2014 U.S. Open Sectionals Preview: Memphis, Tenn.
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 be chock full of PGA Tour players:
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Colonial Country Club (North and South courses)
Location: Memphis, Tenn.
Number of players: 145
Spots available: 13
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Players to watch
• Jason Allred, of Scottsdale, Ariz., won the 1997 U.S. Junior Amateur, defeating Trevor Immelman. Allred is attempting to qualify for his third U.S. Open, having competed in 2006 and 2010.
• John Augenstein, 16, of Owensboro, Ky., is a junior on the Owensboro Catholic High School team. He advanced to the semifinals of last year’s U.S. Junior Amateur and defeated medalist Jim Liu in match play. Augenstein was competing in his first USGA championship.
• Eric Axley, of Knoxville, Tenn., has played in six U.S. Opens. The 40-year-old tied for ninth, his best finish, in 2008.
• Charlie Beljan, of Mesa, Ariz., won the 2002 U.S. Junior Amateur at Atlanta Athletic Club, the site of this year’s U.S. Amateur. He has competed in two U.S. Opens. Beljan has won once on the PGA Tour and seven times on the Gateway Tour.
• Richard “Skip” Berkmeyer, of Wildwood, Mo., is making his 20th attempt at qualifying for the U.S. Open. He shot a 69 in local qualifying at Missouri Bluffs Golf Club. Berkmeyer has twice been a stroke-play medalist at the U.S. Mid-Amateur and has won three Missouri State Amateur championships.
• Chad Campbell has played in 11 U.S. Opens and tied for 18th in 2008. Campbell was in a three-way playoff at the 2009 Masters Tournament, won by Angel Cabrera, and was the runner-up in the 2003 PGA Championship to Shaun Micheel.
• Tim Clark has competed in 10 U.S. Opens and tied for third in 2005 at Pinehurst No. 2. Clark, who owns 12 professional victories on several tours, captured The Players Championship in 2011. He won the 1997 U.S. Amateur Public Links Championship, defeating Ryuji Imada in the final.
• David Duval, the 2001 British Open champion, tied for second in the 2009 U.S. Open and has four top-10 finishes. Duval also tied for seventh in 1999 at Pinehurst No. 2. He won the 1989 U.S. Junior Amateur Championship.
• Kenny Ebalo, of Las Vegas, Nev., manages PGA Tour player Ryan Moore, a three-time USGA champion. Ebalo has caddied for U.S. Open champions Gary Player and Lee Janzen. He qualified for his first U.S. Mid-Amateur Championship last year.
• Bob Estes, 48, has played in 15 U.S. Opens. Estes, who has four PGA Tour victories, has performed well in both U.S. Opens held at Pinehurst No. 2. He tied for 11th in 2005 and tied for 30th in 1999.
• Paul Goydos, 49, has competed in 12 U.S. Opens, with a tie for 12th in the 1999 championship at Pinehurst No. 2 his best finish. Goydos turns 50 on June 20 and is eligible for this year’s U.S. Senior Open.
• Kent Jones, 47, of Albuquerque, N.M., has played in six U.S. Opens and last competed in 2010 at Pebble Beach (Calif.) Golf Links. Jones has competed on four professional tours and owns two Nationwide (now Web.com Tour) victories.
• Jerry Kelly, 47, has played in 10 U.S. Opens, including both at Pinehurst No. 2, in 1999 and 2005. Kelly posted his best finish (tie for seventh) in 2007 at Oakmont (Pa.) Country Club.
• Scott Langley has played in three of the last four U.S. Opens and was low amateur with Russell Henley in 2010, tying for 16th. Langley, a PGA Tour member, played in three U.S. Amateurs and reached the quarterfinals in 2010.
• Frank Lickliter, 44, has played in eight U.S. Opens. His best finish was a tie for 18th at The Olympic Club in San Francisco, in 1998. He has two PGA Tour victories.
• Jeff Maggert, 50, has competed in 15 U.S. Opens, but has not qualified since 2005. He has finished in the top 10 seven times, including third-place finishes in 2002 and 2004. Maggert won his Champions Tour debut in March and will play in the 2014 U.S. Senior Open.
• Dan Obremski, 27, of Irwin, Pa., is a mini-tour player who played at Coastal Carolina University. His father, Daniel, was inducted into the USA Racquetball Hall of Fame in 2006. Rising to as high as No. 3 in the world, Daniel captured five national open doubles titles.
• Jon Olson, 34, of Ankeny, Iowa, was named the state’s Class 4A Coach of the Year in his first season after leading Ankeny Centennial High School to the state championship. Olson won the 2012 Iowa Amateur title.
• Alex Prugh, of Las Vegas, Nev., comes from a family of golfers and is attempting to qualify for his second U.S. Open. He and his brother, Corey, both played at the University of Washington. Corey is entered in this year’s Creswell, Ore., sectional qualifier. Their father, Steve, is the head professional at Manito Golf & Country Club and played in the 2006 U.S. Senior Open. Their sister, Hillary, played collegiately at Montana State.
• Davis Riley, 17, of Hattiesburg, Miss., was the runner-up in the 2013 U.S. Junior Amateur, losing to Scottie Scheffler, 3 and 2, in the championship match. Riley, a four-time high school state medalist, called a Rules infraction on himself when his ball moved at address on a birdie putt from just off the green on the deciding hole.
• Scottie Scheffler, 17, of Dallas, Texas, won last year’s U.S. Junior Amateur and was a quarterfinalist at the U.S. Amateur. In 2014, Scheffler captured his third consecutive Texas 4A state championship. He recently tied for 22nd at the PGA Tour’s HP Byron Nelson Championship. Scheffler’s sister, Callie, is a member of the Texas A&M University women’s golf team.
• Richard “Gator” Todd, of St. Simons Island, Ga., is the son of former NFL quarterback Richard Todd. Gator earned first-team all-Southeastern Conference (SEC) honors as a member of the University of Alabama golf team. His father played for Paul “Bear” Bryant at Alabama and was chosen by the New York Jets in the first round of the 1976 NFL Draft.
• David Toms, 47, has competed in 17 U.S. Opens and owns three top-five finishes. He tied for fourth in 2012 at The Olympic Club in San Francisco. Toms has won on the PGA Tour 13 times, including the 2001 PGA Championship.
• Brian Vranesh, of Phoenix, Ariz., was the medalist at his U.S. Open local qualifier with a 9-under-par 62, which included two eagles, at Encanterra Country Club. He is a self-professed “Joe the Plumber” of golf who has waited tables and delivered pizzas on a journey which led to him joining the PGA Tour in 2009.
• Stephen Wall, 17, of Madisonville, La., is a junior at Northlake Christian High School who advanced through U.S. Open local qualifying with a birdie on the first hole of a six-man playoff. Wall, who also will attempt to qualify for this year’s U.S. Junior Amateur, finished fifth at the state Division III tournament.
• Brady Watt, 24, of Australia, advanced to the semifinals of the 2013 U.S. Amateur Championship. He shared medalist honors at 6-under 134 in his first USGA championship and caddied for countryman Oliver Goss in the final match against Matthew Fitzpatrick. He won last year’s Western Australia Amateur and was runner-up in 2012.
• Casey Wittenberg has played in six U.S. Opens and tied for 10th in 2012 at The Olympic Club in San Francisco. Wittenberg, the 2003 U.S. Amateur runner-up and a member of that year’s USA Walker Cup Team, won twice on the Web.com Tour in 2012.
• Matthew Younts, of Stokesdale, N.C., made a 60-foot birdie chip on the 18th hole in U.S. Open local qualifying to advance to sectionals. Younts played his collegiate golf at UNC-Greensboro and is now a full-time personal trainer.