ARDMORE, PA—A former standout golfer in the North Carolina High School Athletic Association state tournament has earned a spot in the U.S. Open, according to various media reports including The Charlotte Observer and the Raleigh News and Observer.
Harold Varner of Gastonia, who played collegiately at East Carolina, has been added as an alternate to the field for the Open, which begins Thursday at Merion Golf Club. He earned the spot after a sectional qualifying tournament in Maryland.
Varner played at Forestview High School and finished second in the 2008 NCHSAA state 3-A championships, shooting a 147 for the 36-hole event, two strokes behind champion Robert Register of Burlington Williams. Varner won a sudden death playoff after finishing in a tie for second with Daniel Claytor of Northern Nash in the tournament at Fox Fire Resort and Country Club.
Led by Varner, Forestview finished second in the team standings to Wilson Fike in that event, nine strokes off the pace.
Varner was the Conference USA player of the year in 2012 at East Carolina. He plays on the eGolf Tour and was the first African-American to win the North Carolina Amateur when he took the title two years ago.