Once again, a Blaine professional golfer is headed for the U.S. Senior Open, but this time it won’t be Jeff Coston. Keith Henderson shot an even-par 72 to finish second at a qualifying round held Monday at the Bellingham Golf and Country Club and qualified to play in the 2017 U.S. Senior Open, which will be held June 29 through July 2 at Salem Country Club in Peabody, Massachusetts.
“To be honest, I’m numb right now,” Henderson said in a phone interview. “The idea of planning a trip to the East Coast, I haven’t even thought about the actual event of playing in the same field of the that are at that level. I’m afraid to think about that. I just want to continue enjoying this for a while.”
Henderson made the turn in the one-round qualifier at 3-under, but a double-bogey on the par-3 13th hole and a bogey on the par-4 16th brought him back to even. He was able to hang on through the final two holes to grab the final qualifying spot.
“I was feeling very good making the turn,” Henderson said. “I had a great up-and-down on the ninth hole, which caused me to feel ecstatic. I knew all I had to do was keeping doing what I was doing, and I would post a decent score. I didn’t allow the score to affect me. It got windier later in the afternoon and the course seemed to get firmer, and I made a couple of mistakes.”
Coston, who has qualified for the Senior Open four times previously including in 2014, finished one stroke back at 73, after he also went 3-under on the front nine but had a bogey on the 13th and a triple-bogey on the 14th.
Phillip Jonas of Surrey, British Columbia, shot a 3-under 69 to earn medalist honors at the tournament and claim the other qualifying spot in the U.S. Senior Open our of the 57-player field.
Bellingham’s Rick Weihe shot an 80, and William Hager finished at 86.