He came close, but not close enough.
The former Etowah standout and rising Georgia Tech sophomore, won a two-hole playoff with Tom Lovelady of Birmingham, Ala., and Scott Wolfes of St. Simons Island for the second alternate position after carding a 6-under 65 over the par-71, 7,028-yard course.
Albertson, Lovelady and Wolfes were tied at 3-under 139 to force the playoff.
Each of the three parred the first hole before teeing off at No. 2. Albertson hit his first shot down the middle of the fairway and landed his approach shot on the green, 30 feet away from the pin.
Lovelady and Wolfes couldn’t make the green in two, but they got their balls close enough to the hole on their third shots to attempt par. They failed however, and Albertson’s birdie try from 30 feet away stopped less than a foot from the hole, setting up an easy tap-in to win the playoff.
“I’ve played in some big events and in some big moments, so I just draw off that,” Albertson said about the pressure of the playoff. “I was kind of in a groove all day and was playing well. I was hitting it right where I was looking and was making some good putts. I just kind of kept that going from regulation and played one hole at a time.”
Albertson’s Georgia Tech teammate, Ollie Schniederjans, won the qualifier at 10-under 132 and leads six automatic qualifiers for the U.S. Amateur, which will be held Aug. 13-19 at Cherry Hills Country Club in Cherry Hills Village, Colo.
James White, a recent Georgia Tech graduate, was the first alternate after finishing at 138.
Albertson started his final round with a birdie on his first hole. He followed an eagle on the par-5 No. 6 with a birdie on the par-3 seventh hole to move from 3 over after his first round to 1 under through seven Wednesday.
Albertson reached 7 under for his round after a birdie on No. 13, but fell back to 5 under following bogeys on Nos. 16 and 17. He sank an 8-foot shot for birdie on No. 18 to put himself in contention for the playoff later in the day.
Albertson had to wait more than two hours before he knew he’d be in the playoff, but it was worth the wait.
“That eagle on the par-5 (sixth hole) really got me going,” he said. “I made a lot of good putts and had some things go my way. It was a fun day. I really enjoyed it.
“The U.S. Amateur is probably one of the most prestigious tournaments in the country. It’s something that you always look forward to competing in, so obviously I wanted to be a part of that, but it’s unlikely as a second alternate, so that’s a little disappointing. But I’m proud of the way I came back, and I knew what I had to do and got it done to an extent. It was fun going out there posting a number that I knew I had to.”
Albertson’s 65 matched Schniederjans, Sepp Straka and Michael Hebert — all qualifiers — as the day’s low round.
Canton’s Justin Johnson tied for 23rd at 144 (75-69), while Madison Turner, also of Canton, shot 150 (75-75) and tied for 46th.
“The back nine was definitely a problem for me this tournament,” Turner said. “I bogeyed 15, (double-bogeyed) 16 and bogeyed 17, so that last four holes were just brutal.
“But this was an awesome experience. It’s the first time I’ve done it. Next year, hopefully, it will be a little bit better.”