Welcome to the U.S. Open, 10 guys who made the cut Monday at Woodmont Country Club in Rockville. A few of those guys are well-known names in local or national golf circles, but all of them will have a chance to compete next week at Congressional Country Club with the likes of Phil Mickelson, Steve Stricker and Luke Donald.
Your 10 sectional qualifiers are ex-Maryland golf coach Fred Funk, PGA Tour veteran Kirk Triplett, ex-teenage prodigy Ty Tryon, Michael Tobiason Jr., Jon Mills, Elliot Gealy, Christo Greyling, Will Wilcox, Bubba Dickerson and David May.
Triplett’s 8-under 133 was the best on the day and made him a shoo-in for the U.S. Open. No playoff was needed for the top 10 spots but one was required for two alternates – Brad Adamonis and Virginia Tech alum Drew Weaver.
With the exception of Funk, who has local ties, area players struggled at Woodmont. Former Maryland player George Bradford opened with a 65 on the harder North Course, but shot 77 on the South Course to cost himself a spot. Billy Hurley III of Annapolis (a Leesburg native) came up just one stroke short of being in the playoff and lamented throwing a few holes away with bad club selection.
But this sectional qualifier – one of several around the country – offered up some great stories, from Funk to Tobiason (check out Wednesday’s paper for his inspirational story). And while it’s unlikely that any of these guys will win the U.S. Open, they all accomplished something pretty significant by just making it from the field of 112.
“I’m looking forward to it,” Tobiason said. “When you’ve been playing this game for so long, you wanna play against the best. This is a great chance – this is the best from all over the world that comes to play in this tournament.”