Sports

Former FPD standout Taylor Floyd earns spot in U.S. Amateur

DULUTH – Taylor Floyd wasn’t sure of his fate after Tuesday’s round of the U.S. Amateur Championship qualifier at The Standard Club.

But then the former FPD standout saw his father, Rusty, give him the signal. And with that, Floyd, a rising sophomore at Augusta State, knew he had earned one of the five spots from the qualifier for this month’s U.S. Amateur.

Floyd, who shot a 3-under-par 69 in the first round to play in the final group Tuesday, had a 1-over 73 in the second round. His round included two birdies and three bogeys as he finished the two-day qualifier at 2-under 142, tying for fourth.

Floyd will next head to Tulsa, Okla., for the U.S. Amateur, which will be held Aug. 24-30.

“I thought 3 under was going to get me in. I thought that was the number, but I just didn’t know,” Floyd said. “Then I saw my dad, and he gave me the thumbs up to let me know I got in.”

But Floyd wasn’t so sure during his round.

He was 5 under for the tournament after a birdie on the par-5 eighth hole but then had a bogey on the ninth. Floyd was still at 3 under after 16 holes but had a bogey on the par-3 17th and thought he had put his chances of qualifying in trouble.

After a perfect drive on the par-5 18th hole, he had to settle for par and didn’t know if he had done enough to get into the U.S. Amateur.

“Well, I’m really happy now,” Floyd said after his round. “But I just didn’t know. I thought if I parred (No.) 17, I would be OK, but then I made that bogey and wasted the drive on (No.) 18. I just wasn’t sure if I was going to get in.”

Floyd will be joined in the U.S. Amateur by Augusta State head coach Josh Gregory and Warner Robins’ Chris Wolfe, whom Floyd described as his “good buddy.”

He won’t be joined by Georgia standout and Stratford product Russell Henley, who shot a 74 on Tuesday to finish at 2-over 146. Henley moved to 2 under through 14 holes but went 4 over the rest of his round, missing out on qualifying for the U.S. Amateur at The Standard Club for the second straight year.

“It’s not a good feeling at all to keep missing it,” Henley said. “I thought I had a chance to get there, and if I get there, I think I would have a chance to win it. But I just didn’t get it done.”

Mercer’s Bill Jones III shot rounds of 71-75 to finish at 146 and GCSU’s Taylor Smith ended up at 156 after rounds of 73-83.

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