The Road to Pinehurst: U.S. Open Local Qualifiers in Northern California
May 8, 2014
Local Qualifying for this year’s U.S. Open at Pinehurst Resort (June 12-15) is in full swing at a number of different sites in Northern California. Here’s a one-stop post to catch you up on all of the action.
May 5, 2014 – El Macero Country Club (El Macero)
Cameron Rappleye of Elk Grove earned medalist honors in the event, carding a 5-under 67 at par-72 El Macero Country Club that included five birdies and two bogeys. Marc Engellenner, an amateur from Grass Valley, placed second with a 69 that featured six birdies and three bogeys, while Carmel’s Luke Vivolo, another amateur, finished third after a 70. Also advancing were Jeff Brehaut of Los Altos and amateur Ryan Gronlund of Pleasanton, who both came in at 71. The five will next compete in the sectional qualifier to be held June 2 at Lake Merced GC and The Olympic Club, or another site if requested.
May 5, 2014 – Fort Washington (Fresno)
Getting a chance to play in the U.S. Open was the goal as a local qualifier for the championship proper was held
Sharing medalist honors at the par-72 Fort Washington Country Club were amateur Paul Smith of Turlock and Corey Pereira of Cameron Park, who both came in at 67.
Finishing third at 68 was Owen Taylor of San Juan Capistrano. Michael Springer of Fresno and Anthony Verna of Orinda took the final two spots after carding identical 69s.
First alternate is Tommy Masters of Clovis with a 69. The second alternate is Sacramento’s Cameron Champ, who shot 70.
May 8, 2014 – The Preserve (Carmel Valley)
Another four players moved on to U.S. Open Sectional qualifying after getting through Thursday’s local qualifier at par-72 The Preserve Golf Club in Carmel Valley.
Geoff Gonzalez, a member of The Preserve, led the way with a medalist-earning 7-under 65. Gonzalez was fueled by a string of five straight birdies on Nos. 4 through No. 8. Overall, he carded eight birdies with just one bogey.
Also advancing was current Stanford player Maverick McNealy, who shot a 68 that included seven birdies and three bogeys. McNealy, who used to play on the Northern California Junior Tour, won the Boys’ 14-15 division at the 2011 NCGA Junior Championship.
The final two spots went to California Golf Hall of Famer Casey Boyns and Brentwood resident Zack King, who each posted a 69. Boyns won the Senior title at this past weekend’s Alameda Commuters Championship.
First alternate is Seaside’s Nick Moore, who shot 70. Second alternate is Brian Thompson of Gilroy, who also shot 70.
The Northern California U.S. Open Sectional will be held June 2 at Lake Merced GC and The Olympic Club (Ocean Course).
May 12, 2014 – Pasatiempo (Santa Cruz)
Santa Cruz resident Cory McElyea is a step closer to returning to the U.S. Open Championship.
McElyea, the defending California State Amateur Championship winner, was medalist at Monday’s U.S. Open local qualifier at par-70 Pasatiempo Golf Club in Santa Cruz, carding a 67.
McElyea, who played in last year’s U.S. Open at Merion, had five birdies and two bogeys over his round at Pasatiempo. Last year, McElyea advanced through a Sectional qualifier in Southern California by surviving a three-man playoff for the last spot.
Also advancing through the Pasatiempo qualifier were San Francisco resident John Carlos, Aptos resident Eddie Olson and Columbia’s David Brown, who all finished T-2 at 68.
Four players — Nathan Pistacchio, Jay Meyers, Nicholas Seymour and Landon Polterock – -all shot 69 and tied for the final spot. The four went to a playoff, with Pistacchio emerging the winner.
Sectional qualifying will be held June 2 at Lake Merced GC and The Olympic Club (Ocean Course).
May 12, 2014 Ruby Hill (Pleasanton)
Five players kept their U.S. Open dreams alive following Monday’s local qualifier at par-72 Ruby Hill Golf Club in Pleasanton.
Eric Mina of Pleasanton and amateur Cody Blick of Danville shared medalist honors, with each coming in at 2-under 70. Mina’s round included three birdies and one bogey. Blick had five birdies and two bogeys.
Amateur Matt Hansen of Los Osos and Joshua Stone of Stockton finished tied for second at 71. The last spot came down to a playoff with seven players, with Kevin Lucas of Folsom being the survivor.