2014 U.S. Open Sectionals Preview: Columbus, Ohio

Oklahoma State's Jordan Niebrugge is one of the few non-PGA Tour players participating in the U.S. Open Sectional Qualifier in Columbus.
Oklahoma State's Jordan Niebrugge is one of the few non-PGA Tour players participating in the U.S. Open Sectional Qualifier in Columbus. ( Tracy Wilcox )

Sunday, June 1, 2014

On Monday, the U.S. Open will kick into high gear with sectional qualifying at 10 different U.S. sites. There are 56 spots available at the 10 sites.

Here is a closer look at one of two sites that will chock full of PGA Tour players:

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Brookside Golf/Country Club and Scioto Country Club

Location: Columbus, Ohio

Number of players: 120

Spots available: 16

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Players to watch

Robert Allenby, 42, has competed in 14 U.S. Opens and has four top-25 finishes. His best performance is a tie for seventh in 2004.

Stuart Appleby, 43, has played in 14 U.S. Opens. His best finish came in 1998 when he tied for 10th at The Olympic Club in San Francisco.

Woody Austin, 50, has competed in seven U.S. Opens and tied for 23rd in 1996. Austin, who will play in his first U.S. Senior Open this year, owns four PGA Tour victories.

Ricky Barnes, 33, won the 2002 U.S. Amateur Championship, defeating Hunter Mahan in the final. He tied for second at the 2009 U.S. Open, held at Bethpage State Park’s Black Course. He also qualified for the 2000 U.S. Open as a 19-year-old amateur.

Paul Casey, 36, of England, has played in 10 U.S. Opens and tied for 10th in 2007 at Oakmont (Pa.) Country Club. Casey has won 12 times on the European Tour, including last year’s Irish Open. He won the 2009 Shell Houston Open for his lone PGA Tour victory.

Kevin Chappell, 27, a PGA Tour player, has competed in three consecutive U.S. Opens. He tied for third in 2011 at Congressional Country Club and tied for 10th the following year at The Olympic Club. He was a first-team All-American as a collegian at UCLA.

K.J. Choi, 44, has competed in 13 consecutive U.S. Opens and must advance through sectional qualifying to extend his streak. Choi has eight PGA Tour wins, including the The Players Championship in 2011.

Derek Ernst, 24, of Las Vegas, Nev., was the runner-up in the 2011 U.S. Amateur Public Links. In 2013, Ernst advanced out of U.S. Open local qualifying one week after winning the PGA Tour’s Wells Fargo Championship. He reached the third round in the 2007 U.S. Junior Amateur.

Luke Guthrie, 24, qualified for his first U.S. Open last year at the Columbus, Ohio, sectional when he made a birdie to survive an 11-for-7 playoff. He shot rounds of 69 and 67 earlier in the day. Guthrie, an All-American and Big Ten Conference Player of the Year at the University of Illinois, has won twice on the Web.com Tour.

Hunter Haas, 37, of Fort Worth, Texas, won the 1999 U.S. Amateur Public Links and was a member of the 1999 USA Walker Cup Team. Haas, who was a semifinalist in the 1999 U.S. Amateur, has won four times on theWeb.com Tour.

Kevin Hall, 31, of Cincinnati, Ohio, has been deaf since age 2 due to a bout with meningitis. He has competed on the NGA Tour (formerly Hooters Tour) since he won the 2004 Big Ten Conference championship and led Ohio State to the team title. He was the 2012 Ohio Open runner-up, losing on the second playoff hole.

Tim Herron, 44, posted his best finish in a U.S. Open at Pinehurst No. 2 when he was sixth in 1999. Herron, who has played in 11 U.S. Opens, has four PGA Tour victories.

Trevor Immelman, 34, of South Africa, the winner of the 2008 Masters Tournament, has played in eight U.S. Opens, with his best finish a tie for 21st in 2006. Immelman won the 1998 U.S. Amateur Public Links Championship, defeating Jason Dufner in the final.

Brandt Jobe, 48, of Argyle, Texas, has competed in 12 U.S. Opens. His best finish was a tie for 18th in 2008. He tied for 33rd at Pinehurst No. 2 in 2005.

Michael Kim, 20, of Houston, Texas, turned professional last December after playing on the winning 2013 USA Walker Cup Team. As a sophomore at the University of California-Berkeley, Kim was named Golfweek/Sagarin Player of the Year and Pacific-12 Conference Golfer of the Year. He finished as low amateur in last year’s U.S. Open, tying for 17th.

Colt Knost, 28, won both the U.S. Amateur and U.S. Amateur Public Links championships in 2007, joining Ryan Moore as the only players to win both championships in the same year. Knost, who played on the winning 2007 USA Walker Cup Team, has two victories on the Web.com Tour.

Justin Leonard, 41, the 1997 British Open champion, has competed in 16 U.S. Opens. His best finish is a tie for 12th in 2002. He won the 1992 U.S. Amateur and was the 1994 NCAA Division I individual champion. He also played on the 1993 USA Walker Cup Team.

Davis Love III, 50, has competed in 23 U.S. Opens and owns five top-10 finishes, including a tie for second in 1996. Love has 20 PGA Tour wins, including the 1997 PGA Championship. He served as United States captain for the 2012 Ryder Cup.

Jordan Niebrugge, 20, of Mequon, Wis., was a member of the victorious 2013 USA Walker Cup Team. In 2013, he won the U.S. Amateur Public Links, the Western Amateur, the Wisconsin State Amateur and the Wisconsin State Match Play. He is a sophomore at Oklahoma State University, where he competes on the golf team.

Zach Norris, 16, of McKee, Ky., shot a 3-under 69 to advance out of U.S. Open local qualifying. Norris led Jackson County High School to the 2012 All “A” state tournament title and was named the 2013 Region Player of the Year.

Vijay Singh, 51, has competed in 18 U.S. Opens and has seven top-10 finishes. Singh, who will play in his first U.S. Senior Open this year, fared well in both U.S. Opens at Pinehurst No. 2. He tied for third in 1999 and tied for sixth in 2005.

Justin Thomas, of Goshen, Ky., is playing on the Web.com Tour after leading Alabama to the 2013 NCAA Division I championship and the Southeastern Conference (SEC) title. Thomas, a member of the victorious 2013 USA Walker Cup Team, was a semifinalist in the 2012 U.S. Amateur and the runner-up in the 2010 U.S. Junior Amateur.

Michael Thompson, 29, tied for second behind Webb Simpson in the 2012 U.S. Open at The Olympic Club, in San Francisco. Thompson, the 2007 U.S. Amateur runner-up, was the low amateur in the 2008 U.S. Open. He won the PGA Tour’s Honda Classic in 2013.

Nicholas Thompson, of Palm Beach Gardens, Fla., is attempting to qualify for his fourth U.S. Open. His brother, Curtis, is playing in the Vero Beach, Fla., sectional qualifier. Their sister, Alexis (Lexi), is an LPGA Tour player who claimed her first major championship (Kraft Nabisco) this year.

D.J. Trahan has played in three U.S. Opens. He won the 2000 U.S. Amateur Public Links Championship and was a member of the 2001 USA Walker Cup Team.

Cameron Tringale was a member of the 2009 USA Walker Cup Team. He advanced to the third round in the 2009 U.S. Amateur and qualified for match play in the 2007 U.S. Amateur. Tringale was a three-time All-American at Georgia Tech University.

Kevin Tway, of Edmond, Okla., won the 2005 U.S. Junior Amateur Championship. Tway, an honorable mention All-American at Oklahoma State University, is the son of Bob Tway, who competed in 18 U.S. Opens and tied for third in 1998.

Bo Van Pelt is attempting to qualify for his eighth U.S. Open. His best finish is a tie for 11th in 2011 at Congressional Country Club. Van Pelt has won on five professional tours, including the PGA Tour and European Tour. His father, Bob, was chosen in the 1967 NFL Draft by the Philadelphia Eagles.

Camilo Villegas has competed in seven U.S. Opens, including a tie for ninth in 2008. The native of Colombia was the runner-up in the 1999 U.S. Junior Amateur to Hunter Mahan. Villegas’ brother, Manuel, has also advanced to the Columbus, Ohio, sectional.

Manuel Villegas, of Colombia, and his brother, Camilo, are attempting to qualify at the Columbus, Ohio, sectional. Manuel has played on the Web.com Tour, NGA Tour and PGA Tour Latinoamerica.

Michael Weaver, 23, of Fresno, Calif., was a member of the victorious 2013 USA Walker Cup team. He was the 2012 U.S. Amateur runner-up and earned exemptions to the 2013 U.S. Open (tied for 64th) and Masters Tournament.

Mike Weir, the 2003 Masters Tournament champion, has played in 12 U.S. Opens. Weir has four top-10 finishes, including a tie for third in 2003. He owns eight PGA Tour victories.

Todd White, 46, was a member of the winning 2013 USA Walker Cup Team. He has competed in 12 USGA championships, including four U.S. Amateurs and three U.S. Mid-Amateurs. He played in the 1995 U.S. Open, held at Shinnecock Hills Golf Club.

Bill Williamson, 36, of Cincinnati, Ohio, was the runner-up in the 2013 U.S. Mid-Amateur, losing to Mike McCoy in the final. Williamson, who has played in eight USGA championships, also finished second in the 2010 Ohio Amateur.

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Complete coverage: Sectional previews

Daly City, Calif. Sectional: Lake Merced Golf Club & The Olympic Club (Ocean Course)

Vero Beach, Fla. Sectional: Quail Valley Golf Club

Roswell, Ga. Sectional: Ansley Golf Club (Settindown Creek Course)

Rockville, Md. Sectional: Woodmont Country Club (North Course)

Purchase, N.Y. Sectional: Old Oaks Country Club & Century Country Club

Columbus, Ohio Sectional: Brookside Golf & Country Club & Scioto Country Club

Springfield, Ohio Sectional: Springfield Country Club

Creswell, Ore. Sectional: Emerald Valley Golf Club

Memphis Sectional: Colonial Country Club (North & South courses)

Houston Sectional: Lakeside Country Club