U.S. Open 2015 (2) – Sectional Qualifying

24th May 2015

UPDATE – The 11 qualifiers from the Walton Heath IQS were Alexander Levy (-11), Shiv Kapur (-10), John Parry (-9), Alex Noren (-8), Lucas Bjerregaard (-7), Jason Palmer (-7), Marcel Siem (-6).  After a play-off they were joined by Marcus Fraser, Garth Mulroy, Thomas Aiken and Tjaart Van Der Walt (-5). Wales’ Oliver Farr missed out (albeit he subsequently gained entry when an extra space was released by the USGA).


South Korea’s Byeong-Hun An, making his Wentworth debut this week, has today qualified for the U.S. Open by winning the BMW P.G.A. Championship with a record low score of -21.

The 115th U.S. Open Championship will be played between 18th and 21st June 2015 at Chambers Bay, a public course in Washington State.

My previous post on Local Qualifying contained background information on the number of entries received in 2015 and the 111 18-hole Local Qualifying competitions that have already been played in the United States earlier in May.

Nine players from Great Britain and Ireland (GB&I) successfully negotiated this Local Qualifying, namely James Heath (ENG), Steven Smith (SCO), Samuel Osborne (ENG), Thomas Curtis (ENG), Charles Bull (ENG), Daniel Keddie (A) (ENG), John Igoe (IRE), Jonathan Hewett (A) (ENG) and James Kerr (IRE).

Next up is the 36-hole Sectional Qualifying stage.  This starts tomorrow morning with two International events; one at Walton Heath GC in England and the other at Kinojo GC in Japan.  These final stage fields are made up of players who have progressed, or are exempt from, Local Qualifying. Again the number of qualifying spots into the U.S. Open Championship will be determined by the quality and quantity of the final fields at each location.

Walton Heath has hosted an International Qualifier since 2005, the first year the United States Golf Association introduced them.  The field is always strong as the prize is great and the scheduling means it is played immediately after the BMW PGA Championship which takes place at nearby Wentworth.

The draw for the Walton Heath event – where 18 holes are played on both the Old and New courses – is here: Walton Heath Sectional Qualifier Draw.

Byeong-Hun An had entered but will now have Monday off.  However, Padraig Harrington, Shane Lowry, Mark Warren, Matteo Manassero, Robert Karlsson, Nicholas Colsaerts, Andy Sullivan, Marcel Siem, Robert Rock, Richie Ramsay, Tyrrell Hatton, Francesco Molinari and Alexander Levy are all currently expected to be on show tomorrow.  James Heath also looks like he has returned to these shores to compete in his second qualifier.

For the first time the European Tour are providing live scoring for the event.  The link to this is here – Walton Heath Sectional Qualifier Scores.

As recently as 2009 Lucas Glover won the U.S. Open having started out in Sectional Qualifying. Prior to that Jerry Pate (1976), Steve Jones (1996) and Michael Campbell (2005) all achieved the same feat.  Of course Michael Campbell played at Walton Heath in that very first International Qualifier before famously going on to win at Pinehurst.

I wonder if the 2015 U.S. Open champion will be teeing it up tomorrow at the famous Surrey heathland club ?

For completeness a further ten Sectional Qualifiers are also scheduled to be held across the United States on 8th June. These are being played at: –
– Big Canyon CC & Newport Beach CC, Newport Beach, California
– The Bear’s Club, Jupiter, Florida
– Hawks Ridge GC, Ball Ground, Georgia
– Woodmont CC (North Course), Rockville, Maryland
– Old Oaks CC & Century CC, Purchase, New York
– Brookside G&CC & Lakes G&CC, Columbus, Ohio
– Springfield CC, Springfield, Ohio
– Germantown CC & Ridgeway CC, Memphis, Tennessee
– Northwood Club, Dallas, Texas
– Tumble Creek Club, Cle Elum, Washington.

Once finished the final field for the 2015 U.S. Open will be completed save for one final check on the Official World Golf Rankings on 15th June – the Top 60 on this date being assured of a starting spot.  We can then look forward to the Championship proper.

Copyright © 2015, Mark Eley. All rights reserved.

U.S. Open 2015 (1) – Local Qualifying

24th May 2015

The 115th U.S. Open Championship will be played between 18th and 21st June 2015 at Chambers Bay, a public course in Washington State.

The United States Golf Association (USGA) received 9,882 entries for this year’s U.S. Open. Any golfer with a handicap of less than 1.4 could apply. Entries were accepted from golfers in all 50 states of the United States and from 63 foreign countries.  This is the second highest entry ever beaten only by the 10,127 received for the 2014 U.S. Open at Pinehurst.

At the start of May, just 49 players, including 11 past champions, were currently fully exempt into the final 156-player field.  The number of full exemptions will rise with the inclusion of the top 60 in the Official World Golf Rankings as at 25th May and 15th June.  The winners of The Players Championship (the already exempt Rickie Fowler) and the European Tour BMW PGA Championship (currently in course) also earn exemptions.

The rest of the U.S. Open field will be made up of players who have had to pre-qualify, starting their Championship in Local Qualifying or for the higher ranked Sectional Qualifying.

Local Qualifying has already been completed.  It was played over 18 holes at 111 sites in the United States taking place between 4th and 21st May.  The number of players who progressed to Sectional Qualifying from each Local Qualifier was determined by the size of the field at each site.

It may be a long road to the Championship from here but it is not necessarily a fruitless one.  In 2014, 24 competitors made it into the field at Pinehurst No. 2 having started out in Local Qualifying.  Better still Ken Venturi (1964) and Orville Moody (1969) both won the Championship having first played in Local (and then Sectional) Qualifying.

With little fanfare nine players from Great Britain and Ireland (GB&I) have progressed through Local Qualifying in the last few weeks.  The full list of qualifiers can be seen here – 2015 U.S. Open Local Qualifying Results – but I have listed the successful GB&I players individually below: –

May 11, 2015 Amelia Island, Fla.Amelia National Golf & Country Club
James Heath – ENGLAND 68

May 11, 2015 Lake Mary, Fla.Timacuan Golf & Country Club
Steven Smith – SCOTLAND 67

May 11, 2015 Sarasota, Fla.TPC Prestancia (Stadium Course)
Samuel Osborne – ENGLAND 69

May 13, 2015 Orlando, Fla.Shingle Creek Golf Club
Thomas Curtis – ENGLAND 69

May 13, 2015 Williamsport, PaWilliamsport Country Club
Charles Bull – ENGLAND 71

May 13, 2015 Knoxville, Tenn.Holston Hills Country Club
Daniel Keddie (Amateur) – ENGLAND 68

May 14, 2015 Farmingdale, N.Y.Bethpage State Park (Red Course)

May 18, 2015 Flossmoor, Ill. Flossmoor Country Club
Jonathan Hewett (Amateur) – ENGLAND 68

Sectional Qualifying starts tomorrow, Monday 25th May, at Walton Heath GC in England and Kinojo GC in Japan with two 36-hole International events.  More about this next stage shortly, which includes 10 further events in the United States on 8th June.  Good luck to the nine players listed above in Sectional Qualifying – it would be great to see some of them playing at Chambers Bay next month.

Copyright © 2015, Mark Eley. All rights reserved.