5 Things to Know: 2024 U.S. Open Local Qualifying Week 1

By Brian DePasquale, USGA

| Apr 17, 2024 | Liberty Corner, N.J.

5 Things to Know: 2024 U.S. Open Local Qualifying Week 1

This is the first 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.

Since 2004, the U.S. Open has averaged 74.2 players in the final field who have advanced through one or both stages of qualifying.

►Names from past and present U.S. Opens will be on full display during the first week of qualifying. Sean Jacklin is the 32-year-old son of 1970 champion Tony Jacklin, who was the first English-born winner in 46 years. Sean will attempt to advance through the two-stage process as he did in 2022 when he played in his first Open at The Country Club, in Brookline, Mass. He and Cristian DiMarco, 28, of Tampa, Fla., are both entered on April 24 at Mission Inn Resort & Club, in Howey-in-the-Hills, Fla. DiMarco’s father, Chris, competed in eight U.S. Opens. Cameron Kuchar, a 16-year-old high schooler, moved forward from local qualifying last year and will try to repeat that performance at The Legacy Golf & Tennis Club on April 25. His father, Matt, will attempt to qualify for his 21st U.S. Open and is exempt into the final stage on June 3. Mason Rudolph, a five-time PGA Tour winner and 1950 U.S. Junior Amateur champion, competed in 17 U.S. Opens. His grandson of the same name and a 26-year-old from Nashville, Tenn., is slated to play in the Jackson (Tenn.) Country Club qualifier on April 23.

►Noteworthy alumni of Drive, Chip & Putt, a nationwide junior development competition that began in 2014 and is conducted by the USGA, PGA of America and Augusta National Golf Club, will be among the first-week hopefuls in qualifying. Jake Sheffield, 15, of Knoxville, Tenn., won last year’s 14-15 division. He stated during his run to the title that his favorite golf accessory was his Pinehurst No. 2 driver head cover. Sheffield will begin his quest to play at Course No. 2 at Fox Den C.C. in his hometown on April 22. Jake Peacock, 20, of Milton, Ga., is now a junior at the University of South Florida, won the 2015 title in the 10-11 division. He will be among 84 entrants at Mission Inn Resort & Club in Florida on April 24. PJ Maybank III, of Cheboygan, Mich., currently completing his freshman season at the University of Oklahoma, will try to qualify in the Sooner State at The Territory G. & C.C., on April 22, four days before his 19th birthday. Maybank won the 12-13 division in 2018. Sahish Reddy, a 16-year-old high school sophomore from Atlanta who qualified for last year’s U.S. Amateur, captured the 10-11 division in 2019. He will attempt to qualify at Marietta Country Club, just 35 minutes from his Georgia home.

►Can players in their late 40s recapture their youth on the first day of local qualifying? Three U.S. Open veterans will make the attempt on April 22. J.J. Henry, 49, of Fort Worth, Texas, and Bo Van Pelt, 48, of Tulsa, Okla., are entered to play at The Territory Golf & Country Club in Oklahoma. Henry, a three-time PGA Tour winner, has competed in eight U.S. Opens and tied for 26th in 2007 at Oakmont (Pa.) Country Club. He also played all 72 holes in the 2005 Open at Pinehurst No. 2. Van Pelt, who has won on five professional tours, has also competed in eight Opens, including a tie for 14th in 2011 at Congressional Country Club. Mathew Goggin, who has qualified for four U.S. Opens, captured five Korn Ferry Tour events from 1999-2015. The 49-year-old Australian will tee it up at Fox Den Country Club, in Knoxville, Tenn.

Tennessee native Blades Brown, a co-medalist in the 2023 U.S. Amateur, is one of five members of the inaugural U.S. National Junior Team entered in U.S. Open local qualifying. (USGA/Kathryn Riley)

Tennessee native Blades Brown, a co-medalist in the 2023 U.S. Amateur, is one of five members of the inaugural U.S. National Junior Team entered in U.S. Open local qualifying. (USGA/Kathryn Riley)

Blades Brown is one of five players from the recently named U.S. National Junior Team scheduled to play in local qualifying. The national team, coached by two-time U.S. Open competitor Chris Zambri, is part of the newly created U.S. National Development Program (USNDP). Brown, 16, of Nashville, Tenn., was the co-stroke-play medalist and advanced to the Round of 32 in last year’s U.S. Amateur. Last October, he won his third Division II-AA state high school championship with a two-day record score of 14-under-par 130. Brown, who will compete in the Jackson (Tenn.) C.C. qualifier on April 23, may get his athletic prowess from his mother, Rhonda Blades Brown, a former WNBA player and All-America guard at Vanderbilt University.

►On April 24, River Landing Golf Club’s River Course will be a local site for the 17th consecutive year in which qualifying has been contested. The field will have a “Tobacco Road” feel. Ethan Paschal, 18, of Fayetteville, N.C., and Sihan Sandhu, 18, of Pinehurst, N.C., both are headed to play at the University of North Carolina this fall. Paschal, who reached match play at last year’s U.S. Amateur, is the reigning Class 3A individual state high school champion. In 2022, Sandhu made it through local qualifying at Duke University Golf Club in Durham, N.C. Smith Summerlin advanced from this same Wallace qualifier last year. The 16-year-old from Raleigh, N.C., earned all-state recognition as a high school freshman. Jason Widener, 53, the 1988 U.S. Junior Amateur champion, has yet to qualify for a U.S. Open. However, the former Duke University All-American and college head coach did qualify for last year’s U.S. Senior Open at SentryWorld in Wisconsin

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.