5 Things to Know: 2024 U.S. Open Local Qualifying Week 3

By Brian DePasquale, USGA

| May 03, 2024 | Liberty Corner, N.J.

5 Things to Know: 2024 U.S. Open Local Qualifying Week 3

This is the third part in a weekly series on the path to the 124th U.S. Open Championship at Pinehurst Resort & Country Club’s Course No. 2, June 13-16. The two-stage 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 20 and June 3.

During the four-week stretch of local qualifying (April 22-May 20), the USGA will preview some of the players and sites that lead to final qualifying, which will be staged in England (May 20), Japan (May 20) and Canada (June 3) as well as at 10 U.S. sites, including one on May 20 and nine on June 3.

Pinehurst Resort & Country Club’s Course No. 2 is hosting its fourth U.S. Open. The final field in each of the previous three Opens at Pinehurst was comprised of more than 80 players who advanced through one or both stages of qualifying – 1999 (89), 2005 (84) and 2014 (82).

►World No. 1 Scottie Scheffler, who won his second Masters Tournament and second Players Championship among his four PGA Tour victories in the months of March and April, is comfortably exempt into the U.S. Open for several years to come. But can members of the extended Scheffler family join him at Pinehurst? Andrew Paysse, who is married to Scottie’s sister, Callie, and his younger brother, William Paysse, will begin their U.S. Open qualifying journey on May 6 at Escondido Golf & Lake Club, in Horseshoe Bay, Texas. Andrew, 28, an account executive for the family’s insurance company, claims to play golf on the “barbecue circuit” but he is more accomplished than he says. Andrew, who met Callie when they both played at Texas A&M University, advanced to the quarterfinals of the 2022 U.S. Mid-Amateur at Erin Hills and qualified for last year’s U.S. Amateur. William, a 24-year-old who like his older brother is from Temple, Texas, also had a celebrated college career at Texas A&M and has competed in two U.S. Amateurs. Now competing as a professional, William earned all-region and All-Southeastern Conference honors for the Aggies.

►Tom Lehman and Al Geiberger came close to winning U.S. Opens. Lehman, the 1996 British Open champion, finished in the top 5 four consecutive years in the 1990s, and Geiberger, the 1966 PGA Championship titlist, tied for second in 1969 and 1976. Now their sons are among a group of golf descendants who will start their U.S. Open journeys this week. Sean Lehman, 19, of Scottsdale, Ariz., will play at Sewailo Golf Club, in Tucson, on May 8 and his brother, Thomas, will attempt to qualify the following week. Al Geiberger Jr., 34, of La Quinta, Calif., will be among 84 entrants on May 9 at Bermuda Dunes Country Club, a course that will host a local qualifier for the 11th time in the last 12 years. His stepbrother, Bryan, will tee it up in the final week of qualifying. Tim Herron, David Duval and Jeff Maggert can pass along local knowledge if their sons advance to Pinehurst No. 2. In 1999, Herron finished sixth, while Duval and Maggert tied for seventh. Carson Herron, 21, of Deephaven, Minn, is a fourth-generation golfer whose grandfather and great-grandfather also played in the U.S. Open. He and Brady Duval, 19, of Englewood, Colo., are scheduled to play at the University of New Mexico’s Championship Course on May 7. Jake Maggert, 19, of The Woodlands, Texas, will be a competitor on that same date at Champions Golf Club’s Jackrabbit Course in Houston.

Jack Cantlay has watched his older brother, Patrick, play in major championships, and now the Long Beach State standout hopes to qualify to play with him at Pinehurst. (USGA/Chris Keane)

Jack Cantlay has watched his older brother, Patrick, play in major championships, and now the Long Beach State standout hopes to qualify to play with him at Pinehurst. (USGA/Chris Keane)

►It’s all relative in U.S. Open qualifying this week. Jack Cantlay, 20, of Los Alamitos, Calif., is the younger brother of eight-time PGA Tour winner Patrick Cantlay, who owns three consecutive top-15 finishes in the U.S. Open. Jack, whose other brother, Nick, will also attempt qualifying during the fourth week of the schedule, was the Big West Conference’s top freshman last year. He fired a 28 with two eagles at Bandon Dunes Golf Resort’s Bandon Dunes Course during stroke play of the 2022 U.S. Junior Amateur. Joining Cantlay in qualifying at Andalusia Country Club, in La Quinta, Calif., on May 7 are Ryan Ruffels, 26, of Australia, and Billy Davis, 18, of Spring Valley, Calif. Ruffels’ and Davis’ sisters, Gabriela and Anna, respectively, have competed in U.S. Women’s Opens. Gipper Finau, 33, of Rose Park, Utah, is the younger brother of Tony Finau, who is already in this year’s Open field as an exempt player. Gipper will play on May 8 at Riverton (Wyo.) Country Club, a local site for the 26th consecutive time in which qualifying has been contested. Olin Browne Jr., a 35-year-old from Hobe Sound, Fla., and Luke Poulter, 19, of Orlando, Fla., hope to follow in their fathers’ footsteps as well. Browne advanced through two stages to his first U.S. Open last year and is looking for a repeat performance on May 6 at Wellington National Golf Club in Florida. That same day, Poulter, a redshirt freshman at the University of Florida, is entered at The Plantation in Ponte Vedra Beach, Fla. His father, Ian, has competed in 16 Opens, while Browne’s dad, Olin, played in 12. Finally, Julius Boros III is the grandson of Julius Boros, the 1952 and 1963 U.S. Open champion. Boros III will play at Kensington Golf & Country Club, in Naples, Fla., on May 8.

►Three individuals who played or work in other professional sports now enjoy high-level competitive golf. Danny Woodhead, 39, of Elkhorn, Neb., is a 10-year veteran of four National Football League teams. The retired running back once hauled in a touchdown pass from Tom Brady in Super Bowl XLVI for the New England Patriots. Woodhead, who qualified for the 2021 U.S. Amateur Four-Ball, will play his qualifier on his home course, Omaha (Neb.) Country Club, on May 8. Tony Romo, 44, of Dallas, Texas, is the lead NFL analyst for CBS Sports following a franchise record-setting career with the Dallas Cowboys. Like Woodhead, the four-time Pro Bowl quarterback and College Football Hall of Famer has become a regular in qualifying. The 2023 U.S. Amateur Four-Ball qualifier is in the field at Coyote Ridge Golf Club, in Carrollton, Texas, on May 6. A full-time National Hockey League referee, Garrett Rank advanced through both stages to play in the 2018 U.S. Open at Shinnecock Hills Golf Club. The 36-year-old Canadian has had a notable amateur golf career, having won the 2019 Western Amateur and finishing as the runner-up to Nathan Smith in the 2012 U.S. Mid-Amateur. He will compete for one of four available spots at Bayview Golf & Country Club near Toronto on May 9.

Len Mattiace, 56, of Atlantic Beach, Fla., is among six players in local qualifiers this week who are hoping to make a return trip to Pinehurst. Mattiace, who helped Wake Forest University claim the 1986 NCAA Championship, played in two of his five U.S. Opens at Pinehurst No. 2, tying for 42nd in 1999. His qualifier is at Champions G.C., in Houston, on May 7. Matt Every, 40, of Daytona Beach, Fla., and Jason Gore, 49, of Ponte Vedra Beach, Fla., were two of the 30 players who advanced through local and final qualifying to the 2005 Open at Pinehurst. Every tied for 28th as an amateur, while Gore played in the final round’s last pairing with two-time champion Retief Goosen before slipping into a tie for 49th. He now serves as the PGA Tour’s senior vice president and player advisor. Every and Gore have tee times at The Plantation in Ponte Vedra Beach on May 6. Luke Guthrie, 34, of Quincy, Ill., will join Every and Gore in that same qualifier. He qualified for one of his three Opens in 2014 at Pinehurst after moving forward from the Columbus, Ohio, final qualifier. Austin Squires advanced to the quarterfinals of the 2019 U.S. Amateur at Pinehurst. The 27-year-old from Union, Ky., will attempt qualifying at Kensington Bay & C.C., in Naples, Fla., on May 8. Devon Bling, 24, of Ridgecrest, Calif., also reached match play in the 2019 Amateur and will be looking to compete in his second U.S. Open when he tees it up in the Bermuda Dunes C.C. qualifier on May 9. He was the 2018 U.S. Amateur runner-up to Viktor Hovland at Pebble Beach.

NOTE: NBCUniversal’s Golf Channel will provide wall-to-wall coverage on Golf’s Longest Day, Monday, June 3. For more information, follow usopen.com.

Brian DePasquale is the USGA’s senior manager for communications. Email him at bdepasquale@usga.org.