Repeat In Amateur

Mark Harrell will make a repeat summer trip to the United States Amateur. The University of Alabama golfer collected one of the four coveted spots in the U.S. Golf Association Amateur Qualifier in Blythewood, S.C., on Tuesday.

Harrell, a Hazelhurst, Ga., native who will be a junior at Alabama this fall finished third, shooting 67-72/139 on the par 72 course at Columbia Country Club. The top four players advanced.

The 2006 U.S. Amateur will be held August 21-27 in Chaska, Minn., at Hazeltine National Golf Course.

One of Harrell's Alabama teammates, Dwight Rogers, is an alternate. He finished tied for third Monday at the qualifier at Timarron Country Club in Southlake, Texas. There were only two spots available in that qualifier. Rogers, who is from Fort Lauderdale, Fla., was a senior at Alabama this past season.

Three more current Crimson Tide golfers and another former Tide golfer are currently playing for one of the six qualifying spots at the U.S. Amateur Sectional Qualifier at the Piedmont Driving Club in Atlanta, Ga. Play for those spots began Tuesday and concludes Wednesday. Bama's Thomas Hagler of Ringgold, Ga., Matthew Swan of Montgomery and Matt Hughes of Dalton, Ga., are all competing in that qualifier as is former Tide golfer Steve Hudson of Birmingham.

Several other Alabama golfers will compete in other qualifiers around the South in the coming days, including Daphne's Joseph Sykora and Florence's Gator Todd.

Four Alabama teammates advanced to the 2005 U.S. Amateur, including Harrell, Clint Provost, Swan and Sykora. Swan is attempting to make this his third consecutive trip. He and Sykora advanced to match play in the 2005 U.S. Amateur and had no luck with the draw, drawing one another in the second round of match play. Swan advanced but fell to the eventual 2005 U.S. Amateur champion Edoardo Molinari in the third round of match play.

Already it has been a successful month of July for Alabama's golf team. On July 22 three Tide golfers finished among the top six individuals at the 100th Southern Amateur Championship which was held July 19-22 at the Country Club of Birmingham. Hagler, a 2003 U.S. Amateur participant, finished fourth at five under par (69-75-69-66/279) to go with a top three finish earlier this month at the Georgia State Amateur. Swan and Harrell both finished among a tie for third place at the Southern Amateur. Swan shot 71-69-71-70/281 and Harrell shot 70-74-68-69/281.


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