Hunter Larson, a 2006 Kealakehe graduate, earned a spot in a U.S. Open sectional qualifier Monday at Kukio Golf & Beach Club by shooting a 2-under 70 in a U.S. Open local qualifier.
Larson finished runner-up to Ryan Acosta of Haleiwa, a former Kukio caddie who went 5 under on the back nine to finish with a 3-under 69. Both golfers will play in a 36-hole sectional qualifier June 3 at Big Canyon Country Club and Newport Beach Country Club in Newport Beach, Calif.
Twelve other sectional qualifiers will take place that day, with 10 more in the United States, one in Japan and one in England. Each sectional site will award spots in the U.S. Open, which takes place June 13-16 at Merion Golf Club in Ardmore, Pa.
Larson, who now resides in Naalehu, placed third in the 2011 Kona Open. He was also a semifinalist at the 2010 Manoa Cup.
At Kukio, Larson and Acosta competed in one of the U.S. Open’s 111 local qualifiers.
Kailua-Kona’s Channing Tam finished third with a 1-over 73 to take the first alternate spot in the 34-golfer field.
Waimea’s Richard Tramontin and Waikoloa’s Juan Rodriguez were among four golfers who tied for fourth with 76s.
Waikoloa’s Burt Bonk and Hilo’s Jaysen Manuia shot 78s to tie for eighth while Waimea’s Brendan Moynahan and Kailua-Kona’s Tsunemi Watanabe fired 79s and finished in a three-way tie for 10th.