More than 9,000 golfers are attempting to qualify for next month’s U.S. Open at Erin Hills, and their odds are admittedly long. They were a lot longer for Clifton McDonald, a contestant from Meridian, Miss.
McDonald, who signed up as a professional to bypass the 1.4 handicap entry requirement for amateurs, shot a 55-over 127 in a local qualifier at Robert Trent Jones Golf Trail at Silver Lakes in Glencoe, Ala. He carded a 14 and an 11 on his opening nine (the back nine), on which he shot 68.
His humiliating round may very well have been nothing but a footnote buried in the record books if it weren’t for a notable player in the group behind. Lee McCoy, a former University of Georgia standout who qualified for the 2015 U.S. Open, watched McDonald’s round and later tweeted his scorecard.
— Lee McCoy (@LeeMcCoyGolf) May 11, 2017
This prompted a bevy of social media responses, including one from past FedEx Cup champion Billy Horschel.
@LeeMcCoyGolf Guess he must of lied about having a 2.4 handicap index.
— Billy Horschel (@BillyHo_Golf) May 11, 2017
As for McCoy, he exercised patience and shot 2-under 70 to advance to the sectional qualifying.