Like grandfather, like father, like son. When it comes to qualifying for the U.S. Open golf championship, the Alexanders have few peers.
Skip Alexander, who qualified and played in the five U.S. Open championships from 1946-50, and Buddy Alexander, the men’s golf coach at the University of Florida who won the U.S. Amateur in 1986 and played in two U.S. Open championships in 1987 and ’94, have nothing now on Tyson Alexander.
The youngest Alexander, who will be a senior on his father’s team next fall, will be playing in this year’s U.S. Open June 18-21 at the Bethpage Black Course in Bethpage State Park in Farmingdale, N.Y.
Alexander became a member of the 156-player field when he was the only Gator to qualify for one of the 63 remaining sports in sectional qualifiers. Alexander made a 15-foot birdie putt on his final hole at Lake Nona Golf and Country Club in Orlando to shoot 66, which paired with his morning 71 gave him a 137 total, good for second place behind former Gator player and assistant coach Josh McCumber. It will be McCumber’s second U.S. Open appearance.
“Those last couple holes, I was fighting not to think about what was at stake,” Alexander said. “I was just trying to hit good golf shots. It’s hard when the U.S. Open is on the line.”
In his afternoon round, Alexander went out in 31 thanks to a 25-foot birdie putt on the fourth hole, a 30-foot birdie on the sixth hole and a 30-foot eagle putt on the ninth hole.
Tyler Alexander won the Azalea Invitational last season and is currently ranked No. 17 in the latest Golfweek/amateurgolf.com amateur rankings.
Unfortunately, Alexander’s teammates from the Gators’ NCAA-qualifying team all failed to earn spots in the Bethpage field. Billy Horschel, a four-time All-American for Buddy Alexander, finished tied for 40th among the 110 players trying to qualify in Memphis.
Bank Vongvanij, a teammate, tied for 36th at Orlando with a pair of 74s while Tommy Chung Hao Mou, a member of Florida’s Class of 2009, finished in a tie for 24th after rounds of 70 and 76 at Lake Nona.
At the Rockville, Md., qualifier, Will Strickler tied for 52nd after rounds of 75 and 76 and Robbie Wight was 58th after shooting 74 and 80.