Havana native Ben Bates, now living in Pensacola, qualified for the Senior U.S. Open golf tournament on June 24 at a Sectional Qualifier held at Timuguana Country Club in Jacksonville.
Approximately 70 players competed for three spots in the prestigious tournament that will be held July 10-13 at the Oak Tree National Golf Course in Edmond, OK.
After 18 holes at the qualifying tournament, Bates and three other golfers were tied with a low score of 70. In a sudden death playoff, Bates and two other golfers parred the hole and qualified after the fourth player scored a bogie and was eliminated.
There were 34 qualifying tournaments held across the U.S. In all, 156 golfers will compete in the Open.
Bates played in the U.S. Open in 2001 at Southern Hills Country Club in Tulsa, OK. He started his professional career on the Hogan Tour (known now as the Buy.com Tour) and played several years in the PGA. He is now in the process of qualifying for the Champions Tour.
Bates graduated from Robert F. Munroe School and then attended Troy State University on a golf scholarship. He is the son of Louise and Ed Bates of Havana.