Stuard, others advance from Springfield

Brian Stuard fired a first-round bogey-free 6-under 64 at Springfield (Ohio) Country Club during the first round of the U.S. Open Sectional Qualifier.

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Two flawless rounds by veteran Brian Stuard has sent the 31-year-old to his second consecutive U.S. Open. The championship will take place June 12-15 at Pinehurst Resort and Country Club in the Village of Pinehurst, N.C.

Stuard, of Jackson, Mich., shot 64-65 (11 under) to earn medalist honors by six at the Springfield (Ohio) Country Club sectional qualifying. Also qualifying was 17-year-old Will Grimmer (70-65) and Chris Thompson (66-70).

Stuard, who is playing in his third full season on the PGA Tour, has played in 20 events and has made 12 cuts while earning more than $1.6 million through the Memorial Tournament. But in his last three starts, he has not made the cut.

It was back in November, during the fall schedule of the 2013-14 season, that Stuard tied his best PGA Tour finish to date – runner-up at the OHL Classic at Mayakoba.

Grimmer will return to Pinehurst, a place where he created a little magic of his own in 2013.

The then-16-year-old shot an 11-under 59 on Pinehurst No. 1 during the 2013 North and South Junior. In Monday’s round, Grimmer shot a 70 in the morning and a bogey-free 65 in the afternoon to advance to his first major championship.

Earlier this year, Grimmer, No. 19 in the Golfweek/Sagarin Junior Rankings class-of-2015, committed to Ohio State, just a mere two hours from his hometown of Cincinnati.

The third and final spot at this sectional went to Chris Thompson of Lawrence, Kan. He shot a first-round 4-under 66 and followed that up in the afternoon with an even-par 70.

Thompson has played in only one PGA Tour event this season – the HP Byron Nelson Championship – and finished T-64. At Pinehurst, he will make the first major championship start of his 15-year professional career.

Other notables who did not advance were Billy Mayfair, who shot 69-71, along with Web.com Tour player Blayne Barber. Barber shot a second-round 3-over 73 at Springfield CC to tie for 16th.

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