Two-time U.S. Open winner Lee Janzen, former world No. 1 Luke Donald, the reigning college champion and Arnold Palmer’s grandson were among the players who earned final U.S. Open spots through sectional qualifying events.
Almost 800 golfers competed on Monday for 58 berths, from high school freshmen to major championship winners like Janzen, Retief Goosen, Vijay Singh and Davis Love III.
Janzen, 50, is headed back to the U.S. Open for the first time since 2008 after shooting 4 under par over two rounds to lead a field of 71 players in Purchase, New York, one of the 10 qualifying sites around the U.S.
The season’s second major championship, the 156-player U.S. Open will be held June 18-21 at Chambers Bay Golf Course in University Place, Washington.
Michael Putnam of University Place will get a chance to tee off in a U.S. Open in his hometown, shooting 12 under to tie for the lead at the qualifier in Columbus, Ohio, where 15 of the 120 participants won spots. Also at 12 under was Palmer’s grandson, Sam Saunders, while other Columbus qualifiers included Ryo Ishikawa, Bo Van Pelt, Camilo Villegas and amateur Bryson Dechambeau, a junior at Southern Methodist University who won the 2015 NCAA Division I individual title.
Donald, back in U.S. Open qualifying for the first time in 11 years, was one of four players to earn a berth from Jupiter, Florida. Goosen, the 2001 and 2004 U.S. Open champion, followed up a first-round 64 with an even-par 72 on Monday to capture the last of the 10 tournament berths awarded in Memphis.
Cole Hammer, a 15-year-old high school freshman from Houston, captured one of the six available berths from the Dallas qualifier after rounds of 64 and 68.
Major championship winners Love, Singh, Stewart Cink, David Duval, Trevor Immelman, Shaun Micheel and David Toms failed to qualify. Fred Couples withdrew ahead of a qualifier in Newport Beach, California, because of a back problem.