Golfer Wells qualifies for US Amateur

LENOIR CITY, Tenn. -- Junior All-SEC standout Chris Wells defeated Steve Golliher of Knoxville, Tenn., in a one-hole playoff Monday at the Avalon Landmark Golf Club to qualify for a spot in the 105th United States Amateur Championship.

Wells followed his 5-under 67 in the opening round with an even-par 72 in the second to tie Golliher with a two-day total of 5-under 139. Wells defeated Golliher by making par on the first playoff hole.

"It's an awesome feeling to qualify," Wells said. "Even though I didn't play as well in the second round as I did in the first, I was able to birdie two of the last three holes to get into the playoff. I tried to make it the last two years but came up short. It's just a great feeling because it's my first time."

Wells was one of three players in the field of 72 to qualify. Andrew Black of Chattanooga, Tenn., won the qualifier by four strokes with an 11-under 133, while Carter Henderson of Nashville fired a 7-under 137 to finish in second place.

The U.S. Amateur Championship will be held at the historic East Course of Merion Golf Club in Ardmore, Penn., Aug. 22-28. With the fall semester beginning Aug. 22, Wells will be forced to miss the first week of school to compete in the tournament.

"I'm going to be coming back down to Baton Rouge in the next couple of weeks, and I'll practice at the University Club to prepare for the tournament," Wells said. "I'm just going to have to work something out with my professors since I'll be missing a little bit of school. I wouldn't miss the chance to play in my first U.S. Amateur."

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