Oscar Alvarez won a playoff to qualify for the 104th U.S. Open. (Photo by Mark Philbrick/BYU Photo)
SUNRIVER, Ore. -- After a nerve-wracking playoff hole, Brigham Young University's Oscar Alvarez qualified for a spot at the upcoming U.S. Open at Shinnecock Hills in South Hampton, N.Y.
Alvarez, a sophomore on the Cougar golf team, carded a blistering 68 on the first day of competition to take the lead heading into the final round of competition during the U.S. Open Sectional Qualifying at the Crosswater Club.
Rough weather on the second day caused problems for most of the 21 golfers competing for a berth at the Open. The weather contributed to Alvarez's second day score of 77 that left him in a tie with Alex Prugh.
Alvarez was surprised he still had a chance to win after his 5-over second round.
"I couldn't believe I was still in it," Alvarez said.
On the first playoff hole, Alvarez nailed his putt for par, then looked on to see Prugh miss par. Prugh's missed putt meant Alvarez had qualified for his first PGA event.
The victory capped off a stellar season for Alvarez. The Golf Coaches Association of America recently named the Cougar to the All-American Honorable Mention team.
"He's had a tremendous sophomore year," BYU golf coach Bruce Brockbank said. "He just keeps getting better and better."
Making the Open is a dream come true for the Columbian-born golfer.
"This will be one of the biggest moments in my life," Alvarez said. "I'm so excited to play with some of my heroes."
Brockbank said the opportunity for Alvarez to play in the Open is well deserved and he is happy for his player.
"I'm excited for him to play in a tour event, especially one of this caliber," Brockbank said. "It's a dream opportunity."
Alvarez is now one of 156 players to compete in the 104th U.S. Open that begins June 17. Teammate Ron Harvey Jr. will caddy for Alvarez.