FAR HILLS, NJ (May 22, 2017) - U.S. Open Sectional Qualifying begins May 22 as 980 players, including over 200 amateurs, try to make it to the U.S. Open Championship at Erin Hills. Twelve sites--ten in the United States, one in England and one in Japan--will host sectional qualifying.
Here's a look at the 12 qualifying sites:
May 22: Ono Golf Club, Ono City, Japan
The Japan sectional qualifier returns to the location of the inaugural event in 2005. The USGA began overseas sectional qualifying in 2005 in Japan and England. Designed by Osamu Ueda, the facility opened in 1961. It can be stretched to 6,935 yards (par 72) and it has previously hosted the 1969 Japan Open and 2011 Kansai Open on the Japan Golf Tour. The sectional is conducted in association with the Japan Golf Association, and often attracts top professionals and elite amateurs from the Pacific Rim, which includes Australia, the People's Republic of China, Chinese Taipei, the Republic of Korea, Japan, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore and Thailand.
May 29: Walton Heath Golf Club, Surrey, England
For the 13th consecutive year, the Old and New courses at Walton Heath Golf Club in suburban London will serve as one of two international sectional qualifying sites. In 2005, the inaugural year of overseas qualifying, Michael Campbell emerged from the Walton Heath sectional and claimed the championship by two strokes over Tiger Woods. This is a popular site for many of the top European Tour players and elite European amateurs who otherwise are not exempt for the U.S. Open.
June 5: Big Canyon CC/Newport Beach CC, Newport Beach, CA
For the third time, Big Canyon Country Club and Newport Beach Country Club, both of which are located in Newport Beach, Calif., are serving as host sites for 36-hole sectional qualifying. Big Canyon, which opened for play in 1971, was originally designed by Robert Muir Graves. In 1998, the course was closed for a year so that architect John Harbottle III could do a full renovation project, which included replacing all 18 greens and new bunkering throughout the layout. Big Canyon has been the host site of two USGA championships: the 2000 U.S. Women's Mid-Amateur won by Ellen Port and the 2014 U.S. Senior Amateur won by Pat Tallent. It also was the site of Tiger Woods' 1996 Pacific-10 Conference triumph. Woods was an honorary member of the club as a junior. The club also produced 2016 U.S. Mid-Amateur champion Stewart Hagestad.
Nearby Newport Beach Country Club has been the host site for the PGA Tour Champions' Toshiba Classic, where past winners include Fred Couples, Nick Price, Bernhard Langer, Loren Roberts, Eduardo Romero, Jay Haas and Duffy Waldorf. Originally designed in 1952 by distinguished golf architect William "Billy" Bell, the layout has since received extensive renovations by Harry Rainville (1973) and Ted Robinson (1985, 1998 and 1999).
June 5: Jupiter Hills Club, Tequesta, FL
Sectional qualifying pays a visit to Jupiter Hills Club's Hills Course for the first time since 2008. The club is no stranger to big events, having hosted the 1987 U.S. Amateur Championship won by Billy Mayfair. Next spring, the club will be the host site for the U.S. Amateur Four-Ball Championship. George Fazio and his nephew, Tom Fazio, designed both 18-hole layouts at the facility. The Hills Course opened in 1970 and the Village Course eight years later. The course does feature several elevation changes with a 60 feet variance between its lowest and highest points. The holes were routed between acres of pine, oak and palmetto trees.
One interesting tidbit: comedian Bob Hope, George Fazio and industrialist William Ford among others collaborated to create an ultra-private enclave in southeastern Florida.
June 5: Hawks Ridge Golf Club, Ball Ground, GA
Designed by Bob Cupp, Hawks Ridge Golf Club opened in 1999 and will be hosting sectional qualifying for the sixth time since 2007. Set on 550 acres, the layout features several elevation changes, lakes, pines and hardwoods.
June 5: Woodmont Country Club, Rockville, MD
No layout has hosted U.S. Open sectional qualifying more often in the last three decades than Woodmont. This will be the 30th time in the last 31 years the club has conducted a 36-hole sectional. While the club features a pair of 18-hole layouts, only the longer North Course will be used. Opened in 1950, the North Course was designed by Alfred Tull with input from member Leopold Freuberg and superintendent Rudy Will. Noted architect Arthur Hills oversaw a renovation in 1999, where all 18 greens were replaced.
June 5: Canoe Brook Country Club, Summit, NJ
Both the North and South courses at Canoe Brook Country Club will be utilized for the 36-hole sectional, which hosting for the 15th time since 1980. It was here in 2006 that Michelle Wie nearly became the first female to ever qualify for the U.S. Open. The Metropolitan Golf Association conducts the qualifier for the USGA. Opened in 1916 and designed by former U.S. Amateur champion Walter Travis, the North Course is the longer of the two venues at Canoe Brook. The South Course, designed by Captain Allison of the firm Colt, Allison and Mackenzie, opened 11 years later, but underwent a renovation by Rees Jones in 1974 and again in 1993-94. What is now part of the nearby Short Hills Mall used to be a part of the North Course until renovations were made in 1945.
Canoe Brook has hosted three U.S. Women's Amateurs (1936, 1983 and 1990), the last of which was claimed by Pat Hurst. Pamela Barton won the 1936 championship and Joanne Pacillo in 1983. In 2003, Hilary Lunke advanced out of U.S. Women's Open sectional qualifying and won the championship a few weeks later in a playoff over Angela Stanford and Kelly Robbins at Pumpkin Ridge Golf Club.
June 5: Brookside G&CC/The Lakes G&CC, Columbus, OH
Year in and year out, the Columbus, Ohio, sectional is one of the strongest out of the 12 conducted as top professionals -- most fresh off from competing in the Memorial Tournament at nearby Muirfield Village -- and elite amateurs annually select this site. Because of the field size, two venues are utilized with The Lakes and Brookside combining to host for the 13th time since 1995. Founded in 1989, The Lakes was designed by former PGA Tour player Ed Sneed. The layout features water on 13 of its 18 holes. Brookside was founded in 1927 and the 18-hole course was designed on 227 acres.
June 5: Springfield Country Club, Springfield, OH
Designed by the legendary Donald Ross, Springfield Country Club is hosting sectional qualifying for an eighth consecutive year for the ninth time in the last 10 years. Because of the high demand by players for the Columbus-area site, the USGA created an alternate 36-hole sectional qualifier in nearby Springfield to ease travel issues. In 2014, Tony Finau qualified out of the Springfield site and posted a tie for 14th at Chambers Bay.
June 5: Germantown CC/Ridgeway CC, Memphis, TN
The other popular site for professionals and elite amateur players is Memphis, where two sites will be utilized to conduct the sectional. Many of the professionals teeing it up at Germantown Country Club and Ridgeway Country Club will be playing in that week's FedEx/St. Jude Classic on the PGA Tour at the TPC Southwind. These two courses are hosting sectional qualifying for the third consecutive year and for the fifth time since 2009.
J. Press Maxwell designed Germantown Country Club, which opened in 1970. Ridgeway Country Club opened a year later and was designed by the trio of Ed Seay, Ellis Maples and Bill Bergin.
June 5: Lakewood Country Club, Dallas, TX
For only the second time, Lakewood Country Club is hosting sectional qualifying. Founded in 1912, Tom Bendelow designed the current 18-hole course that has since undergone several renovations. Ralph Plummer performed a facelift in 1947, and the modern duo of Ben Crenshaw and Bill Coore improved the layout in 1995. The course was the site of Byron Nelson's 1944 Victory Open (now the Byron Nelson Classic). It also hosted the 1942 and 2000 Texas Amateur, and today it annually hosts the Byron Nelson Junior Classic. It also is hosting the 2017 Texas State Amateur.
June 5: Tacoma Golf & Country Club, Lakewood, WA
For the first time since 1989, Tacoma Country & Golf Club is hosting a U.S. Open sectional qualifier. The club, which is located not far from 2015 U.S. Open venue Chambers Bay, was created in 1894 and was the first golf facility in the Western United States not located on a military reservation. Stanley Thompson designed the current layout in 1905, although it has undergone renovations ever since. The club has hosted four USGA championships, the most recent being the 2007 U.S. Girls' Junior won by Kristen Park. Seattle-area native Anne Quast Sander won the 1961 U.S. Women's Amateur at Tacoma, while Constance Guthrie claimed the 1984 U.S. Senior Women's Amateur. Sarah LeBrun Ingram won the second of her three U.S. Women's Mid-Amateur titles at Tacoma in 1994.