Former FSU player Maguire earns U.S. Open spot at Jupiter Hills

us open qualifying.jpg
Nasty skies overlook the Jupiter Hills clubhouse as players tee off for U.S. Open Sectional Qualifying

In a day when storms sent rain all over Palm Beach County, remarkably almost 50 golfers were able to get 36 holes in at the Jupiter Hills Club.

And now three lucky ones were able to call themselves winners at the end of it.

Former FSU player and St. Petersburg native Jack Maguire equaled the course record with a 5 under 65 in his second round to win the U.S. Open sectional qualifying event.

Maguire finished with 3 under for the day, earning the top spot by two strokes. The other two automatic bids into the U.S. Open would be a little bit harder to come by.

Top-ranked amateur Joaquin Niemann, of Chile, birdied the 18th hole from 5 feet to force a 3-for-2 playoff with Eugene Hong and Tyson Alexander. The three players returned to hole No. 10 tied at 1-under.

Alexander, of Gainesville, earned his second trip to the U.S. Open on the first playoff hole with a birdie. Hong bogeyed the second playoff hole to open the door for Niemann to earn the other spot.

While at Florida State, Maguire established himself as one of the best amateur golfers in the nation. In 2 ½ years he earned three different All-America accolades, being honored by Golfweek and the Golf Coaches Association of America in 2014 and PING! in 2015.

Maguire holds several program marks, including the lowest round in school history. On March 4, 2014, Maguire carded a 10-under 62 at the USF Invitational, both the lowest round and lowest round vs. par in Florida State history. His career scoring average of 70.78 (-0.38 vs. par) is the lowest at FSU, and his 15 eagles are a career record. This is Maguire's second berth in the U.S. Open - he also qualified with a great performance at Jupiter Hills in 2015.

Some of the notables that finished outside the top 3: Robert Allenby, Australia (+2); Kyle Sanders, Jupiter, FL (+4); Cristobal Del Solar, FSU (a) Viera, FL (+10); Tarik Can, Stuart, FL (+10); Garrett Barber (a) West Palm Beach, FL (+11); Andrew Kozan (a) West Palm Beach, FL (+12); Justin Goodhue (a) Palm Beach Gardens, FL (+13); Patrick Rada Palm Beach Gardens, FL (+17); Whit Staples Tequesta, FL (+18)