Scott Smith will not be golfing in the Barracuda Championship this summer.
His eyes are set on something much bigger.
The 2006 Fallon grad and ex-Nevada golfer qualified for the U.S. Open sectional for the third year in a row after posting a 70 (2-under) at Edgewood Tahoe Golf Club at Stateline Monday. Smith, who didn’t qualify for Reno’s Barracuda Championship this week, instead will compete next month in the sectional qualifier with a spot to the U.S. Open on the line.
“It’s a tough game. There are so many good players out there,” Smith said. “There’s a fine line. I’m right on the cusp. All I can do is keep working hard and get on the other side of that line.”
Smith’s no stranger to professional golf.
He’s competed in the Reno tournament several times as well as many Web.com tournaments through the years since graduating from Nevada. Smith, though, qualified for the U.S. Open once before in San Francisco five years ago.
Smith qualified last year for the U.S. Open sectional but was one stroke away from advancing and in 2014, he needed a birdie on the last year. Smith said he didn’t play his best round on Monday but likes his chances to advance next month.
“I feel like this was the worst round I could have shot on Monday,” said Smith, who finished seventh in the Reno Open qualifier to miss out on the Barracuda Championship. “I was playing well and giving myself chances. I was struggling reading the green. I couldn’t make any mid-range putts. I felt really comfortable out there and my game was pretty sharp. I felt like that was the highest score I could have shot all day.”
This year’s sectional will be in Newport Beach, Calif., on June 5. Between five and 10 golfers will advance to the U.S. Open at Erin Hills (WI) from June 12-18.