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Paulson tops Open qualifying

BOB HARIG
Published May 13, 2004

PALM HARBOR - Carl Paulson shot 6-under-par 65 Wednesday to claim medalist honors in local qualifying for the U.S. Open at Westin Innisbrook Resort's Copperhead course.

Paulson, 33, who finished second in the 2000 Tampa Bay Classic played at the same course, has played just one event on the PGA Tour this year and five on the Nationwide Tour, where he has missed three cuts.

Others who made it to sectional qualifying for the June 17-20 U.S. Open at Shinnecock Hills Golf Club in Southampton, N.Y.: D.A. Points (66), amateur Mike Barbosa (68), Tampa's Joe Alfieri (70) and Rodney Butcher (71), who claimed the last spot after a four-hole sudden-death playoff with Tampa's Doug LaCrosse.

Points plays on the Nationwide Tour, Alfieri is on the Hooters Tour and Barbosa is a sophomore at Georgia Tech. Jack Kay and Bob Heintz each shot 72 and join LaCrosse as alternates.

The U.S. Open sectional qualifier, where players will have to endure 36 holes, is June 8 at Lake Nona in Orlando.

NEW EVENT: Chad Campbell and Paul Casey of England will play in a new silly-season event this year between 30-and-under players from the United States against the rest of the world.

The Tommy Bahama Challenge, four 18-hole stroke-play matches, will be played Nov. 9 at Grayhawk Golf Club in Scottsdale, Ariz., and televised by CBS Sports on New Year's Day.

Invitations will go to the leading young Americans on the PGA Tour money list through the NEC Invitational, and to the highest-ranked players from the international team. Two sponsor invitations will complete the teams.

- Information from Times wires was used in this report.
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