SUMMIT, NJ - Arguably the greatest golfer ever to attend Seton Hall University, Lloyd Jefferson Go, tried out for arguably golf’s greatest major on Monday, June 5.
The 22-year old Go, who hails from Guadalupe Cebu, Phillipines, was among 11 New Jersey golfers in a field of 79 who set out on a dreary, rainy Monday morning at Canoe Brook Country Club in Summit to play 36 holes each in Sectional Qualifying, all for a shot at a coveted spot in the upcoming 117th U.S. Open Championship at Erin Hills Country Club in Erin, Wisconsin, on June 12 to June 18.
After an early first round 7:36 a.m. tee time and a bogey on his first hole on Canoe Brook’s par 72, 7,093-yard North Course, the two-time Big East Conference Men’s Golf Player of the Year, rallied with birdies on holes five and eight and capped his first nine with his third birdie on the par-4, 430-yard ninth to go out at 2-under-par. Go finished with all pars on the back nine, but bogeyed the par-3, 223-yard 14th hole to finish his first round at 1-under 71.
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“I’ve played a lot here the past couple of weeks trying to prepare and I know the course pretty well and I thought that would be an advantage,” said Go, who was playing in his second Sectional in three years. “In the morning round, I thought I was going to be fine after -2 after nine. On the back nine, I missed one green and shot 1-under after the first round. Then I saw everyone’s score and I said Oh, now I have to go low next round.”
In the second round on the par-70, 6,669-yard South Course, Go opened on the 10th hole and birdied the par-5, 546-yard 11th hole moving to 2-under with nine holes to play. On his final nine holes of the day, starting on the first, Go birdied two more par-5’s, the 497-yard sixth and the 573-yard eighth, to move to 4-under.
Go finished the day with a par on the par-4, 367-yard ninth to shoot a 3-under 67 for a two round total of 4-under (71-67--138), tying for 10th place and finishing out of at least an alternate spot by three strokes.
“The first nine holes I didn’t come out so hot again and I said might as well start chasing flags and I shot 2-under on my last nine. Maybe I should have started chasing flags earlier,” a smiling Go said.
Go advanced to Monday’s Sectional Qualifying after becoming one of five qualifiers to move on from Local Qualifying at Haworth Country Club in Haworth, New Jersey, on May 8. Go finished alone in third place after carding a 69.
Less than a month after his graduation from Seton Hall University (with an average of 3.50 in accounting and finance) and appearing in his second straight NCAA Regional, Go has left a mark on the South Orange campus that might be unattainable forever.
Last spring, Go became the first Seton Hall golfer to play in an NCAA Regional and last month, he became the first to be selected to an NCAA Regional with an at-large bid. His 70.6 stroke average for this season is a single-season best at Seton Hall, and his 72.19 career average also is a school-record.
Go is also the only Pirate (male or female) to be named Seton Hall's Athlete of the Year all four years (in all sports), from his freshman year up to his final days as a senior.
“It was kind of sad graduating this year but I’m pretty excited for the next chapter of my life. My experience at Seton Hall has been just great. Good people, good coaches, good administrators, good facilities. The best four years of my life.”
And when does Go’s next chapter begin?
“I play in seven straight events over the next two months, playing prestigious amateur tournaments around the country. I’m actually leaving right now to go to Pittsford, New York to play in the Monroe Invitational this week,” Go said. “After the Western Amateur, I will head back home, regroup for a couple of weeks, and then start my tour school for the Japan Tour (four qualifying stages in Japan, starting at the end of August).
Always on the Go, chasing the dream.