WINTER HAVEN, FL – Florida Southern senior John Coultas has qualified for the 2018 US Open Sectionals after shooting a four-under-par 68 on Thursday at the Country Club of Winter Haven. That score was good for second in the qualifying tournament and made him one of four golfers moving on to the next round. There were over 8,500 golfers nationwide competing to be among the 500 who advance.
Coultas, who came to Florida Southern from nearby Valrico, dominated the back nine where he started play by picking up three birdies and an eagle to offset his only bogey on the par-3 No. 15. His eagle came on the par-5 No. 11, his second hole of the day and the longest at the Country Club of Winter Haven covering 555 yards. With two later birdies, Coultas played the five par 5s at four-under, a key element that put him two shots in the clear for advancement. He went on to par every hole on the front nine and finished two shots behind medalist Michael Visacki from Sarasota.
Coultas was not the only Moccasin golfer participating in Thursday's tournament. Freshman Jacob Penny, who is also from Valrico, tied for 12th with an even-par 72. Penny rebounded from two double-bogeys by picking up four birdies and 12 pars, and much as his Florida Southern teammate did, he owned the par-5s by playing them at three-under.
Thursday's tournament was the last of 15 sponsored by the Florida State Golf Association. Sectional qualifying tournaments, of which there are 12, run from May 21 through June 4. One of those will be held at The Bear's Club in Jupiter, Florida on June 4. This year's US Open is June 11-17 at Shinnecock Hills Golf Club in Southampton, New York.