JUPITER, FL – Recent graduate John Coultas put together a good run at qualifying for the U.S. Open on Monday during the sectional qualifying tournament at The Bear's Club in Jupiter, Florida, but the four-time First Team All-American fell just one stroke short of reaching next week's PGA TOUR Event. Advancing to the sectional as an amateur, Coultas was still one of only nine golfers in the two-round tournament to break par at two-under with rounds of 68 and 74.
Coultas started the first round Monday morning with five consecutive pars before converting his first birdie on No. 15. He made the turn at one-under before picking up three more birdies on No. 1, No. 3, and No. 4. A bogey-free round gave him a four-under-par 68, which tied him with Luis Gagne from Costa Rica and Cristian DiMarco from Winter Park, Florida for the best score in the opening round. Coultas was the only player in that round who birdied or parred every hole.
In round two, Coultas started on the front nine but had a double-bogey on one and another on four to start four-over. He fell to five-over after six holes before clawing his way back into contention with birdies on seven, nine and 10. After going one-under on the back nine (and three-under for his final 12 holes), Coultas went to the clubhouse still in the running while most of the other contenders were still finishing their second round.
Gagne, another amateur, also finished early and had all but secured one of the three advancing spots with a second-round 70 that put him at six-under-par 138 for the tournament. Gagne had four bogeys in the second round, but offset those with six birdies and had 11 birdies for the day. He ended up winning by two shots over Richy Werenski from West Palm Beach. Six other golfers tied for third at three-under-par 141, including the University of Florida's Andy Zhang, who in 2012 at the age of 14, became the youngest qualifier in U.S. Open history.