June 14, 2009
SANTA BARBARA, Calif. - Dudley Hart's misfortune means Scott Lewis has the opportunity of a lifetime.
On Saturday, Hart was forced to withdraw from next weekend's 2009 U.S. Open at Bethpage State Park's Black Course in New York because of a bad back. He became the second golfer to withdraw and this time, the door opened for UCSB's Lewis.
A sophomore from Henderson, Nev., Lewis accepted the invitation. He was the odd man out of a 4-for-3 playoff for the final three available qualifying positions in a competition held at the Saticoy Country Club on June 8.
Lewis becomes the 15th amateur to qualify for the 2009 U.S. Open. He will tee off on the 10th hole on Thursday, June 18 at 5:39 a.m. PDT in a threesome that includes Kevin Sutherland and Ken Duke. On Friday, Lewis begins at the first hole at 11:09 a.m.
"I'm not going to say I'm shocked, but I am surprised," said Gaucho head coach Steve Lass. "He's really kind of figured things out in the last several weeks. Scott is one of the hardest workers I've ever had and to see that hard work pay off like this is really huge."
Lewis played in four tournaments for the Gauchos in 2009. His highest finish was a seventh-place at the Wyoming Desert Intercollegiate. In 2005, he won the Nevada State 2A individual title and was named the Las Vegas Review Journal's 2A Male Golfer of the Year as well as Nevada's 2A Player of the Year. He was the Nevada 4A state runner-up in 2007, but was still named the state's 4A Player of the Year.