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Short putt advances Hodges to US Amateur Championship | Other Local Sports

Lee Hodges finally got a putt to fall Monday and it earned him a trip to California.

The Elkmont native and Alabama golfer knocked in a short putt on No. 9 at Burningtree Country Club to win a playoff for the third and final spot to advance to the U.S. Amateur Championship.

The Championship will be played Aug. 14-20 at the Riviera Country Club in Pacific Palisades, California.

“I hadn’t made a putt all day,” Hodges said. “It was about time I got one to fall.”

This is the fifth straight year that Burningtree has hosted a U.S. Amateur Qualifying Event. Less than 100 are held around the country. Golfers play 36 holes with the top three advancing. It is a pretty prestigious event for a golf course to host. It’s even more prestigious for a golfer to advance.

Jacob Joiner of Albany, Georgia, turned in the low score of the day with a 139. The 2012 Future Masters winner shot 72 on his first 18 and 67 on his last 18. This is his second time to advance to the U.S. Amateur.

“I made it my senior year in high school in 2012,” Joiner said. “It was held at the Atlanta Athletic Club. That was a lot of fun. I’ve never played Riviera, but I’m sure that will be a great experience.”

This will also be Hodges’ second trip to the country’s top amateur tournament. He qualified out of Burningtree last year after shooting 134. He missed making it in 2015 when he lost in a playoff for the final spot.

By 5:15 p.m. when most of the golfers had finished, it looked like Catanzaro, Hodges and Plunkett, all tied at 140, were going to be the three to advance. Then Joiner, who plays at Georgia Tech, came rambling in just after 6 p.m. with his 139 to wreck the party and force a playoff.

Catanzaro, who will be a freshman at South Alabama, birdied No. 1 to claim the second spot. Hodges and Plunkett moved to No. 9. Both bounced their tee shots off…

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