5 Things to Know: Week 1 of U.S. Open Local Qualifying
This is the first part in a weekly series on the path to the 123rd U.S. Open Championship at The Los Angeles (Calif.) Country Club’s North Course, June 15-18. The process begins with 18-hole local qualifying, conducted at 109 sites in 44 U.S. states and Canada. Those players who advance will join a group of locally exempt players in final qualifying, which will be conducted over 36 holes at 13 sites between May 16 and June 5.
During the four-week stretch of local qualifying (April 17-May 22), the USGA will preview some of the players and sites that lead to final qualifying, which will be staged in England (May 16), Japan (May 22) and Canada (June 5) as well as at 10 U.S. sites, including one on May 22 and nine on June 5.
►A diverse group representing the entire qualifying process is set to tee it up in the first U.S. Open local qualifier on April 17 on the Deerwood Course at The Clubs of Kingwood in Texas. Rob Labritz, 51, of Pound Ridge, N.Y., and native Southern Californian Duffy Waldorf, 60, now of Rensselaer, Ind., are both PGA Tour Champions competitors. Labritz, a longtime club professional, tied for fourth in his first U.S. Senior Open last year. Waldorf, a four-time winner on the PGA Tour, has played in 13 U.S. Opens. Ryan Lumsden, a 26-year-old professional from Scotland, will look to repeat his performance in 2018 when he advanced through both qualifying stages to play at Shinnecock Hills. Jaivir Pande, 17, of Houston, Texas, won the 2021 Drive, Chip & Putt Championship (boys 14-15 division) and has signed to play at Rice University this fall.
►Having made the transition from ice to grass surfaces, Anthony Brodeur, 27, of Canada, and Nick Sorkin, 31, of Moundsville, W. Va., will both compete on April 24. Brodeur, who will play at Coral Ridge C.C. in Florida, is the son of Hockey Hall of Fame goalie Martin Brodeur, who won three Stanley Cups with the New Jersey Devils. Anthony, a seventh-round NHL draft choice, competes on Mackenzie Tour-PGA Tour Canada. Sorkin will stay in West Virginia for his qualifier at Parkersburg C.C. He spent several years playing for the American Hockey League’s Hamilton Bulldogs and the East Coast Hockey League’s Wheeling Nailers.
►John O’Donnell, 58, of Los Angeles, Calif., has won multiple LACC club championships and is the founder of johnnie-O apparel. He has played in two U.S. Amateurs and five U.S. Mid-Amateurs, reaching the Round of 16 in 2007 at Bandon Dunes Golf Resort in Oregon. O’Donnell, whose younger brother, Chris, is an accomplished movie and television actor, is among the field of 90-plus hopefuls at La Purisima Golf Course, in Lompoc, Calif., which is hosting for the 14th consecutive time in which local qualifying has been contested.
►Michael Weaver, 31, of Fresno, Calif., and Bobby Wyatt, 30, of Atlanta, Ga., were members of the victorious 2013 USA Walker Cup Team. Weaver and Wyatt, who have both applied for reinstatement as amateurs, are attempting to join their fully exempt Walker Cup teammates Justin Thomas and Max Homa in this year’s field at LACC. Weaver, who is scheduled to play at Del Rio C.C., in Modesto, Calif., tied for 64th in his lone U.S. Open start in 2013 at Merion Golf Club. Wyatt, who has not yet played in this championship, will be at Marietta C.C., in Kennesaw, Ga. Both qualifiers are scheduled for April 24.
►Dax Rambo, of Norman, Okla., will celebrate his 17th birthday on April 24 by competing at The Territory Golf & C.C. A junior at Norman North High School, Rambo helped his team win the 2022 Oklahoma Class 6A state championship. This is the first of several USGA qualifiers for Rambo, who also has filed entries for the U.S. Junior Amateur (qualifier on June 27) and U.S. Amateur (qualifier on July 17).
NOTE: NBCUniversal’s Golf Channel will provide wall-to-wall coverage on Golf’s Longest Day, Monday, June 5. Further details will be posted on usopen.com and on the USGA App.