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Hicks, Crawford claim morning lead at Canoe Brook

SUMMIT, N.J. (June 6, 2016) – The morning round of play at sectional qualifying for the 116th U.S. Open Championship is complete at Canoe Brook Country Club. A total of 28 players began the 36-hole day with sub-par rounds, with Justin Hicks of Wellington, Fla., and amateur Christopher Crawford of Bensalem, Pa., carding 7-under 65s on the South Course.

A total of 98 players are competing for six qualifying positions (+2 alternates) into the U.S. Open from Canoe Brook, one of 10 sectional qualifying rounds being played today across the country. Rounds are being played on the North and South courses.

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Hicks was one of many players to take advantage of the South Course during benign conditions this morning. His bogey-free round featured six birdies, plus an eagle on the par-5 15th—one of seven made on the hole during the morning. Hicks has played in 11 PGA TOUR events this season, registering a season best T10 finish in his last start at the AT&T Byron Nelson last month.

Crawford, a 22-year old former Drexel golfer, began his round on the 10th hole of the South Course and remained at even-par until eagling the 15th hole. He made the turn in 1-under following a bogey at the 16th, but caught fire on his final nine. Crawford registered six birdies over his final eight holes, including a stretch of four straight on hole Nos. 2-5.

Kevin Foley, a Somerville, N.J., native now residing in Jupiter, Fla., had a torrid start to his day, facing the inward nine of the South Course. He recorded four consecutive birdies to open his round and also eagled the 15th. Foley, winner of the 2008 Ike Championship, added one more birdie on the par-4 3rd, en route to the 6-under 66, which led for the majority of the first round.

Rob Oppenheim of Orlando, Fla., added a 5-under 67 on the South Course, making six birdies plus an eagle on the 15th, but also tallied a trio of bogeys.

Jim Herman of Palm City, Fla., registered the low morning round on the North Course at 5-under 67. The former Trump National – Bedminster assistant pro is familiar with Canoe Brook, having qualified for the U.S. Open twice at the site (2010, 2012). Herman broke through on the PGA TOUR this season, winning the Shell Houston Open to earn his first trip to the Masters.

Amateur Brian Carlson, a rising junior at Purdue and a native of Madison, Conn., was one of three players to card opening round 68s, joining Matthew Dubrowski of Bergenfield, N.J., and Michael Miller of Brewster, N.Y. Carlson and Dubrowski were both on the South Course, while Miller—a two-time MGA Player of the Year—opened on the North Course.

Both the North and the South courses are playing to a par 72, at 7,115 and 6,753 yards, respectively.

The second round is already underway. Live coverage can continue to be followed on and on the MGA’s social media.

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