Three Co-Medal in U.S. Open Local Qualifying at Wine Valley Golf Club

Darren Black of Seattle, Derek Barron of Tacoma, Wash. and Sean Walsh of Keller, Tex. all finished at even-par and took co-medalist honors in leading the field of 78 players who competed today in U.S. Open local qualifying at Wine Valley Golf Club in Walla Walla, Wash.

US Open Local Qualifying
Left-to-right: Kent Hagen, Darren Black, and Sean Walsh, who advanced in U.S. Open local qualifying at Wine Valley Golf Club in Walla Walla, Wash. Not pictured: Derek Barron.

The Washington State Golf Association (WSGA) is the local representative of the United States Golf Association (USGA) and conducted this local qualifier for the U.S. Open Championship.

Black, a PGA club professional at Seattle’s Rainier Golf & Country Club, had six birdies, six pars and six bogeys on the day. Barron is a PGA club professional at Tacoma Firs, and Sean Walsh is a junior at Gonzaga University in Spokane, Wash. where he earned All-WCC Honorable Mention as a sophomore.

Claiming the fourth and final qualifying spot by finishing with a 1-over par 72 was amateur Kent Hagen of Covington, Wash. Hagen is a recent graduate of Washington State University, where he played four years for the men’s golf team.

Despite calm and overcast conditions, no player in the field broke par on the par-71 layout.

Wine Valley Golf Club has been the site of numerous regional events, such as the PNGA Men’s Amateur and the PNGA Women’s Amateur championships, and is the regular venue for the Northwest Open Invitational.

This year’s U.S. Open will visit the Pacific Northwest for the first time in its 115-year history. There were 9,882 entries accepted by the USGA, the most entries ever accepted for a U.S. Open held on the West Coast, and second only to last year’s record number of 10,127 entries. To be eligible, golfers must either be a professional, or be an amateur with a handicap index of 1.4 or less.

Local qualifying for the 2015 U.S. Open is taking place at 111 sites across the country between May 4 and May 21. Those who make it through local qualifying will move on to sectional qualifying. There are 12 sectional qualifying sites – 10 in the United States, one in England and one in Japan. International sectional qualifiers will be contested May 25, while all sectional qualifiers in the U.S. will be held on June 8, and will be played over 36 holes. The WSGA will conduct a sectional qualifier at Tumble Creek Club in Cle Elum, Wash.