Former champ McDowell heads US Open qualifier in Dallas

by | May 23, 2022 | 0 comments

Graeme McDowell (Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)

Fatiha Betscher

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Former US Open winning Graeme McDowell heads an impressive list of fellow PGA Tour winners, with the USGA advising of ‘storylines’ ahead of Monday’s 36-hole Final Qualifier at the Lakewood CC and Royal Oaks CC courses in Texas.

A total of 120 players will play the two courses located six miles apart in the northern suburbs of Dallas. The two courses are among nine sites hosting final qualifying on Monday – eight in the US and one in Canada with the leading qualifiers at each venue advancing to tee-up in the 2022 U.S. Open Championship from June 16-19 at The Country Club’s Open Course, in Brookline, Mass.

Graeme McDowell, 42, won the 2010 U.S. Open by one stroke over Gregory Havret at Pebble Beach Golf Links, becoming the first European to capture the championship in 40 years. Shortly after winning the U.S. Open, McDowell joined the PGA Tour and earned a five-year exemption for winning a major.

McDowell, who has played in 15 U.S. Opens, also tied for second with Michael Thompson one stroke behind champion Webb Simpson at The Olympic Club in 2012. McDowell has recorded four PGA Tour and 11 European Tour victories. McDowell has competed in 16 prior U.S. Opens and is teeing-up in Texas for a second year running in a qualifier given his exemption expired at the close of him missing the cut in the 2020 U.S. Open.

A year ago, play was suspended on the Monday at the Dallas CC course due to storms and pushed the qualifier into a second day, with further delays on Tuesday resulting in 55 of the 115-man field – including McDowell – withdrawing before completing their second rounds.

McDowell, currently ranked 370th in the world, carded an opening-round 70 on the Blue Course and was level par for his round on the Gold Course with one hole to complete, leaving him unlikely to progress, with the 41-year-old pulling out of the tournament when further storms arrived late on Tuesday morning

  • Full qualifying scoring HERE

A LOOK AT THE QUALIFYING FIELD:

. ►Jason Allred, 42, of Gig Harbor, Wash., has played in four U.S. Opens, including 2016 when he advanced through both local and final qualifying to Oakmont (Pa.) Country Club. Allred also qualified for the U.S. Open through both stages in 2006 and 2010. Allred, who tied for 47th at Pebble Beach (Calif.) Golf Links in 2010, won the 1997 U.S. Junior Amateur.

►Mario Carmona, 26, of Mexico, was one of 10 players to advance from the Dallas final qualifier to last year’s U.S. Open at Torrey Pines. Carmona, who earned All-Conference USA honors at Rice University, became the first Owl to play in the U.S. Open since 2011. Carmona, who moved from Mexico to Houston, Texas at age 12, has played in three Latin America Amateur Championships and competed on PGA Latinoamerica in 2019.

►Eric Cole, 33, of Delray Beach, Fla., comes from an accomplished golf family. His father, Bobby, played in seven U.S. Opens, with his best finish a tie for 12th in 1970. Bobby won a PGA Tour event in 1977 and captured nine titles in his native South Africa. Eric’s mother, Laura Baugh, won the 1971 U.S. Women’s Amateur. She competed in 14 U.S. Women’s Opens and tied for eighth in 1979. Eric advanced to his first U.S. Open last year through both stages of qualifying.

►Parker Coody, 22, of Plano, Texas, and his twin brother, Pierceson, are seniors on the University of Texas team and the grandsons of 1971 Masters champion Charles Coody. Parker shot a 3-under 69 to advance from the Round Rock, Texas, local qualifier on May 9. His round was highlighted by a pair of holes-in-one. He aced the 190-yard eighth hole with a 7-iron and the 160-yard 17th hole with a pitching wedge at Forest Creek G.C. His brother is scheduled to play in this year’s Columbus, Ohio, final qualifier.

►Austin Eckroat, 23, of Edmond, Okla., advanced through the Dallas final qualifier to the 2019 U.S. Open at Pebble Beach after surviving a 3-for-2 playoff. Eckroat, who was a member of the winning 2021 USA Walker Cup Team, was a four-time All-American at Oklahoma State University. He and teammates Viktor Hovland and Matthew Wolff helped the Cowboys win the 2018 NCAA Championship. In 2020, he tied for 12th in the PGA Tour’s Mayakoba Golf Classic. Eckroat has also played on the Korn Ferry Tour.

►Dylan Fritelli, 31, of South Africa, tied for 46th last year at Torrey Pines in his second U.S. Open. He has been victorious on five professional tours, including the PGA Tour’s 2019 John Deere Classic and twice on the PGA European Tour. He made the winning putt to help the University of Texas claim the 2012 NCAA Championship. Fritelli represented his native country in two World Amateur Team Championships (2008 & 2010).

►Taylor Funk, 26, of Austin, Texas, was teammates with 2022 Masters champion Scottie Scheffler at the University of Texas. He is the son of Fred Funk, who competed in 22 U.S. Opens and won the 2009 U.S. Senior Open. Taylor was one of five players to advance to this year U.S. Open final qualifying from the Round Rock, Texas, local qualifier on May 9. He recently became fully exempt on Mackenzie-PGA Tour Canada.

►Robert Garrigus, 44, of Chandler, Ariz., has competed in five U.S. Opens, with his best finish a tie for third in 2011 at Congressional Country Club. He turned professional in 1997 and played on several tours before he earned his PGA Tour card in 2005. His father, Thomas, won a silver medal in trap shooting at the 1968 Summer Olympics in Mexico City.

►Chesson Hadley, 34, of Raleigh, N.C., has played in three U.S. Opens. His best finish was a tie for third in 2019 at Pebble Beach Golf Links when he advanced through the Columbus, Ohio, final qualifier. Hadley earned PGA Tour Rookie of the Year in 2014, when he won the Puerto Rico Open. He was also the 2017 Korn Ferry Tour Player of the Year. Hadley was a three-time All-American at Georgia Tech.

►Adam Hadwin, 34, of Canada, has played in six U.S. Opens. His best finishes were a tie for 39th in 2011 at Congressional Country Club and a tie for 40th last year at Torrey Pines. He has won on three professional tours, including the PGA Tour’s 2017 Valspar Championship, a one-stroke victory over Patrick Cantlay. Hadwin, who was born in Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan, represented the International Team in the 2017 and 2019 Presidents Cups.

►Brian Harman, 35, of Savannah, Ga., tied for second in the 2017 U.S. Open at Erin Hills and has played in six U.S. Opens. He has won twice on the PGA Tour, including the Wells Fargo Championship in 2017. Harman, who played on two USA Walker Cup Teams (2005, 2009), was a three-time All-American at the University of Georgia and won the 2003 U.S. Junior Amateur.

►Mackenzie Hughes, 31, of Canada, shared the 54-hole lead in last year’s U.S. Open at Torrey Pines but shot a final-round 77 to tie for 15th. Hughes, who has played in four U.S. Opens, advanced through both qualifying stages in 2013 to Merion Golf Club. Hughes, who also was in contention and tied for sixth in the 2021 Open Championship, has won on three tours (PGA, Korn Ferry & PGA Tour Canada). He captured the PGA Tour’s RSM Classic in 2016 by surviving a five-way playoff.

►Aaron Jarvis, 19, of Cayman Islands, won the 2022 Latin America Amateur Championship at Casa de Campo. He shot a final-round 69 to post a 72-hole score of 7-under-par 281 and a one stroke victory over four players. Jarvis, who is a freshman at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas (UNLV), scored a huge result for his country, which has a population of 71,000 and 27 holes of golf on three islands.

►Matt Jones, 42, of Australia, has competed in six U.S. Opens, with his best finish a tie for 65th last year at Torrey Pines. Jones, who was a first-team All-American at Arizona State University, won the 2021 Honda Classic, his second PGA Tour victory. He also claimed the 2014 Shell Houston Open, defeating Matt Kuchar in a playoff. Jones has twice won the Emirates Australian Open (2015 & 2019).

►Matt Kuchar, 43, of St. Simons Island, Ga., has played in 19 U.S. Opens with his best finish a tie for sixth in 2010 at Pebble Beach Golf Links. He has won nine times on the PGA Tour, including The Players Championship in 2012, and been a member of four USA Ryder Cup Teams. Kuchar, who captured the bronze medal at the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janiero, won the 1997 U.S. Amateur and was a member of the 1999 USA Walker Cup Team.

►Hunter Mahan, 40, of Dallas, Texas, has competed in 10 U.S. Opens and tied for fourth at Merion Golf Club in 2013. Mahan, who owns six PGA Tour victories, also tied for sixth in the 2009 U.S. Open at Bethpage State Park. Mahan won the 1999 U.S. Junior Amateur by defeating Camilo Villegas and was the runner-up to Ricky Barnes in the 2002 U.S. Amateur. He has played in 19 USGA championships.

►McClure (Mac) Meissner, 23, of San Antonio, Texas, is in his first year on the Korn Ferry Tour after earning the Byron Nelson Award and All-America honors during his career at Southern Methodist University (SMU). He was a member of the victorious 2021 USA Walker Cup Team, winning a foursomes match as the first alternate when illness struck both teams. Meissner, who has played in four U.S. Amateurs, won the 2020 Southern Amateur and was the American Athletic Conference’s top player in 2019.

►Tommy Morrison, 17, of Dallas, Texas, is a high school junior who stands 6-foot-10 and wears a size 17 shoe. Morrison, who had surgery to repair a congenital heart defect, comes from an athletic family as his great-grandfather played with the Brooklyn Dodgers. Morrison, who played on an AAU travel basketball team at age 12, reached match play in the 2019 U.S. Junior Amateur and won the 2017 U.S. Kids World Championship. He tied for seventh in this year’s Azalea Invitational, in Charleston, S.C.

►Carlos Ortiz, 31, of Mexico, has played in three U.S. Opens and tied for 52nd in 2019 at Pebble Beach Golf Links. Ortiz won the PGA Tour’s Houston Open in 2020 and owns three Web.com Tour (now Korn Ferry) victories. He helped his country finish second in the 2012 World Amateur Team Championship, in Antalya, Turkey. His brother, Alvaro, won the 2019 Latin America Amateur Championship.

►Charles “Ollie” Osborne, 21, of Reno, Nev., was the runner-up to Tyler Strafaci in the 2020 U.S. Amateur at Bandon Dunes Golf Resort. Osborne rallied from a first-round 77 to fire a 64 in the second round of stroke play to advance to match play. He also played in last year’s U.S. Open and carded a 1-over 72 in the second round at Torrey Pines Golf Course to just miss the 36-hole cut. He is a junior on the Southern Methodist University team in 2021-22.

►Rory Sabbatini, 46, of Slovakia, has competed in 13 U.S. Opens, with his best finish a tie for 30th in 2011. He has made the 36-hole cut in his last two starts (2019, 2020) after not playing in the U.S. Open since 2013. Sabbatini, who was born in South Africa but changed his citizenship four years ago, has won six PGA Tour events. ►Sam Saunders, 34, of Orlando, Fla., is the grandson of 1960 U.S. Open champion Arnold Palmer. In 2015, Saunders was co-medalist in the Columbus, Ohio, final qualifier and tied for 50th in the U.S. Open. He also qualified in Columbus three years ago to advance to Pebble Beach. Saunders shot a first-round 59 and tied for second in the 2017 Korn Ferry Tour Championship. His grandfather also was involved in three-way playoff for the 1963 U.S. Open at The Country Club that was won by Julius Boros.

►Trevor Sluman, 28, of Delray Beach, Fla., was one of five players to advance from the West Palm Beach, Fla., local qualifier on May 12. He is the nephew of Jeff Sluman, who played in 18 U.S. Opens and won the 1988 PGA Championship. Trevor, who was a member of the University of Louisville team and won the 2015 New York State Amateur, competed on PGA Tour Latinoamerica last year.

►Kyle Stanley, 34, of Gig Harbor, Wash., has competed in six U.S. Opens. He tied for 53rd in 2009 at Bethpage State Park, his best finish. Stanley, who was a member of the winning 2007 USA Walker Cup Team, has two PGA Tour victories. He was voted Atlantic Coast Conference player of the year in 2007 as a member of the Clemson University team and twice was runner-up in the NCAA Championship.

►Nick Taylor, 34, of Canada, has played in three U.S. Opens and was low amateur (T-36) at Bethpage State Park (Black Course) in 2009. He was the co-medalist in the Dallas final qualifier (66-65) in 2019 and would tie for 43rd at Pebble Beach Golf Links. Taylor, who was the runner-up in the 2009 U.S. Amateur Public Links, won the Mark H. McCormack Medal as the world’s top-ranked amateur. He has won twice on the PGA Tour, including the 2020 AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am.

►Travis Vick, 22, of Hunters Creek Village, Texas, advanced to the semifinals of the U.S. Amateur at Oakmont (Pa.) Country Club and was third in the Sunnehanna Amateur last year. He is a junior on the University of Texas team and earned first-team All-America and All-Big 12 Conference honors in 2020-21. Vick was a three-sport athlete at Houston’s Second Baptist High School (golf, football, baseball). He is a family friend of Hal Sutton, who won the 1980 U.S. Amateur and competed in 18 U.S. Opens.

►Brandon Wu, 25, of Scarsdale, N.Y., has played in two U.S. Opens and tied for 35th as an amateur in 2019 at Pebble Beach Golf Links. Wu, who earned All-America and All-Pac-12 Conference recognition at Stanford, won the 2021 Korn Ferry Tour Championship. He has a pair of top-5s on the PGA Tour this season, including a tie for second in the Mexico Open at Vidanta. He was a member of the winning 2019 USA Walker Cup Team. Wu was born in Danville, Calif., and lived in Beijing for five years.

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