Had the Kennesaw State sophomore been successful, he would have been the only local player to have qualified for the U.S. Open Sectional. Of the 18 local players who played Monday, none of them placed in the top eight, and the wind seemed to have played a role.
Beck ended up in a playoff after tying Peter and Lee McCoy of Clarksville with an even-par 70.
With McCoy not showing up for the playoff, it came down to Beck and Peter for the final spot. Peter hit a three-foot putt for birdie on the third playoff hole at No. 1 after Beck missed his birdie chance from 12 feet away.
“(Peter) hit a pretty good one in there,” Beck said. “I gave it a good shot but barely missed the birdie putt. I felt I played well, despite all the bad weather. I kind of lost a few strokes here and there but all in all I played well.”
Richard Swift of Australia won the qualifier with a 67. He had a near perfect start with four birdies on the front nine before finishing his round with six. Dominic Bazzelli of Pittsford, N.Y., Patton Kizzire of Gulf Shores, Ala., Bo Andrews of Raleigh, N.C., Joel Alexander of Florence, Ala., Mitchell Krywulycz of Australia and Jay McLuen of Forsyth each shot 69 to safely qualify.
Beck, who averages a team low 72.6 with the Owls, started on No. 10, birdied three of his first seven holes to get to 3-under par, but played 3-over par the last 11 holes.
Former Harrison High School standout and current Georgia Tech golfer Ollie Schniederjans finished one stroke out of the playoff with a 1-over 71. Also starting on the back nine, he got to 3-under par through his first eight holes. But a bogey on No. 18 and a double bogey on No. 1 after driving his ball left and out of bounds brought Schniederjans back to even.
“My short game and putting was awesome all day and that’s what kept me in it,” Schniederjans said. “Then I hit a horrible shot on 18 for a stupid bogey and I hit out of bounds on 1 which is a super easy hole. I just didn’t play well on the second nine. I didn’t hit it good off the tee.”
The one time his putter did let him down came on the par-5 eighth hole where a three-putt bogey moved him to 2-over par for the day. It also meant his closing birdie still left him on the outside looking in.
Schniederjans’ Harrison teammate Michael Raines, who is now at South Carolina, also finished with a 71.
Kennesaw State’s Jeff Karlsson shot 72 and Austin Vick shot 75. Jonathan Cox of Marietta shot 74.
Former Kell standout and current Georgia Tech golfer Michael Hines didn’t have his best day, shooting 81. He made three bogeys and a double bogey in his first five holes.
The front nine was also not kind to Mount Paran Christian’s Tyler Young. He had three bogeys and a double bogey enroute to an 82.
Kennesaw Mountain’s Jonathan Keppler, Harrison’s Luke Schniederjans and former Hillgrove golfer Matt McKagen all withdrew from the event.