Citizen Staff Writer
As close to perfect as he dared to get in the maddening game of inches Monday, Matt Rosen relearned a valuable lesson.
“I know everybody says it, but you have to play each shot (one) at a time,” the former St. Gregory College Prep star said. “You have to be mentally into each shot.
“Well, I forgot it once. . . .”
And because of it, he missed a 2-foot putt on the Tucson Country Club par-3 No. 16 hole. At least no serious damage was done.
Rosen shot a 5-under-par 67 Monday to advance with five others – including two others with Tucson ties – to the sectional round of U.S. Open qualifying play.
Golfers doing well in the sectional round will advance to June’s U.S. Open.
Rosen, a regular member of the Phoenix-based Gateway minitour, forgot about the missed putt and got himself into the right frame of mind.
“It wasn’t easy,” he said of parring the next two holes.
“I hit a perfect approach and thought, ‘Well, let’s get out of here,’ ” he said.
Ryan Dillon of Desert Springs shot a 64 to lead the qualifiers, who also included recent former University of Arizona players Nathan Tyler (66) and Creighton Honeck (67), Chandler’s Andrew Yun and Mesa’s Andrew Augustyniak, who both won out in a six-player playoff after firing 68s.
Notable in the day’s play was the 31 of Salpointe Catholic High senior Ricky Lee on the second nine. He ended with 69, as did ex-Salpointe and UA Wildcat Brian Prouty, who missed a 6-foot putt by inches on No. 18.
Tyler has thrived on the Gateway, last year in Texas and this year in Phoenix, but is looking for his first win.
“We’re out here to peak in time for Q School (PGA Qualifying School),” Tyler said.