By Phil DaileyLa Jolla Country Day golf coach Bill Cahoone saw something out of one of his golfers that was on par with the PGA’s best during the U.S. Open two weeks ago.
No, it wasn’t a hole-in-one.
What he saw out of recent LJCD graduate Alberto Sanchez was his ability to strike the ball as hard and as far and as accurate as anyone.
Though Sanchez wasn’t able to make his two rounds consistent enough to make the cut, he did show the golf world that he would be back someday to compete with the best of the best.
It was the No. 16 hole at The Olympic Club in San Francisco that impressed Cahoone so much.
“He hit his driver and 3-wood and was about three yards on the green below the pin,” he said.
“I didn’t see anyone else do that.”
Sanchez’s two-day total of 149 was just one stroke short of playing the weekend. Despite missing the cut, Sanchez can at least say he shot better than Rory MclLroy (last year’s U.S. Open champion) and many other top professionals for that matter.
“He spends a lot of time working on his game, there’s no doubt he’s going to be a good college player,” Cahoone said.
Originally from Arizona, Sanchez spent the last two years attending Country Day, as well as frequenting the Titleist Performance Institute in Carlsbad.
Sanchez will now head back to his home state where he will play collegiately at Arizona State.
“He’s got a lot of upside to his game,” Cahoone said. “I’m sure, missing (the cut) by one stroke he was really disappointed but it was really a wonderful special week just to watch him play. I am sure he is going to be pretty happy with how he performed on a golf course that is just a brutal golf course.”
After all, the winner of this year’s U. S. Open — West Simpson — shot a 1-over to win the tournament.
How Sanchez got to the U.S. OpenSanchez shot a 70 at the U.S. Open local qualifier in Lakeside and followed that up with a sixth-place finish in Daly City with a two-day score of 138. That was good enough to get him into the U.S. Open during Father’s Day weekend.
Forgoing CIF regionalThough Sanchez finished third at the CIF San Diego Section, he opted not to play at the Southern California Regional and a chance at the state tournament.
“As long as he puts his team and his teammates in the forefront, I’m satisfied with his decision to not play in the regionals,” Cahoone said. “He would have gone if we qualified as a team.”
Perspective of making the U.S. OpenQualifying for the U.S. Open is no easy feat, as some 9,000 golfers tried to earn one of the 80 slots that get to play in the coveted tournament.
What’s nextUp next for Sanchez is the Pacific Coast Amateur in Oregon this weekend. He also earned an automatic berth in the U.S. Amateur in Cherry Hills, Colo., in August.
“He’s got a pretty busy summer,” Cahoone said.