By the margin of a mere stroke, professional golfer J.T. (John-Tyler) Griffin, a Wilson native, missed qualifying for the U.S. Open in a sectional qualifier at Hawks Ridge Golf Club in Georgia on Monday.
Griffin, who plays on a couple of tours, was denied his first U.S. Open appearance despite posting rounds of 66-72—138, 6-under-par for 36 holes.
Two spots were available among 36 players and claiming the two berths at 7-under 137 were Stephen Jaeger of Chattanooga, Tennessee, at 67-70 and amateur Alex Smalley of Wake Forest at 68-69.
Griffin, a former North Carolina High School Athletic Association 3-A individual champion at Fike High and a standout performer at Georgia Tech, wound up the second alternate in deadlocking for third place.
Named the first alternate after carding a 67-71—138 was amateur Davis Love IV of Sea Island, Georgia. Love is the son of veteran PGA Tour great Davis Love III.
In the qualifying, Griffin, who resides in the Atlanta area, led after the opening round with his 6-under 66.
His chances remained encouraging until a stretch of four bogeys in five holes. Griffin bogeyed Nos. 9, 11, 12 and 13.
Griffin rallied with birdies at Nos. 15 and 18, but missed forcing a playoff by a shot. He also birdied Nos. 7 and 10 in carding a 36-36—72.
The Open is scheduled for June 15-18 at Erin Hills in Erin, Wisconsin.