U.S. Open Final Qualifying Near Misses: Josh Duangmanee, age 17
Despite missing the cut, Josh Duangmanee received the <br>medal for being low amateur from Middle Atlantic G.A.
Despite missing the cut, Josh Duangmanee received the
medal for being low amateur from Middle Atlantic G.A.

by Garrett Johnston, Special to AmateurGolf.com

U.S. Open Final Qualifying at Woodmont Country Club was a marathon day that saw play finish around dusk at 8:45 pm ET, concluding in a playoff for the order of the two alternate spots between professional Benjamin Griffin and a 17-year-old amateur named Josh Duangmanee. Joseph Bramlett was medalist at 8-under, Grayson Murray finished 6-under, and Kevin Chappell and Andrew Beckler took the last two guaranteed tickets to Brookline at 3-under.

Duangmanee and Griffin finished at a frustratingly-close 2-under, just one outside the chance to playoff for a guaranteed spot at Brookline. But first, alternates do at times get in, so neither player took the opportunity to grab that honor lightly.

Duangmanee held strongly inside the cut-line for most of the afternoon of regulation play, until bogeys on his final two holes pushed him out of the top four.

When their playoff started around 8:25 pm the two tied each other on number eight, the first playoff hole. Griffin then got up and down from literally right next to Woodmont’s driving range for par and Duangmanee failed to match the par leaving Griffin as the first alternate and the young Fairfax, Virginia native as the second.

“I battled through it out there, played some really good golf (in the rounds and playoff), but (Benjamin) got the best of it today,” Duangmanee said afterward.

Duangmanee is a rising senior from Fairfax High School only a 30-minute drive away, and Monday served as his first experience at U.S. Open final qualifying.

“This was a great experience, I got to play against some of the best pros in the world, (so I’m) taking that experience and trying to move things forward,” Duangmanee said.

He got a lot of local support from his family including his father George who also caddied for him in last year’s U.S. Junior Amateur at the Country Club of North Carolina.

“They were cheering me on and kept the momentum in my favor for sure,” Josh said. “The crowd out there was incredible.”

He gave them plenty to cheer about when he made three straight birdies on Nos. 10-12. Being the second alternate will most likely mean he'll watch the U.S. Open on TV, but at least it will be with the knowledge that he was "this close."

Amateur Notes

Benton Weinberg is an amateur who just graduated from Iowa and also played in his first Final Qualifier on Monday. He finished much further back at 11-over but had some good takeaways from the event.

“It was just cool to be in the same field and the same event as a lot of these PGA Tour and Korn Ferry pros, and see how your game matches up against theirs,” Weinberg said.

Isaac Simmons from Liberty University also tasted this stage for the first time on Monday, with his dad Scott on the bag.

“I really wasn't as nervous as I thought I would be. I really think that it's just a testament to college golf. It prepares you really well,” Simmons said. “It was a lot of fun out there.”

Simmons had the third-best finish of an amateur on Monday at 3-over for the 36 holes. Josh Persons finished second best at even par.

Speaking of having important people on the bag, Bramlett actually had his swing coach John Scott Rattan who teaches down the road at Congressional as his caddie.

Talk about competitive advantage.

“He’s one of my best friends and he’s had my back for a long time and it was really great to have him out there with me today and for him to actually see me play well,” Bramlett who got through this qualified in 2019 said.

That U.S. Open was the last major the Tour pro played in. He can’t wait to change that next week in Boston.

“It’s been three years since I’ve played in a major and I’m itching and very excited to get back.”

Garrett Johnston has covered golf for 13 years, lives in Washington, DC, and hosts the Beyond the Clubhouse podcast. You can follow him on Twitter @JohnstonGarrett.

Results: U.S. Open Final Qualifying
MedalistCAWilliam MouwChino, CA500
QualifierTXTravis VickHouston, TX400
QualifierTXSam BennettMadisonville, TX400
QualifierBrazilFred BiondiBrazil400
QualifierBelgiumAdrien Dumont De ChassartBelgium400

View full results for U.S. Open Final Qualifying

ABOUT THE U.S. Open Final Qualifying

Final 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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