Golf: Rask ties for first in local US Open qualifier

Clayton Rask, former Elk and Gopher golfer, took a step toward a berth in the U.S. Open by tying for first in a local qualifier Tuesday at Rush Creek Golf Club.

Rask shot 3-under-69 to share the medal with Tom Hoge. The top five are eligible to play in a sectional qualifier.

“I’ve been trying (to qualify for the US Open) for 10 or 12 years now,” said Rask. “I’ve made sectionals twice before, but not for about five years. It’s exciting to have the chance. You’re 36 holes away from making it.”

Rask said he chipped and putted well throughout the day and was five-under before bogeys on the last two holes.

Section qualifiers have their choice of tournaments. Rask said he’llĀ  play at Village Links of Glen Ellyn in Illinois on JuneĀ  4.

Since graduating from the U of M, Rask, 27, has been playing on minor league tours, including Nationwide last year. He helped the Gophers place third in the nation in 2005 and has been an MGA Player of the Year.

Also advancing was Eric Rolland of Rogers, who shot 72 and survived a 4-for-3 playoff.