FAR HILLS, NJ (June 1, 2005)
U.S. OPEN SECTIONAL QUALIFIERS
Monday, June 6
Tarzana, Calif., El Caballero Country Club (68 players for 4 spots):
He’s not the four-time champion of the U.S. Open, but he does share the same name. Ben Hogan of Phoenix, Ariz., advanced to the sectional round from his local qualifier in Cleveland.
David Berganio Jr. of Sylmar, Calif., is a two-time U.S. Amateur Public Links champion. He was exempt from local qualifying.
Korean-born Sihwan Kim, 16, of Fullerton, Calif., is the reigning U.S. Junior champion. He also was exempt from local qualifying.
Eric Meeks of Las Vegas, Nev., won the 1988 U.S. Amateur title. He locally qualified in his hometown of Las Vegas.
Southern California native Chris Riley of Las Vegas, Nev., was a member of the 2004 U.S. Ryder Cup team and the runner-up at the 1994 U.S. Amateur Public Links Championship.
Scott Simpson of Poway, Calif., was the 1988 U.S. Open champion and the runner-up to Payne Stewart in an 18-hole playoff at the 1991 U.S. Open.
Jeff Wilson of Fairfield, Calif., has been the stroke-play medalist/co-medalist at three U.S. Mid-Amateurs and one U.S. Amateur. He was also the low amateur at the 2000 U.S. Open. He qualified in El Macero, Calif.
Littleton, Colo., Columbine Country Club (28 players for 1 spots):
Branden Barron of Aurora, Colo., at 15, is the youngest player to make it through the local-qualifying stage. He qualified at the Commerce City, Colo., site.
Another Commerce City qualifier is Tom Glissmeyer of Colorado Springs, Colo., who qualified for the 2003 Open at Olympia Fields as a 16 year old. He is completing his senior year of high school and will attend Southern California in the fall.
Derek Tolan of Highlands Ranch, Colo., who qualified for the 2002 Open at Bethpage, advanced out of the Pueblo, Colo., site in a 3-for-2 playoff. Tolan now competes for the University of Colorado.
Nathan Lashley of Scotts Bluff, Neb., who is completing his senior year at the University of Arizona, lost both of his parents last May in a plane crash. They were returning from the NCAA West Regionals where Nathan had just competed. Lashley qualified in Phoenix.
Steve Krawczewski, who unloads clubs from cars as a bag attendant at Weston Hills C.C. in Weston, Fla., qualified on his home course.
Surrey, England (67 players for 9 spots):
Among the notable European players expected to compete here are 1999 British Open champion Paul Lawrie, Andrew Coltart and Nick Dougherty. All but Daugherty have competed on recent European Ryder Cup teams. Dougherty is a past participant of the Walker Cup Match for the Great Britain and Ireland side. New Zealander Michael Campbell has also signed up to play at this site.
Andy Drohen of Granville, Mass., is headed here after advancing in local qualifying (second alternate) in his home state.
Atlanta, Ga., East Lake Golf Club (77 players for 6 spots):
Jason Gore of Valencia, Calif., competed on the 1997 USA Walker Cup team, the last team to defeat Great Britain and Ireland in the biennial competition. Gore now plays on the Nationwide Tour. He qualified in Sunland, Calif.
Nick Flanagan of Australia, the 2003 U.S. Amateur champion, was the medalist at the Wallace, N.C., site.
John Kelley of Winston-Salem, N.C., advanced out of the Pinehurst, N.C., site, using only 10 clubs. That’s all the 32-year-old amateur ever plays with. He used to play with just nine clubs, but he added a 3-wood this year so he can reach some of the par-5s in two. And you won’t find him wearing golf shoes, either. He prefers to play in sneakers.
Matt Kuchar of Lake Mary, Fla., won the 1997 U.S. Amateur at Cog Hill and played on the 1999 USA Walker Cup team.
James Oh of Lakewood, Calif., won the 1998 U.S. Junior at Langdon Farms, beating Aaron Baddeley in the final. He advanced as the medalist from the Hot Springs, Ark., site.
Wesley Pate of Pensacola, Fla., is the son of 1976 U.S. Open champion Jerry Pate. He qualified in Lakeland, Fla. He is one of three sons of former champions who have advanced to the sectional qualifying round.
Dalton Melnyk of Atlanta is the son of 1969 U.S. Amateur champion and television golf announcer Steve Melnyk.
Brian Harman of Savannah, Ga., won the 2003 U.S. Junior title. He was exempt from local qualifying.
Willie Wood of Edmond, Okla., won the 1977 U.S. Junior. He qualified in Tulsa, Okla.
Bradley Johnson is a 16-year-old high school sophomore from Birmingham, Ala., the town where he also qualified.
Jonathan Hill of Greenville, N.C., nearly died two years ago from a blood clot in his brain following a body-surfing accident. He qualified in Wallace, N.C.
Lahaina, Hawaii, Kaanapali Golf Club (12 players for 1 spot):
Barry Henson of La Quinta, Calif., is the lone non-Hawaiian to compete at this sectional. The 25-year-old qualified in Palm Desert, Calif., where he attended high school. He currently competes on the Canadian Tour.
Glen Ellyn, Ill., Village Links of Glen Ellyn (30 players for 2 spots):
Danny Green of Jackson, Tenn., is the only player in USGA history to play in the championship match of the U.S. Amateur, U.S. Mid-Amateur and U.S. Amateur Public Links. He won the Mid-Amateur in 1999. He also competed on the 2001 USA Walker Cup team.
Rockville, Md. #1, Woodmont Country Club (156 players for 22 spots):
Bill Hurley of Leesburg, Va., attended the Naval Academy and was an All-American. He qualified in Jacksonville, Fla.
Jeff Overton of Evansville, Ind., was a semifinalist at the 2004 U.S. Amateur and the stroke-play medalist at the 2003 APL.
Boyd Summerhays of Farmington, Utah is the nephew of Champions Tour player Bruce Summerhays. He qualified in Highland, Utah.
Mario Tiziani of Shorewood, Minn., is the brother-in-law of PGA Tour player Steve Stricker. He was the medalist at the Bloomington, Minn., site.
Kevin Stadler is the son of 1973 U.S. Amateur champion Craig Stadler. Kevin made the cut at the 2004 U.S. Open.
Phoenix local qualifier D. Scott Hailes of West Bountiful, Utah, was 1995 U.S. Junior champion.
Other USGA champions competing here also include Charlie Beljan (2002 Junior); David Gossett (1999 Amateur); Hunter Haas (1999 APL); Tom Kite (1992 U.S. Open); Hank Kuehne (1998 Amateur); Billy Mayfair (1986 APL, ’87 Amateur); Brett Quigley (’87 Junior); Brandt Snedeker (’03 APL); D.J. Trahan (’00 APL)
Rockville, Md. #2, Chevy Chase Club (16 players for 1 spot):
Billy Tuten won the 1982 and ’83 U.S. Amateur Public Links titles.
Aron Price of Australia was one of three finalists for the Hogan Award, given annually to the best collegiate amateur. Price plays at Georgia Southern. He nearly beat Ryan Moore in the third round of the U.S. Amateur last summer. Moore had to win the last two holes for a 1-up victory. He qualified in Atlanta.
Summit, N.J., Canoe Brook Country Club (84 players for 6 spots):
Ricky Barnes of Scottsdale, Ariz., won the 2002 U.S. Amateur and was the 500th USGA champion.
Deepdale Golf Club head pro Darrell Kestner will be vying to play in his ninth U.S. Open. The 51-year-old from Glen Cove, N.Y., last qualified in 2002 at Bethpage. He has also played in nine PGA Championships. He qualified in Hartsdale, N.Y.
Brock Mackenzie of Yakima, Wash., a member of the 2003 USA Walker Cup team who turned pro after competing in the 2004 U.S. Open, advanced from the Tacoma, Wash., site.
Chris Nallen of Scottsdale, Ariz., was a member of the 2003 USA Walker Cup team and a semifinalist at the 2004 U.S. Amateur.
Ron Philo of Amelia Island, Fla., is the brother of LPGA Tour pro Laura Diaz. He qualified in Albany, N.Y.
Geoffrey Sisk of Marshfield, Mass., made it through local and sectional qualifying in both 2003 and ’04. He made the cut at last year’s Open to avoid the local-qualifying round in 2005.
USGA champions in the field include 2004 U.S. Mid-Amateur winner Austin Eaton III of New London, N.H., and ’02 Mid-Amateur titlist and 2003 USA Walker Cupper George Zahringer of New York.
Columbus, Ohio #1, Brookside Golf & C.C./Lakes Golf & C.C. (144 players for 20 spots):
Oscar Alvarez is one of three Colombians to qualify for sectionals. Alvarez, who competes for Brigham Young University, qualified for the 2004 Open. He qualified out of the Highland, Utah, site.
Ryan Armour of Silver Lake, Ohio, nearly stopped Tiger Woods’ run at the U.S. Junior. Woods needed to win holes 17 and 18 at Waverly C.C. in Portland, Ore., to force extra holes in the championship match of the 1993 Junior Amateur. He then birdied the 19th to take the match. Armour now plays the Nationwide Tour and he qualified in Hobe Sound, Fla.
Andrew Barnes is the older brother of 2002 Amateur champion, Ricky Barnes, who is trying to qualify in Summit, N.J. Andrew qualified for the 1999 Open at Pinehurst, and then caddied for Ricky at the 2002 U.S. Amateur, 2002 U.S. Open and ’03 Open. Andrew qualified this year for the Chrysler Classic in Tucson, Ariz.
Chris Baryla of Canada played in the 2003 U.S. Open at Olympia Fields and was on the leaderboard early when he birdied two of his first four holes. He shot a 72, but missed the cut with a 74 in round two. He qualified in Las Cruces, N.M., not far from where he went to college at Texas-El Paso.
Guy Boros is the son of two-time U.S. Open champion Julius Boros. He has spent the last 13 years on various tours, including the PGA Tour. He was the medalist at the Weston, Fla., local qualifying site.
Kevin Hall, an Ohio State alum from Cincinnati, is deaf, a condition he attracted as an infant after suffering from meningitis. Hall qualified at the Cincinnati local site.
Jordan Cox of Redwood City, Calif., the runner-up at the 2003 U.S. Junior, advanced from the Stockton, Calif., site.
Roy Vucinich of Moon Township, Pa., competes on the Champions Tour. He was the medalist at the Midway, Pa., qualifier. He also is the former instructor of seven-time USGA champion Carol Semple Thompson at Allegheny C.C. in Sewickley, Pa.
Other USGA champions in the field are John Cook (1978 Amateur); Trevor Immelman (1998 APL); Jeff Quinney (2000 Amateur); Chez Reavie (’01 APL) and Nathan Smith (’03 Mid-Amateur)
Columbus, Ohio #2, Double Eagle Golf Club (17 players for 1 spot):
Patrick Damron of Orlando, Fla., is the brother of PGA Tour player Robert Damron. He qualified in Birmingham, Ala.
Matt Weibring of Dallas, Texas, is the son of Champions Tour player D.A. Weibring. He qualified in Garland, Texas.
McKinney, Texas, TPC at Craig Ranch (34 players for 2 spots):
Tim Hobby of San Antonio won the 1989 Amateur Public Links. He qualified in San Antonio.
Trip Kuehne is a two-time USA Walker Cupper (1995 and 2003) and was the runner-up to Tiger Woods at the 1994 U.S. Amateur. He was low amateur at the 2003 U.S. Open at Olympia Fields.
Snoqualmie, Wash., TPC at Snoqualmie Ridge (17 players for 1 spots):
Miller Lawrence Barber of Clinton, Mont., certainly has a name worthy of a USGA champion, but he is not the same person who captured three U.S. Senior Open titles in the 1980s nor is he related to him. He advanced from local qualifier at Anaconda, Mont.,
Tuesday, June 7
Tampa, Fla., Old Memorial Golf Club (52 players for 3 spots):
Camilo Benedetti of Orlando, Fla., is one of three Colombians hoping to get into the field. He advanced from the site in Palm Harbor, Fla.
Eduardo Herrera of Windermere, Fla., was the first player from Colombia to compete in a British Open. He advanced from the Lake Mary, Fla., local site.
Peter Horrobin of Miami once represented Jamaica in golf’s World Cup. He qualified at the Weston, Fla., site.
Former NHL player Ray Sheppard of Canada, who now lives in Florida, was the medalist at the Boynton Beach, Fla., site.
Robert Floyd of Palm Beach Gardens, Fla., is the son of 1986 U.S. Open champion Raymond Floyd. Robert qualified at the Hobe Sound, Fla., site.
Another qualifier with pedigree is Josh McCumber of Gainesville, Fla., the son of former PGA Tour player Mark McCumber.
Kansas City, Mo., Hallbrook Country Club (26 players for 1 spots):
R.W. Eaks of Scottsdale, Ariz., competes on the Champions Tour. He was the medalist at the Birmingham, Ala., site. Eaks shot a 64 in the opening round of the 2002 Senior Open.
David Chung of Fayetteville, N.C., was the runner-up at the 2004 U.S. Junior. The 15-year-old was exempt from local qualifying.