US Open 2022: Stories to follow at each sectional qualifying venue on the longest day in golf
The longest day in golf has finally arrived as sectional qualifying for the 2022 US Open is scheduled for Monday. Amateurs, standout college golfers, a former NFL player and PGA Tour stalwarts will attend, all with the same hope of claiming their place on the course for the third major championship of the year.
Although this event happens every year and fantastic stories are often produced, this summer is different as the US Open travels to Brookline Country Club, just outside of Boston. More than 100 years from Francis Ouimet’s historic victory at the US Open, the 20-year-old Massachusetts resident became the first amateur to win the national championship by defeating Harry Vardon and Ted Ray, two of the best players in the professional ranks, in an 18-hole playoff after the three were tied after settlement.
It’s hard to imagine something similar happening today, but the game of golf has never gone deeper. If one wants to follow in Ouimet’s footsteps, they must first qualify at one of nine qualifying sites located from Florida to California, including a site in northern Canada.
Below are some of the notable players participating from each qualifier site.
RattleSnake Point Golf Club — Milton, Ontario
- PanCT: The Olympic bronze medalist will attempt to play his sixth US Open. His best finish to date was a tie for 45th place at Merion in 2013. He made the cut at the Memorial Tournament despite carding 10 in the first round, marking his seventh consecutive payday on the PGA Tour.
The Olympic Club – San Francisco
- Maverick McNealy: The world No. 81 has only appeared twice at the US Open and failed to qualify on both occasions. He had a strong 2021-22 season with a second-place finish at the Fortinet Championship and a top-10 finish at the Genesis Invitational, both in his home state of California.
The Club at Admirals Cove — Jupiter, Florida
- Alex Fitzpatrick: The younger brother of Matt Fitzpatrick, Alex is a standout player at Wake Forest. While Matt will be the talk of the Country Club due to his 2013 American Amateur victory, let’s not forget that it was Alex who was his caddy that momentous week. He has plenty of play as he ranked sixth in the PGA Tour college rankings.
- Ricky Hunter: The 33-year-old hasn’t played in a US Open since 2020, but enters this qualifier having made the cut in four straight outings on the PGA Tour. One of those starts included a tie for 23rd in the PGA Championship where he impressed from tee to green.
- Matthew Wolff: It’s hard to believe we’re there with the 2020 finalist, but Wolff has played sparingly for the past two years. He was coming off a lengthy break before last year’s championship at Torrey Pines and surprised many as he battled it out over the weekend and eventually finished tied for 15th.
Ansley Golf Club — Roswell, Georgia
- Smylie Kaufman: He was last seen at the PGA Championship with a microphone in hand as clubs betrayed him in recent years. He missed the cut at the Puerto Rico Open in March and outside of his 2016 Masters hasn’t managed to make the cut at any major championship. Despite that, it would be nice to see Kaufman back in a major setting as a player rather than an announcer.
Woodmont Country Club – Rockville, Maryland
- Harry Higg: The post-Masters hangover was brutal for Higgs as he missed five of six cuts after arriving in T14 at Augusta National. He has yet to manage to qualify for the national championship and his recent play suggests his debut may have to wait another year.
Century Country Club, Old Oaks Country Club — Purchase, New York
- Haotong Li: The 2020 PGA Championship 36-hole leader has found some form on the DP World Tour in recent months. He finished sixth in the ISPS Handa Championship and hopes to play at the US Open for the first time in three years.
- Brandon Matthews: The bomb and scam strategy was successful at the US Open and Matthews could easily use it as he is arguably the longest player in the world. Hopefully he catches some magic and qualifies as it would be a sight to behold at a shorter venue like the Country Club.
Kinsale Golf and Fitness Club, Wedgewood Golf and Country Club — Columbus, Ohio
- Pierceson Coody and Cole Hammer: Members of the 2022 NCAA National Championship team from the University of Texas, they will look to follow in the footsteps of Beau Hossler and Jordan Spieth as the Longhorns to make some noise at the US Open.
- Davis Riley: It’s a crime that Riley has to qualify. The Alabama product hasn’t finished outside the top 20 on any rankings in nearly two months and poses a serious threat to earn Rookie of the Year honors. If successful, it will be his third appearance at the US Open.
- Padraig Harington: Whistling Straits’ European Ryder Cup captain, Harrington performed well on the Champions Tour with two second-place finishes in May. He may be 50, but he’s still struggling to compete against the best in the world, as shown by his tie for fourth in the 2021 PGA Championship.
Springfield Country Club – Springfield, Ohio
- Danny Woodhead: Do you believe in miracles? The former NFL running back has since become a golf stick and if he was able to fight his way into our national championship, I’m not sure there would be a better story in the sports world. all year. Of the 871 players taking part in the Section Qualifiers, he may be the one every golf fan is looking for.
- Sahith Theegala: A two-time US Open participant, including last year at Torrey Pines, Theegala has since embarked on the PGA Tour. He finished strong in the Memorial Tournament and given his propensity for going very low, it wouldn’t be at all surprising to see him progress.
Pronghorn Resort – Bend, Oregon
- Joe Highsmith: Having stood out in the highly decorated NCAA 2021 Pepperdine Waves National Championship, Highsmith took medal honors in the Oregon qualifier last year. If he does again, he will secure his place behind Joel Dahmen as the best golfer in the Northwest to wear a bucket hat.