David Leadbetter Golf Academy on the campus of IMG Academy. "It's my first time to qualify for anything, and I didn't expect this."
About two hours after finishing his round, the 17-year-old Sitompul - a native of Jakarta, Indonesia - absorbed the round's full significance when Florida State Golf Association official Johnny Williams presented his medal for the round's low score.
Sitompul tied fellow DLGA student Peter Uihlein, a Ritz-Carlton member who shares the course record of 67 with PGA Tour player Paul Azinger. Uihlein, a junior at The IMG Academy School who has verbally committed to attend Oklahoma State in the fall of 2008, will receive his medal at a later date.
Sitompul and Uihlein advanced to the 36-hole sectional stage of qualifying June 4, where they will vie for a spot in the U.S. Open Championship scheduled for June 14-17 at Oakmont (Pa.) Country Club.
"To get a chance to play in the Open - you don't get many of those kind of chances at 17," Uihlein said. "It's a big thrill."
Also advancing with 70s were DLGA and Bradenton Prep senior Arnond Vongvanij, who is headed to Florida next season; Lakewood Ranch 18-year-old Chris Kennedy, winner of the recent City of Sarasota Men's Amateur; and 34-year-old Sarasota resident John McCann, a former Canadian Professional Golf Tour player who is a partner in Pop's Golf and Batting Center in Sarasota.
Yet another DLGA student, 16-year-old IMG Academy School sophomore Jordan Rizzo, shot 71, then birdied the par-4 10th in a playoff against Dan Stone of St. Petersburg to take the first-alternate spot.
Daniel Willis, a 32-year-old caddie at The Ritz-Carlton Members Club, fired a 73 that included a hole-in-one on the 176-yard 16th hole. Willis used a 7-iron.
Although Sitompul has flown under the radar at DLGA during his junior career when compared to Uihlein and Vongvanij, both rivals knew he had the potential to post a strong round.
"He's been playing great lately," Uihlein said. "He makes me look short off the tee, and I'm not short."
With the wind behind him on the par-4 ninth hole, Sitompul hit a 370-yard tee shot with a 3-wood.
"This course suits him well because he is a long-ball hitter," Vongvanij said. "The wide fairways and longer course (about 7,230 yards) was an advantage for longer hitters, so his round didn't surprise me at all."
Sitompul, who made three birdies and no bogeys, had support from his 15-year-old sister Caramia, who served as his caddie.
"It was a pretty flawless day," he said after hitting 16 greens in regulation.
Uihlein's highlight was a chip-in for birdie on No. 16 from about 30 yards.
"I drove the ball real well and left myself a lot of shots from the fairway, which makes this course a lot easier," he said.
Kennedy, a Cardinal Mooney graduate who is headed to the University of North Florida in the fall, made birdies on two of his last four holes to advance. He also sunk a pivotal 12-foot par putt on No. 9, his last hole.
"I really did not think 70 was good enough, but you want to shoot the best you can no matter what the circumstances are," Kennedy said.
About 200 spectators attended the event. The Tom Fazio-designed course, groomed immaculately by director of golf grounds Nicholas von Hofen and his crew, received raves from Williams and the majority of the players.
In another U.S. Open Local Qualifying Tournament played Monday at Hunter's Green in Tampa, Don Sisemore of Bradenton shot 72 to earn second-alternate status.