U.S. Open California Sectional: Ams Grab 3 of 6 Spots
The long-hitting Jake Knapp lets unleashes one <br>on No. 6 at Big Canyon CC
The long-hitting Jake Knapp lets unleashes one
on No. 6 at Big Canyon CC

NEWPORT BEACH, CA (June 8, 2015) -- It’s billed as the longest day of golf, where top golfers are vying for a relatively small number of available spots in the upcoming U.S. Open at Chambers Bay.

In Newport Beach, there were 112 professional and amateur golfers playing Newport Beach and Big Canyon Country Clubs. Each of them was hoping to claim one of six available spots and two alternative spots. On 36-hole day (on foot of course), three amateur golfers fought their way through the crowded field to make the cut.

As the scoreboard watchers gathered in the warm glow of the setting sun at Big Canyon Country Club, Jake Knapp of Costa Mesa (UCLA), Beau Hossler of Mission Viejo (University of Texas), and Brian Campbell of Irvine (University of Illinois) found their tickets punched to Chambers Bay.

SLIDESHOW: U.S. Open California Sectional
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Jake Knapp  can take it low in qualifiers. He got into the Farmers Insurance Classic at Torrey Pines in February by posting a 7-under 65 in a PGA Tour packed Monday qualifier, but his accomplishment at California's Big Canyon and Newport Beach Country Clubs takes qualifying to an entirely different level.

This one's a major.

The long-hitting Costa Mesa resident, often drove it 50 yards past his fellow competitors and used that lenght to reel off 8 birdies and a single bogey at Newport Beach Country Club in his morning round to sit on top of the leaderboard at 7- under. At the more challenging Big Canyon CC in the afternoon, Knapp posted 72 for a 7- under 136 total, which gave him a lock on one of the spots along with pro Jared Becher of Reno. (Another pro, Kevin Lucas of Folsom, CA finished at 9- under and took medalist honors.)

“After starting the season out hot, I cooled down," Knapp told AmateurGolf.com.. "But after the NCAAs finished last week, [Knapp plays for UCLA] it was nice to come home and practice. My expectations coming in were to win - - I think that going into every tournament -- I'm really pleased to play so well.”

Beau Hossler  was right behind him after posting a 65 in the morning, also at Newport Beach CC. He posted a solid 71 in the afternoon to earn his second appearance in the U.S. Open. At The Olympic Club in 2012, Hossler charmed galleries as a High School golfer who easily made the cut and could have been low amateur if not for a few mistakes in the final round. 

“I was really happy with the way I hung in there, especially with facing the adversity of missing a few putts, but I kept my head about and didn’t let that affect me and was able to pick up some shots on the field coming in,” said Hossler.

As for the afternoon wind? Hossler felt well prepared.

“Funny you say that… I would say the best decision I’ve made is going to the University of Texas, just because I’ve learned to play in it. Normally around here, you don’t play in much wind and I would have felt uncomfortable. But this is a calm day in Austin and I feel like it’s an advantage I have over the rest of the guys. I don’t even think about it. I just go out and play,” Hossler said.

He’ll need that same outlook when he plays the Open at Chambers Bay.

Brian Campbell  shot 69-68 to grab the final amateur spot. Campbell, from Irvine, is a member of the University of Illinois Golf Team and will join teammate Nick Hardy -- who qualified in Illinois -- at the Open.

AmateurGolf.com member Patrick Grimes of Palo Alto got to 7-under, with 5 birdies in his first thirteen holes at Newport Beach CC in the afternoon, but finished a disappointing 3-over for his final four holes to fall below the cut level. It was a good showing for ever-improving Grimes, but he will leave empty-handed. 

Results For U.S. Open Sectional Qualifying
MedalistFLJack MaguireSt. Petersburg, FL50070-70=140
MedalistSCMatt NeSmithNorth Augusta, SC50063-64=127
MedalistMDDenny McCarthyBurtonsville, MD50070-68=138
QualifierCAJake KnappCosta Mesa, CA40064-72=136
QualifierCABeau HosslerMission Viejo, CA40065-71=136

View full results for U.S. Open Sectional Qualifying

ABOUT THE U.S. Open Sectional Qualifying

Sectional qualifying for the U.S. Open Championship. Played at various sites across the U.S. on the Monday a week and half before the U.S. Open. There is also a qualifier in Japan and in England. 36 holes of stroke play at each site.

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