HONOLULU - A teenager from Hawaii made it to the U.S. Open, just not Michelle Wie.
Tadd Fujikawa, a 15-year-old who just completed his freshman year at Moanalua High School, beat out nine other players in the smallest U.S. Open sectional qualifier to earn a trip to Winged Foot next week.
“Maybe in my wildest dreams I thought about it,” Fujikawa said.
Fujikawa missed by one year becoming the youngest player to qualify for the U.S. Open. Tyrell Garth was 14 when he qualified to play in the 1941 U.S. Open at Colonial.
All the attention Monday was on 16-year-old Michelle Wie, who was trying to become the first woman to qualify for the U.S. Open.
Wie beat Fujikawa in the 18-hole local qualifying round last month at Turtle Bay, but opted to go through sectional qualifying in New Jersey because she is playing the LPGA Championship this week near Baltimore, about three hours away.
Fujikawa advanced through local qualifying by making a 60-foot birdie putt on the third playoff hole after a 74. On Monday at Poipu Bay, he had rounds of 71-70 to secure the only berth from Hawaii.
The nation grieved for those hurt, killed and affected by the Boston Marathon bombings. After one of the suspects was caught on Friday — following a day-long lockdown and manhunt — sports returned to Boston over the weekend.
Fujikawa said he doesn’t know what to expect, but he likes the idea of being inside the ropes with the best players in the world.
“I don’t really have a favorite player, but of course it will be pretty cool to be in the same tournament as Tiger Woods,” he said.
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