSC individual title and finished his career as a three-time All-GSC honoree. As a senior in 1984, he helped guide the Trojans to the NCAA Division II National Championship after finishing second in 1983.

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Bates enters the U.S. Open on a roll after finishing in a tie for 12th at last week’s FedEx St. Jude Classic. He shot an 11-under par 70-69-70-64-273 for his best finish on tour since a ninth place showing at the 2000 Westin Texas Open.

Since turning pro at the end of his college career, Bates has earned over $800,000 and recorded 25 top-10 finishes on the PGA and Tours.