Sam Cyr and Chris Stutts advance to the U.S. Open Sectional Qualifier after their performance today at Ka’anapali Golf Courses
Lahaina, HI – With an impressive 67 (-4), Maui-born golf professional Sam Cyr secured one of two spots in the U.S. Open Local Qualifier today played on the Royal Ka’anapali Course. Amateur, Chris Stutts of Wailuku shot a 70 (-1) to advance with Cyr to a Sectional Qualifier for the U.S. Open.
After battling some recent health issues, Cyr has been feeling better the last five months and has been able to focus more on his practice and tournament play. Going back and forth from Maui to San Diego, Cyr has placed in the top 10 in all three of his last events, with a win at the recent Mid Pacific Open Championship last month on Oahu.
Cyr stated, “I was actually a little under the weather a few days leading up to the Qualifier and just tried to rest and lay low. Thankfully I had enough energy when I woke up this morning and was able to come out and play.” He continued, “I definitely got off to a slow start this morning but by the 4th hole, I was hitting some pretty solid shots and I just told myself to stay patient.”
On the uphill par 5, 6th hole, Cyr hit a great drive up the middle, with just a 9-iron to the green. His approach shot left him about 20 feet below the hole and he made the putt for an eagle. “The greens at Ka’anapali are always in great shape, they are some of the best on the island,” Cyr commented. Adding, “The wind was tricky today and there were some good pin placements so you needed to keep it in the fairway and control your ball – pick your trajectory and strike it solid to be able to capitalize on any birdie opportunities.”
After his eagle, Cyr found his stride and would go on to make four birdies on the back nine. On the final hole, Cyr hit a good drive and left himself 158 yards to the pin. Talking to his caddie, “I remember we selected a 9-iron because it felt a little down wind, but just as I was swinging the wind changed and was coming a bit left to right.” Cyr stated left himself a “22 foot putt below the hole with about a six inch break.” He would make the putt and birdie the infamous finishing hole on the Royal Ka’anapali Course, not an easy feat. “I’m so grateful for playing solid today – it was a fun day,” Cyr said about his round. He added, “I love playing Ka’anapali and consider it one of my home courses when I’m back on island - the staff always make me feel welcome and it’s a great place to practice and play – the conditions are always great.”
Cyr will play in the northern California Sectional Qualifier the first week of June and hopes to make a decision about playing on the Japan Tour or registering for Q School in the fall. Chris Stutts, originally from Tennessee, was one of 12 amateurs to compete today in the local qualifier. Stutts played college golf for East Tennessee and Arizona State, where he was named as the Pac 12 Honoree in both 1993 and 1994, before competing on the Web.com and Nike Tours.
In 2000 after missing the cut for Q School, Stutts went on to found the Gateway Tour in 2001, helping to grow the Tour to 60 tournaments with 500 members. Stutts has since regained his amateur status and now works for a national developer with a project located on Maui. Stutts shot a 70 (-1) today at Ka’anapali and earned the second spot to play in the U.S. Open Sectional Qualifier on the mainland. Stutts had a total of three bogeys and four birdies in his round today. David Havens, who recently won the 2017 Golf Professional of the Year Award from the Aloha Section PGA, came in third at 71, even par, just one stroke off the Sectional spot.
The U.S. Open Championship is open to all professional and amateurs who have a USGA Handicap Index not exceeding 1.4. Thirty-two amateurs and professionals competed today at Ka’anapali for the two qualifying spots, advancing to the U.S. Open Sectional Qualifier. Sam Cyr and Chris Stutts will compete in one of 12 sites across the globe for their chance to play in the 118th U.S. Open Championship to be played at Shinnecock Hills Golf Club located in Southampton, NY June 14-17.
For a list of all scores and placements, please visit https://www.golfgenius.com/pages/1238839. For more information about the USGA and Hawaii State Golf Association (who helped to run the Ka’anapali event), visit http://www.hawaiistategolf.org/.
ABOUT KA’ANAPALI GOLF COURSES:
The Royal Ka’anapali Course, a Robert Trent Jones Senior design, opened in 1962 and has tested the skills of golf professionals and amateurs alike. A Par 71 stretching 6,700 yards, the Royal Course combines wide fairways and undulating greens, making it both distinctive and demanding.
Home of the Champions Tour Ka’anapali Classic for 14 years, the Royal Ka’anapali Course also hosted Shell’s Wonderful World of Golf, the Canada Cup and LPGA Kemper Open, donning such golfing greats as Jack Nicklaus, Arnold Palmer, Greg Norman, Fred Couples, Jan Stephenson and Betsey King. The Ka’anapali Kai Course is a Par 70, 6,400-yard course and boasts an array of strategically placed bunkers, contoured fairways, and re-shaped and resurfaced greens. This course, host of Golf Channel’s #1 series Big Break Ka'anapali, is a challenge to play and places a premium on strategy off the tee, accuracy with approach shots, and a deft touch around the greens.
In 2005-2007, Ka’anapali Golf Courses invested over $13 million in renovations and infrastructure. Golf course architect, Robin Nelson, was brought in to oversee the rework of the Ka’anapali Kai Course and enhancements to the championship Royal Ka’anapali Course. Ka’anapali recently celebrated 50 years (1962-2012) and was host of the Champions Tour SKIN GAME January 2008-2011.