We are tracking sectional qualifying for the 2019 U.S. Open at Pebble Beach.
Hagestad qualifies for third straight U.S. Open
On paper it all looked so simple for Stewart Hagestad to make it through the U.S. Open Sectional Qualifying at Big Canyon.
He had the largest gallery and the most famous gallery member watching—Fred Couples. Three club championships to his name at the course he’s played since his first words were “rake the trap” — that’s age 3 or so for those counting at home. And yet even with so much on his side, Hagestad said he felt no less pressure trying to get by at his home course.
“That’s one of the best rounds played in a long time, maybe ever,” he said after an afternoon 66. With his morning 68, the 2016 U.S. Mid-Amateur Champion now heads to Pebble Beach where he reached the round of 16 in last year’s U.S. Amateur.
While a hole-in-one at Newport Beach Country Club was key to his round after a par-5 double bogey, it was an up-and-down at 17 in the afternoon that Hagestad saved his chances of a third-straight U.S. Open appearance.
“Twenty more tries at that one and I’m not getting up and down,” he said of the lob wedge and 15-foot par putt. Hagestad then left himself iron into the par-5 18th, played safely to the back of the green away from water and OB next to the green, then hit a 70-foot eagle putt from off the fringe to within inches, giving the gallery of 100 or so mostly-Big Canyon members and work colleagues something to cheer about.
Hagestad reflected on the accomplishment, praising the USGA for their course setups and expressing dismay at the level of complaining in recent years after two great U.S. Open experiences, particularly at Shinnecock Hills where he felt the setup was “extremely hard but fair.”
He now gets another shot at the U.S. Open, this time in his home state and a course he savored in last August’s U.S. Amateur.
Arizona State’s Chun An Yu won the sectional.
PGA Tour players advance in Columbus
Luke Guthrie, a two-time winner on Web.com Tour, shot 11-under 131 for 36 holes in Columbus, Ohio, to earn medalist honors.
Guthrie and Sam Saunders both shot 64 in the morning at Brookside. Saunders shot 69 in the afternoon to finish third, one shot behind Anirban Lahiri.
Also advancing through the Columbus sectional were PGA Tour players Jhonattan Vegas, Rory Sabbatini, Jason Dufner and Luke Donald. Amateurs Brandon Wu from Stanford and Collin Morikawa from Cal (tie for seventh, 137) also made it in.
Hurley is co-medalist at Woodmont
Billy Hurley III birdied his final hole to get to 3-under after 36 holes, taking the clubhouse lead at the sectional at Woodmont Country Club in Rockville, Md.
Hurley secured his fourth trip to the U.S. Open, after shooting rounds of 70-71-141 with blustery winds throughout the day. His playing partners, amateur Trevor Werbylo and Cody Proveaux, got on the leaderboard in the morning (Proveaux shot a 68 and Werbylo 71), but both faded in the afternoon. Werbylo shot 75 and Proveaux a 77.
Werbylo just finished his sophomore season on the Arizona golf team.
Experience clearly helped Hurley down the stretch.
“I’ve been doing this for a long time. Trevor’s a great player; he’s maybe 20,” Hurley said. “There’s always a lot to learn, managing your game and managing yourself. I’ve been able to learn a lot of that, this is my seventh year on tour.”
Connor Arendell, who has played Web.com Tour events, also finished at 3-under 141 to take co-medalist honors with Hurley.
Callum Tarren sets course record in Florida
It’s heating up in central Florida, where three spots are up for grabs at Streamsong Black. England’s Callum Tarren opened with a course-record 64 (that included a double) and made the turn in 30.
He holds a two-shot lead over Guillermo Pereira, who is 7 under through 15 holes in his afternoon round and 12 under for the tournament. Callum missed out on qualifying last year by a single shot.
Tyson Alexander, son of former Florida coach Buddy Alexander and the third of three-generations of U.S. Open competitors, is in a share of third with amateur Luis Gagne at 10 under.
Alexander qualified for the 2009 and 2017 U.S. Opens through local and sectional qualifying.
Rising Florida junior Chris Nido is one shot back at 9 under with seven holes to play.
–Beth Ann Nichols
Richard Lee opens with 64 at tougher Big Canyon
With 18 of the top 20 posting their first rounds at Newport Beach Country Club, journeyman pro Richard Lee’s opening 8-under-par 64 at the tougher Big Canyon course was low by three strokes.
The other 64 was posted at par-71 Newport Beach by Arizona State Senior Chun An Yu, who recently finished third in the NCAA Men’s Championship.
Tiger Woods holds the competitive course record at Big Canyon, a 61 in the then-Pac 10 Championship.
Lee is a former University of Washington golfer who has qualified for one U.S. Open in 2015.
Former USC golfer Sean Crocker opened with 65 at Newport Beach Country Club and now faces Big Canyon, where he missed qualifying for the US Open by one stroke in 2017.
Hagestad records ace after double bogey
Former U.S. Mid-Amateur Champion Stewart Hagestad holed a 9-iron on the 145-yard fourth at Newport Beach Country Club en route to an opening 68.
“It was a little bittersweet,” said caddy Jason Beach, who looped for Hagestad here two years ago when the 28-year-old qualified for the U.S. Open at Erin Hills.
How so? Hagestad hit his second shot into the water and bogeyed the easy par-5 third.
Still, the Newport Beach resident is well positioned for an afternoon push on his home course, Big Canyon Country Club.
Second round gets tougher in New York
The combination of swirling winds and challenging conditions are taking their toll on the players at Century Country Club and Old Oaks Country Club.
As of 3 p.m. Eastern, just three golfers at the MET U.S. Open sectional qualifying event were under par, with Andrew Svoboda and amateur Garrett Engle tied at 2 under. Both are currently playing Old Oaks. Andy Pope was at 2 under playing Century Country Club and amateurs Matt Parziale and Cameron Young were tied for fourth at even par.
Only four golfers of the 74 golfers who are in the field are below par for their second 18-hole round.
In New York, one course is a little easier
The Metropolitan Golf Association (MGA) has an abundance of riches when it comes to courses to use for holding tournaments. Today’s 36-hole event is being played on neighboring Old Oaks Country Club (A.W. Tillinghast) and Century Country Club (H. S. Colt and C. H. Alison) in Purchase, N.Y. Through the first 18 holes, the top of the leaderboard is filled with players who started on the par-71 Century Country Club course.
Andrew Svoboda, who is currently playing on the Web.com Tour, shot a 3-under 68 at Century to take the lead. He is followed by amateurs Matt Parziale and Garrett Engle, who each shot 2-under 69 at Century. Luke Sample and Jack Wall, two more amateurs, shot 70 at Century and are tied for fourth with Cameron Young and Andy Pope, who each shot 1-under 69s at Old Oaks.
Parziale’s name should sound familiar. The firefighter from Brockton, Mass., won the U.S. Mid-Am in 2017, which qualified him for the 2018 Masters and U.S. Open.
J.J. Henry, who has three PGA Tour wins and is originally from Fairfield, Conn., shot 1-over 71 at Old Oaks.
Jack Nicklaus’ son, Gary Nicklaus, shot 74 at Old Oaks.
There are 73 players competing for four spots in the field at the U.S. Open at Pebble Beach next week.
Saunders tied for lead in Columbus
Sam Saunders and Luke Guthrie each shot 8-under 64 in their morning rounds at Brookside Golf and Country Club in Columbus.
Saunders made the turn at 29 after seven early birdies Monday morning. Guthrie, who has two Web.com victories in his career, eagled the par-5 4th hole and added six birdies in his opening round.
Amateur Brandon Wu, a senior at Stanford who just helped his team win an NCAA title last week in Fayetteville, Ark., opened with a 5-under 67 at Brookside that left him tied for fifth. Fourteen players will advance to Pebble Beach from the Columbus sectional.
There’s a 3-way tie for the lead in Springfield
After the first round, Zac Blair, Brett Drewitt and Richy Werenski are tied for the lead at Springfield Country Club in Springfield, Ohio, after each shot a 67.
A former Brigham Young University golfer, Blair has two top-10 finishes on the Web.com Tour this year. He placed T-6 in the Robert Trent Jones Golf Trail Championship and eighth in the Bahamas Great Exuma Classic. On the PGA Tour, his best finish is T-59 in the Puerto Rico Open in February. Blair recorded six birdies and three bogeys in Monday’s first round to share the lead.
Werenski, a former Georgia Tech golfer, carded five birdies and two bogeys in his first round while Drewitt, from Australia, began the day with back-to-back bogeys, but rallied to finish with five birdies.
Werenski also played in the Memorial last week but did not survive the cut, finishing 4-over 144. His best finish this year was T-3 in the Mayakoba Golf Classic.
–JuliaKate E. Culpepper
South African finishes 16 under in Surrey
Dean Burmester guaranteed his spot in the 119th U.S. Open Championship following up his morning 9-under 63 with a 65 to finish 16 under at the sectional qualifier in Surrey, England.
The 30-year-old South African had nine birdies in his morning round at Walton Heath and nine more in the afternoon with just two bogeys for the day, on the fifth and seventh holes.
Sam Horsfield, 22, of England was 12 under after rounds of 67-65. Horsfield, who played at the University of Florida, reached the Round of 16 in the 2016 U.S. Amateur.
As a rookie on the European Tour in 2018, Horsfield had three top-five finishes. When he was 13, Horsfield shot a 59 at the Highlands Reserve Golf Club in Orlando.
Burmester, who tied for ninth at the Belgian Knockout over the weekend, is No. 171 in the Official World Golf Ranking. He has one victory on the European Tour, the Tshwane Open in 2017.
Saunders has 7 early birdies
In Columbus, Sam Saunders got off to a hot start, making the turn with a 29 after seven birdies, including four consecutive to open his round at Brookside Golf and Country Club.
In 2015, Saunders was the co-medalist at the Columbus sectional and tied for 50th at the U.S. Open that year. Saunders, the grandson of Arnold Palmer, has struggled of late, missing the cut at his last three PGA Tour events.
Last season was one of Saunders’ best on the PGA Tour with four top-10 finishes.
Also in Columbus, Jhonattan Vegas was 4 under through nine holes, and Cameron Champ, Luke Donald and Max Homa were 3 under.
And here’s the breakdown for how many players are in the field and how many spots are on the line at each sectional, according to the USGA:
- England – 109 for 14
- Canada – 37 for 4
- California – 99 for 5
- Florida – 56 for 3
- Georgia – 67 for 4
- Maryland – 63 for 4
- New York – 73 for 4
- Columbus – 121 for 14
- Springfield – 73 for 5
- Washington – 55 for 3
Fireman leads early in NY
Fireman Matt Parziale opened with four early birdies to make the turn at 4 under at sectional qualifying in Purchase, N.Y.
He was the early leader at Century Country Club on Monday morning. Qualifying was also being held at Old Oaks.
Parziale of Brockton, Mass., tied for 48th at last year’s Open at Shinnecock Hills, tying for low amateur. He played college golf at Southeastern University in Lakeland, Fla., and then played on the mini-tours for three years before making a career change. At Shinnecock, he had his dad Vic on the bag on Father’s Day. The 31-year-old Parziale won the 2017 U.S. Mid-Amateur.
South African fires a 63 in Surrey
South African Dean Burmester shot a 9-under 63 at sectional qualifying Monday in Surrey, England, to take the early lead. Burmester, who tied for ninth at the Belgian Knockout over the weekend, birdied his last three holes and had nine overall in his morning round.
Nacho Elvira and Marcus Fraser each shot 6-under 66 in the morning at the sectional played at Walton on the Hill. Edoardo Molinari shot a 4-under 68, which included an eagle on No. 13.
Schniederjans, Young jump out in Georgia
At Hawks Ridge Golf Club in Ball Ground, Ga., Ollie Schniederjans and Carson Young finished their first nine 4 under to share the lead.
Both golfers had four birdies Monday morning.
Schniederjans, from Alpharetta, Ga., did not survive the cut at the Memorial Tournament over the weekend. In his fourth year as a pro, Schniederjans’ best finish this season was T-16 at The Players Championship. The former Georgia Tech golfer made the cut in 10-of-21 events this year.
–JuliaKate E. Culpepper
Close ties to Pebble Beach
Several top collegiate players, mid-amateurs and pros are turning up at the Newport Beach sectional, but no player may be more closely aligned with Pebble Beach than John Sawin.
The 34-year-old left the financial services industry to become a VP and director of golf for the Pebble Beach Company but continues to play on the amateur circuit.
Sawinalso was co-chair of Pebble Beach’s U.S. Amateur last summer and is in the sectional qualifying after sharing local qualifying medalist honors at Pasatiempo.
While Sawin has competed in six USGA championships, it’s safe to say qualifying for a U.S. Open at Pebble Beach would be his biggest yet.
Columbus qualifier loaded with names
Jason Dufner, Harold Varner III, Steve Stricker. They are among the PGA Tour pros eying a spot at Pebble.
Cole Hammer, Brandon Wu, Akshay Bhatia. They are part of the next wave.
All those and more will tee it up in Columbus on Monday at Scioto Country Club and Brookside Golf and Country Club.
Kevin Streelman, Bud Cauley, who tied for ninth at the Memorial, and Sung Kang, who claimed his first PGA Tour victory at the Byron Nelson last month, are also competing.
Conducted over 36 holes on Monday, qualifying will be held at eight U.S. sites and in Canada and England.
The U.S. Open is June 13-16 at Pebble Beach.
There was a qualifier on May 20 in Texas. CBS football analyst Tony Romo failed to advance out of there but former Masters champ Mike Weir did.
There was also a qualifier on May 27 in Japan.