5 Things to Know: Week 2 of U.S. Open Local Qualifying

By Brian DePasquale, USGA

| Apr 23, 2023 | Liberty Corner, N.J.

5 Things to Know: Week 2 of U.S. Open Local Qualifying

This is the second 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.

Happy Gilmore, 17, of Bloomington, Ind., is not a hockey-player-turned-golfer like Adam Sandler’s fictional character in the 1996 move “Happy Gilmore.” In fact, Happy (real name is Landon) cannot skate and earned the moniker when he won a long drive competition at age 9. The junior at Bloomington South High helped his golf team finish sixth in last year’s Indiana State High School Championship. Joining Gilmore in the April 25th qualifier at The Hawthorns Golf & Country Club, in Fishers, Ind., is Matt Vogt, a practicing dentist and oral surgeon. The 30-year-old from Indianapolis, who tied for third in the 2022 Indiana State Amateur, qualified for the 2021 U.S. Amateur at Oakmont (Pa.) Country Club, where he once caddied.

►Fifty years after Johnny Miller won the 1973 U.S. Open at Oakmont (Pa.) C.C., his son, Andy, will attempt to qualify at The Fountaingrove Club, in Santa Rosa., Calif., on May 1. Johnny’s closing 8-under 63 is considered one of the greatest rounds in major championship history. Andy, 45, of Napa, Calif., previously advanced to the U.S. Open through both stages of qualifying. In 2002, he was one of 22 local-final qualifiers to make the field at Bethpage State Park’s Black Course on Long Island, where he finished tied for 62nd, a week that included a hole-in-one on the 205-yard third hole in the final round.

►The West Palm Beach, Fla., qualifier on May 1 will feature three players with relative ties to professional golf. Cameron Kuchar, a 15-year-old from Jupiter, Fla, is the son of Matt Kuchar, who has played in 19 U.S. Opens, captured nine PGA Tour titles and won the 1997 U.S. Amateur. Matt, who is exempt from the first stage, is scheduled to play in the Columbus, Ohio, final qualifier on June 5. Nicholas Thompson, 40, of Palm Beach Gardens, Fla., is the older brother of Lexi Thompson, who has competed in 16 U.S. Women’s Opens and tied for second in 2019 and finished solo third in 2021. Nicholas has advanced to the U.S. Open three times and tied for 51st in 2012 as an alternate from local qualifying. Reed Greyserman, 17, of Boca Raton, Fla., is the younger brother of Max Greyserman, who owns two top-10 finishes on the Korn Ferry Tour this season. Max will also be in a local qualifier on May 2 at Hamilton Farm Golf Club in Gladstone, N.J.

Nicholas Thompson also leads a group of five USA Walker Cup alumni who are in action on May 1, one of the busiest days on the local qualifying schedule with 17 slated. Thompson won a key Sunday foursomes match with partner J.B. Holmes to lead the United States of America to victory over Great Britain & Ireland at Chicago Golf Club. Michael Putnam, Thompson’s 2005 teammate who hit the opening tee shot of the 2015 U.S. Open at Chambers Bay in his hometown of University Place, Wash., is in the local at Wine Valley Golf Club, in Walla Walla, Wash. Jordan Niebrugge, a member of the 2013 and 2015 Walker Cup teams as well as the 2013 U.S. Amateur Public Links champion, will be in the field at Glen Oaks C.C. in West Des Moines, Iowa. Steven Fisk and Isaiah Salinda, who were members of the winning 2019 USA Team, will play in locals at Eagle’s Landing C.C., in Stockbridge, Ga., and The Fountaingrove Club in Santa Rosa, Calif., respectively.

Marc Turnesa, 45, of Jupiter, Fla., Sean Maruyama, 22, of Japan, and Olin Browne Jr., 34, of Hobe Sound, Fla., are looking to continue their families’ U.S. Open history. Turnesa is the grandson of Mike Turnesa, who played in nine U.S. Opens, and was one of seven brothers who played competitively. Jim and Joe Turnesa played in 16 and 14 Opens, respectively. Marc, who qualified for the 2011 Open at Congressional Country Club, and Browne Jr., will be in qualifying at The Cape Club of Palm City in Florida on April 27. Browne Jr.’s father, Olin, tied for fifth in the 1997 Open at Congressional and won the 2011 U.S. Senior Open. Maruyama’s father, Shigeki, tied for fourth in the 2004 Open and shot a record 58 in final qualifying at Woodmont Country Club’s South Course, in Rockville, Md. in 2000. Browne Jr. and Maruyama are hoping to compete in their first U.S. Opens. Maruyama’s qualifying site date is May 1 at Indian Ridge Country Club, in Palm Desert, Calif.

NOTE: NBCUniversal’s Golf Channel will provide wall-to-wall coverage on Golf’s Longest Day, Monday, June 5.