Five Things to Know: Week 4 of U.S. Open Local Qualifying
This is the fourth 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 10 U.S. sites, including one on May 22 and nine on June 5.
►Can you relive your youth? Derek Tolan, 37, of Boulder, Colo., and Tom Glissmeyer, 36, of Denver, Colo., are hopeful. Tolan and Glissmeyer both advanced to the U.S. Open as 16-year-olds through both stages of qualifying in 2002 and 2003, respectively. Tolan, now the associate head golf coach at the University of Colorado, his alma mater, missed the cut at Bethpage State Park’s Black Course. Glissmeyer, a commercial real estate developer who competed in last year’s U.S. Mid-Amateur, earned a spot in the field at Olympia Fields (Ill.) Country Club (MC). Tolan, the champion of the Colorado Open in 2009 and 2012, is entered in the Broomfield, Colo., qualifier on May 9 at The Broadlands Golf Course. He has competed on four different professional tours. Glissmeyer, a former University of Southern California All-American and two-time Colorado state high school champion, will play at Walnut Creek Golf Preserve, in Westminster, Colo., on May 11.
►On May 10, Danny Woodhead, 38, of Elkhorn, Neb., will attempt to advance from local qualifying from his home course, Omaha (Neb.) Country Club, for the second consecutive year. A veteran of four National Football League teams, the ex-running back hauled in a touchdown pass from Tom Brady in Super Bowl XLVI for the New England Patriots. He ran for more than 2,200 yards and caught 300 passes during his 10-year career. Omaha natives Carson and Alex Schaake joined Woodhead in the group of five who advanced to the final stage from the Omaha C.C. qualifier last year and will try to repeat that performance. Carson, 28, played in the 2021 U.S. Open at Torrey Pines after working his way through the two-stage process. Carson, a University of Iowa alumnus who was the 2015 Big Ten Conference Player of the Year, has competed on the Korn Ferry Tour and Mackenzie Tour-PGA Tour Canada. Alex, 25, has two top-10 finishes on the Golden State Tour this season and was the Big Ten’s top player in 2019 and 2021 for the Hawkeyes.
►It is rare when a current professional athlete seeks to qualify for the U.S. Open. National Hockey League standout J.T. Miller, 30, of Pittsburgh, Pa., is such a competitor. Miller, who was selected 15th overall by the New York Rangers in the 2011 NHL Draft before moving on to the Tampa Bay Lightning and the Vancouver Canucks, his current team, has totaled 536 points in 11 seasons. He had 32 goals and 50 assists this past season for Vancouver. While he shoots left-handed on the ice, Miller swings the golf club from the right side. Joining Miller at The Club of Nevillewood, in Presto, Pa., on May 15 are a pair of Oakmont, Pa. residents. Sean Knapp, 61, and Devin Gee, 37, each has ties to Oakmont Country Club, the site of a record nine U.S. Opens. Knapp, who lives two blocks from the club entrance and once caddied there, has played in 53 USGA championship, which includes the 2017 U.S. Senior Amateur title. Gee has served as Oakmont’s head professional since 2016.
►Golf’s next generation will be on display in Week 4. Thomas and Sean Lehman are the sons of 1996 British Open champion and U.S. Open runner-up Tom Lehman. Thomas, 27, played at Cal Poly San Luis Obispo from 2016-19 and advanced through local qualifying in 2018, while Sean is currently a sophomore at Cal Poly. On May 15th, Thomas will be in action at Phoenix (Ariz.) Country Club and Sean will play at Somersett Golf & Country Club, in Reno, Nev. Brady Duval, 18, of Englewood, Colo., is the son of David Duval, who captured the 2001 British Open Championship and tied for second in the 2009 U.S. Open as a final qualifier. Brady won his first American Junior Golf Association event last December with a final-round 66. Jake Maggert, 18, of The Woodlands, Texas, is the son of Jeff Maggert, who finished third in the U.S. Open twice and won the 2015 U.S. Senior Open. Jake, who will play at Texas A&M University this fall, and Brady Duval are both entered in the San Antonio, Texas, qualifier on May 15 at The Club at Sonterra’s North Course.
►Kevin Hall, 40, of Cincinnati, Ohio, owns two victories and four top-10 finishes on the Advocates Professional Golf Association Tour this season, including a win in the APGA BHM Classic when he birdied the first playoff hole. Hall, who lost his hearing at age 2 due to meningitis, is entered at Coldstream Country Club in his hometown on May 15. Wyatt Worthington II, 36, of Reynoldsburg, Ohio, is a teaching pro and won the APGA’s Las Vegas event in April. He will tee it up in Reno, Nev., also on May 15. Kamaiu Johnson, 29, of Tallahassee, Fla., captured three APGA events in 2022 and has played this year on PGA Tour Latinoamerica. He is competing for one of five spots at the Gainesville, Fla., site on May 10. Matthew Vital, 17, of Bethlehem, Pa., played in the APGA Farmers Insurance as an amateur. Vital won the 2017 Drive, Chip & Putt Championship in the Boys 12-13 Division and has signed to play for Temple University starting this fall. He will be vying for one of the four spots at Huntsville Golf Club, in Dallas, Pa., on May 15.
NOTE: NBCUniversal’s Golf Channel will provide wall-to-wall coverage on Golf’s Longest Day, Monday, June 5.