Date: June 05, 2017
Author: Mark Hayes

Coletta cools his jets, momentarily

Brett Coletta has been spared a cross-continental dash in his bid to qualify for the US Open.

Coletta, 20, played brilliant golf to secure a T25 finish at the rain-marred Memorial Tournament in Ohio today.

The young Victorian had previously been told there was no alternative than to stick with his pre-planned qualification method — a non-direct eight-hour flight from Columbus to Seattle overnight that would have left him with barely three hours sleep before 36 holes at Tacoma Country and Golf Club.

But in music to the young Victorian's ears, he was informed not long after he'd completed just his second US PGA Tour event that he could stay another night in Columbus and join that city's pre-qualifying event.

"Don't ask me, I've got no idea how it happened … but it's a great relief," Coletta confirmed as he rushed to make new plans.

The USGA later confirmed it had offered eight Memorial players engaged outside Ohio for Monday's qualifiers the chance to relocate — an offer made historically, but only when there has been a weather delay during the final round at Jack's Place. 

Regardless of Coletta's result on Monday, American time, he still has a massive week ahead.

The Queensland Open champion is slated to make his Mackenzie Tour debut on Vancouver Island, off Canada's west coast, on Thursday (Canadian time).

After the event in Victoria, the Canadian Tour stays in British Columbia, but inland at the spectacular Gallagher's Canyon in Kelowna.

From there, Coletta's team is hopeful he will get the occasional sponsor's exemption for the US PGA Tour and border-hop as the Canadian Tour heads progressively eastwards.

It's all coming together quickly for Coletta, who impressed many at Memorial with rounds of 72-69-72-73 on one of the most revered courses on the American circuit.

He made 17 birdies for the week in finishing two under, showing his all-round potential by finishing third in sand saves, fourth in driving and ninth in shots gained around the green.

American pro Sam Saunders, who played alongside Coletta for the first two rounds, said he expected Coletta to be inside the world top 10 before long and would not be surprised if he won on the US PGA Tour this year provided he earnt enough starts.

"I'm as impressed with his game as any young guy out here," Saunders said.

"There's nothing fancy about his game … he just hits it long and solid.

"More importantly, he's a really nice young guy and carries himself well — he's going to have an extremely bright future out here."