This is the third 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.
►Two former professional athletes are taking their talents from the stadium to the golf course. Tony Romo, 43, of Dallas, Texas, a four-time Pro Bowl quarterback with the National Football League’s Dallas Cowboys who now is the lead analyst for CBS Sports, has become a regular in qualifying. He’s looking to advance to final qualifying for a second time on May 3 at Odessa (Texas) Country Club. All-Star reliever Shigetoshi Hasegawa played for the Anaheim Angels and Seattle Mariners during a nine-year Major League Baseball career. The 54-year-old native of Japan who now resides in Irvine, Calif., will compete at The Grand Golf Club, in San Diego, Calif., on May 4.
►Aaron Grimes, a mini-tour professional and a caddie at The Los Angeles Country Club for 10 years, begins his U.S. Open quest on May 8 at the Classic Club, in Palm Desert, Calif. This is a familiar site for the 29-year-old from Compton, Calif. In 2019, he advanced to final qualifying in Newport Beach from the Arnold Palmer-design, only to fall short with rounds of 74 and 72. Grimes took up the game 21 years ago at the par-3 Maggie Hathaway Golf Course, a facility named after the civil rights leader. He now competes on the Advocates Professional Golf Association Tour. In January, he tied for fourth in the APGA Farmers Insurance at Torrey Pines’ North Course.
►The Illini Country Club, in Springfield, Ill., is serving as a local site for the 44th consecutive time in which U.S. Open qualifying has been contested. Dylan Meyer, 27, of Evansville, Ind., advanced from here en route to his second U.S. Open start in 2021. Like Meyer, Luke Guthrie won a Big Ten Conference individual title while playing at the University of Illinois. The 33-year-old from Quincy, Ill., who has played in three U.S. Opens (2013, 2014, 2019) is among the 84 players in the field. Current Illini players Adrien Dumont de Chassart, 23, of Belgium, Tommy Kuhl, 23, of Morton, Ill., and Jackson Buchanan, 21, of Dacula, Ga., are also competing for the five available spots.
►James Leow is attempting to become the first player representing Singapore to play in the U.S. Open since Peter Teravainen in 1997. Leow, who completed his career at Arizona State University last year and earned a degree in finance, starts his U.S. Open journey at Ak-Chin Southern Dunes Golf Club, in Maricopa, Ariz., on May 2. The 26-year-old’s time at ASU was interrupted twice. He served 22 months of compulsory military service for his country as a sergeant and instructor to newly enlisted recruits and missed most of his junior year following hip surgery. In 2022, Leow won the Pacific Coast Amateur and advanced to the Round of 16 in the U.S. Mid-Amateur at Erin Hills.
►It will not be a Big 12 Conference match-up, but Baylor University is about to invade The University of Texas Golf Club. The Dossey brothers are all entered in the Austin, Texas, qualifier on May 4 in a return to their hometown. Cooper, 25, now of McKinney, was a first-team All-American at Baylor, while his younger brothers Luke and Sam are current members of the team. Cooper, who has played on Mackenzie Tour-PGA Tour Canada, fired a 58 at OakWing Golf Club last March on the All-Pro Tour. Luke, who will celebrate his 23rd birthday the day after this local qualifier, has three top-10 finishes as a college senior. Sam, 19, has competed in three events as a freshman. All three Dosseys attended Austin’s Vandegrift High School.
NOTE: NBCUniversal’s Golf Channel will provide wall-to-wall coverage on Golf’s Longest Day, Monday, June 5.