Jimmy Ellis of Peters Township took the first step toward competing in the U.S. Open when he shot shot a 3-under 67 at the local qualifier played May 5 at Butler Country Club.
Ellis now advances to one of the nine sectionals to be conducted June 7, including the one to be held at Brookside Golf & Country Club and The Lakes Golf & Country Club, Columbus, Ohio.
For Ellis, it is the first time he has qualified for the 36-hole competition.
The 121st U.S. Open with be held June 17-20 at Torrey Pines Golf Club in San Diego.
In the local qualifier, Ellis was the lone competitor to break par (70) on the 6,936-yard course.
Jason Li and Benjamin Huber each shot 70 and joined Ellis among the qualifiers.
Lou Olsakovsky, an Upper St. Clair resident and Penn State senior, tied Butler head professional Rob McClellan with a 71.
A sudden-death playoff was necessary to fill the fourth and final slot for the sectional. Olsakovsky earned that spot on the second hole of the playoff.
An amateur out of South Hills Country Club, Ellis won the Pennsylvania Open last summer with a par-213 at Oakmont Country Club.