Smithfield resident Neal Lancaster qualified for the 2015 U.S. Senior Open golf championship this week, winning the sectional qualifier played Wednesday at High Point Country Club with a round of 6-under-par, 66. He posted six birdies on his round, two bogeys and an eagle at the par-4, 396-yard 13th hole on the Willow Creek course at High Point Country Club. Lancaster has made his own history in USGA championships.
Lancaster posted nine-hole scores of 29 in back-to-back U.S. Opens at Shinnecock Hills (1995) and Oakland Hills (1996). His Father’s Day afternoon scoring run at Shinnecock boosted him to a fourth place finish in that Open.
The other qualifying spot went to another local golfer: Garner native Gus Ulrich, pictured at left, who shot a 3-under round of 69. He played the par 5s in 4-under par on the day.
Ulrich, the Director of Instruction at Pinewild Country Club in Pinehurst and the golf coach at Sandhills Community College, played at N.C. State after high school and played in Web.com Tour and PGA Tour events earlier in his career. In 2011, he won the Carolinas PGA Professional Championship at Kiawah Island, S.C. He is also a two-time N.C. Open champion.
The 2015 U.S. Senior Open will be played June 25-28 at Del Paso Country Club in Sacramento, Calif.