Nearly 9,500 golfers signed up to try to qualify for the 2017 U.S. Open. Less than 1 percent will get there. And, as part of the 99-plus percent who fail is pro golfer Clifton McDonald, who shot a somewhat shocking 127 at a local qualifier on the Robert Trent Jones Golf Trail at Silver Lakes in Glencoe, Ala.
There were five spots in the upcoming sectional round on the line. Former University of Alabama standout Robby Shelton was medalist of the 18-hole event, beating University of Georgia standout Lee McCoy by a shot with a 3-under total.
McCoy actually played with McDonald, witnessing the full 127 shots, and McCoy tweeted an image of McDonald’s website scorecard after it was all done.
— Lee McCoy (@LeeMcCoyGolf) May 11, 2017
Kudos to McDonald for chugging along after that first-nine 68, where he was really done by that 14-5-11 finish to the back side.
Amateurs must have a USGA handicap index of 2.4 or better to attempt qualifying. However, McDonald, not listed as an amateur, wouldn’t be subject to that requirement as a professional. He could actually be declined for future entries to U.S. Open qualifying, as the USGA has a rule requiring entrants to finish within 12 strokes of the qualifying course’s USGA rating or face potential issues trying to enter in the future without documentation of better tournament scores.