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Thermopolis golfer wins Open qualifier in Riverton
Easton Paxton of Riverton rolled a putt toward the hole Wednesday in the U.S. Open qualifying round at the Riverton Country Club. The Riverton eighth-grader finished four strokes off the pace. Photo by Wayne Nicholls

Thermopolis golfer wins Open qualifier at Riverton CC

May 16, 2013 - By Bruce Tippets, Sports Editor

Brant Kummerfeld took advantage of his familiarity with the Riverton Country Club on Wednesday, winning a U.S. Open qualifying round with a four-under par 68.

Kummerfeld grew up in Thermopolis and has played many rounds at the Riverton course.

He topped a field of 20 golfers for a chance to play in a U.S. Open sectional round next month.

"I was just hitting the ball great to start off, and I had the putter rolling," Kummerfeld said. "I just felt very confident out there. I always feel confident when I play here in Riverton. It's always in good shape. I enjoy playing here.

Riverton Middle School eighth-grader Easton Paxton finished four strokes off the pace at 72.

"It was great learning experience for me to be right there," Paxton said. "It's going to help me in the future."

Casper golfers Josh Grube and Brian Spiva tied for second at 70.

Kummerfeld plans on playing in the sectional round on June 3 on a golf course in New York.

The winner of the sectional round qualifies for the United States Open.

The Open is scheduled for June 13-16 at the Merion Golf Club west of Philadelphia.

County golfers

Paxton paced the three Fremont County golfers in the field.

University of Wyoming golfer P.J. Thomas of Riverton finished with a 76. Lander Valley High School assistant golf coach Michael Watson carded an 82.

"I left a few shots out there, but I played really good," Paxton said. "The course was playing really tough. The greens were really fast, and they grew out the rough. The putting was difficult."

Paxton almost chipped in for a birdie on No. 16.

"I just played really solid," Paxton said.

Paxton is set to compete in the annual Saltwater Classic May 25-27 at the Riverton Country Club.

"I'm going to work on everything," Paxton said. "It's going to be a fun tournament."

U.S. Open qualifying scores

Kamrin Allen, Sheridan, 78; Thayne Balling, Cody, 76; Brant Baylon, Phoenix, 74; Clinton Boutelle, Cody, 74; Stuart Golf, West Haven, Utah, 78; Josh Grube, Casper, 79; Brant Kummerfeld, 68; Peter Marak, Lusk, 84; Dustin Materi, Sundance, 76; Michael May, Victor, Idaho,. 76; Easton Paxton, 72; Brian Spiva, Casper, 70; Nathan Green, Green River, 78; Chris Manning, Cody, 76; P.J. Thomas, Riverton, 76; Michael Watson, Lander, 82; Tyler Watts, Pine Haven, 73; Nathan Wilson, Sheridan, 86.

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