U.S. Open Sectional qualifying is set to commence at Tacoma Country and Golf Club in Lakewood, Wash. on Monday, June 5, as 70 players will look to earn one of the four available spots at this qualifier to advance to the 2017 U.S. Open Championship. The four players who advance from this qualifier will go on to compete in the 117th U.S. Open Championship, which will be held June 15-18 at Erin Hills in Erin, Wisc.
The 36-hole qualifier is the final stage for those vying to play in the national championship. Sectional qualifiers will be held at 10 sites around the U.S., all being held on the same day.
The Washington State Golf Association (WSGA) is the local representative of the United States Golf Association (USGA) and will conduct this Sectional qualifier for the U.S. Open Championship.
Among the names to watch for at Tacoma:
Corey Pereira of Cameron Park, Calif. just finished his senior year at the University of Washington. He won the 2014 Pacific Coast Amateur and 2015 Sahalee Players Championships, and is currently the 19th-ranked amateur in the world (WAGR). Pereira was co-medalist at the Local qualifier held at Canterwood Golf & Country Club.
Aaron Wise of Lake Elsinore, Calif., was a first-team All-Pac-12 Conference player at the University of Oregon, He won the 2016 NCAA individual championship, held that year at Eugene CC. Wise competed in four consecutive U.S. Amateurs, from 2012-15, before turning professional. He won the 2015 Pacific Coast Amateur, also held that year at Eugene.
Chris Tedesco of Gig Harbor, Wash. went to high school at Bellarmine Prep in Tacoma, and graduated from Oregon State University in 2016. He made it to Sectional qualifying by making it through the Local qualifier held at his home club of Canterwood in Gig Harbor.
RJ Manke of Lakewood, Wash. just graduated from Bellarmine Prep high school in Tacoma, and survived a three-way playoff in the Local qualifier at Canterwood to make it to the Sectional qualifier.
Charlie Kern of Mercer Island, Wash. won the 2015 Washington State Amateur, and was named the 2015 WSGA Men’s Player of the Year.
Frank Garber of Kirkland, Wash. just finished his junior season at the University of Washington. He was a three-time 3A high school state champion, and was twice named the WSGA Junior Boys’ Player of the Year (2012, 2013). His father, Rick, won the 1985 Washington State Amateur and is a former head golf coach at Oregon State University.
Jordan Niebrugge of Mequon, Wis. won the silver medal as the low amateur (tie, 6th) in the 2015 Open Championship at St. Andrews. Niebrugge, who has played in three U.S. Amateurs, was a member of the 2013 and 2015 USA Walker Cup Teams.
Tadd Fujikawa of Honolulu, Hawaii was the youngest (age 15) to play in a U.S. Open when he qualified to played at Winged Foot Golf Club through both local and sectional play in 2006. At age 16 years and 4 days, he made the 36-hole cut at the Sony Open, the second youngest player at the time to make the cut in a PGA Tour event.
There are three current University of Washington players in the field. Along with Pereira and Garber, Jordan Lu of British Columbia is also playing. Former UW players John Wise and Zach Bixler are also in the field, both making it through Local qualifying held at Wine Valley Golf Club in Walla Walla, Wash., with Wise earning medalist honors.
Overall, the USGA accepted a total of 9,485 entries for the 2017 U.S. Open Championship. The number of entries is fifth-highest, behind the record of 10,127 accepted for the 2014 U.S. Open at Pinehurst Resort & Country Club’s Course No. 2. The entries came from golfers in all 50 states, including 150 from Wisconsin, as well as the District of Columbia and 66 foreign countries.
The U.S. Open is one of 13 national championships conducted annually by the USGA, 10 of which are strictly for amateurs.
Founded in 1894, Tacoma C&GC is the oldest club west of the Mississippi, and is one of the six original founding clubs of the Pacific Northwest Golf Association, which was organized in 1899.
Founded in 1922, the WSGA is a 501c4 non-profit, amateur golf association governed by men and women volunteers. Serving over 68,000 individual members at more than 550 member golf clubs and 270 golf courses throughout the state of Washington and Northern Idaho, the WSGA works to continually expand the game of golf to people of all backgrounds.
The WSGA also serves as a statewide representative of the USGA and works closely with a number of allied associations within the golf industry for the betterment of the game.