IRVING, TX - MAY 29: Sergio Garcia of Spain plays a tee shot during the final round of the HP Byron Nelson Championship at TPC Four Seasons at Las Colinas on May 29, 2011 in Irving, Texas. (Photo by Darren Carroll/Getty Images)

U.S. Open Qualifying: Sergio Garcia Earns Spot Through Sectional Qualifier

Sergio Garcia will be among many golfers looking to make the 2011 U.S. Open field through sectional qualifying. Beginning June 6, 63 spots are up for grabs in 11 sectional qualifiers.

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US Open 2011: Appleby Likely To Miss Open For First Time Since 1996

When the U.S. Open tees off at Congressional Country Club from on June 16, there's a good chance Stuart Appleby will not be there. The 40-year-old is poised to miss the Open for the first time since 1996 after narrowly failing to book a spot through sectional qualifying this week.

The 85th-ranked Appleby has missed the cut seven times in his last eight events and will likely be putting all of his attention into competing in this weekend's St. Jude Classic at TPC Southwind in Memphis, Tennessee.

His only chance of booking a place in the US Open? Finishing in either first or second place in Memphis and hoping his ranking moves into the world's top 50, where he'd earn an automatic berth.

Appelby remains upbeat and recently tweeted, "Missed (qualification) for US Open next week by a shot or two. Things are on the improve, patience a must now."

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US Open 2011: Michael Whitehead Replaces Tiger Woods In Open

When Tiger Woods decided not join the field at the 2011 U.S. Open, he opened the field up for one lucky golfer. That lucky golfer is former Rice University golfer Michael Whitehead.

Whitehead went from having a pretty bad week or having a really good extremely quickly. Whitehead's shot at playing the U.S. Open seemed over when he finished his 36-hole round at the Monday qualifier at Dallas Athletic Club with a disappointing finish on the first playoff hole.

He was named first alternate in case any of the players of the filed would decide to opt out. Exit Tiger Woods, enter Michael Whitehead.

“I’m definitely very grateful, very blessed for this opportunity...I’ve never met Tiger. But I’d like to some day.”

It's now a pretty good start to the summer for Whitehead, who'll play in his first U.S. Open, starting Thursday, and then get married July 23rd.

Stay with this StoryStream for the latest on the U.S. Open. For everything else golf, head over the SB Nation's Waggle Room.

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U.S. Open 2011: Sam Saunders Will Carry On Legacy Of Grandfather Arnold Palmer

The 2011 U.S. Open at Congressional Country Club from June 16-19 on Monday won't feature Arnold Palmer, but it will feature his grandson: Sam Saunders, a 23-year-old aspiring PGA Tour player, made the U.S. Open field by earning his spot at a sectional qualifier in Vero Beach, Florida.

Saunders shot a 69-72 to finish in the top three at Quail Valley Golf Club, and will be joining medalist Joey Lamielle and Michael Barbosa in Marlyand at Congressional after surviving a three-man playoff with Barbosa and Andres Escavarria for the final two qualifier slots.

Saunders, who played collegiate golf at Clemson, has played in just six events on the PGA Tour slate this year, and made just two cuts. But he finished tied for 15th at the AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am and tied for 30th, fittingly enough, at the Arnold Palmer Invitational.

His 2011 U.S. Open start will be his first in one of golf's major championships. And while few expect him to contend for the title his grandfather won just once, 51 years ago, just being in the field at the annually brutal Open is an accomplishment in own right.

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U.S. Open 2011 Qualifying Results: Sergio Garcia Earns Spot At Congressional

Sergio Garcia took advantage of sectional qualifying for the 2011 U.S. Open at Congressional Country Club from June 16-19 on Monday, earning his spot at a sectional qualifier in Memphis.

Garcia shot a 68 and a 67 to snag one of the 10 spots available at Memphis' Tunica National course and ensure himself a spot at the 2011 U.S. Open later this month. It will extend his string of consecutive U.S. Opens played to 12; he has been a part of every U.S. Open field since 2000, tying for third in 2005 and missing the cut in 2006 and 2007.

Garcia, like Vijay Singh, was initially

averse to the idea of qualifying for his U.S. Open spot through sectional qualifiers, which he needed to do after playing poorly enough to fall to No. 75 in the World Golf Rankings. But Garcia's performance on Monday will give him a pass to Congressional, which hasn't hosted a major since the 1997 U.S. Open.

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U.S. Open Qualifying: Vijay Singh Not Playing In Sectional Qualifier

One player not taking part in sectional qualifying for the 2011 U.S. Open? Three-time major winner Vijay Singh.

Singh failed to show for his tee time at Columbus, Ohio's Brookside Country Club, and will not be a part of the 36-hole sectionals. And that will likely end his streak of consecutive starts in majors.

Singh has played in the last 67 majors, a streak that dates back to the 1990s and is the longest current streak in golf. But he's been hurt and playing less like the Vijay Singh of old in the past few years, and needed a special exemption to make the U.S. Open field in 2010. Without an exemption or a qualifying spot for the 2011 U.S. Open at Congressional Country Club later this month, Singh will need to either win or place second at the St. Jude Classic this weekend in Memphis to earn a spot in the U.S. Open field.

Check out more stories from those teeing off here.

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U.S. Open Qualifying 2011: Sam Saunders, Joseph Bramlett, Kevin Hall Among Many Players Worth Watching

One of the greatest traditions in American sports begins Monday morning, sectional qualifying for the 2011 U.S. Open at Oakmont Country Club (Glendale, CA), Quail Valley Golf Club (Vero Beach, FL), Hawks Ridge (Ball Ground, GA), St. Charles Country Club (St. Charles, IL), Woodmont Country Club (Rockville, MD), Canoe Brook Country Club (Summit, NJ), Brookside/The Lakes Country Club (Columbus, OH), Springfield Country Club (Springfield, OH), Tunica National (Memphis, TN), Dallas Athletic Club (Dallas, TX), Gold Mountain Golf Club (Bremerton, WA). The qualifying runs between June 16-19.

The United States Golf Association has released qualifying information for Monday's 36-hole sectionals. The list includes tons of players teeing off for very few spots. There's so many player stories worth noting that it's hard to keep track. Here's a sampling:

David Ladd (Palm Beach Gardens, FL) - a PGA professional who hasn’t played on any golf tour in three years. The 48-year-old almost advanced to the Open through sectional qualifying in 1993, but he bogeyed the first playoff hole after being struck above the eye by a golf ball near the end of his regulation round and was an alternate.

Sam Saunders (Orlando, FL) - the grandson of golf legend Arnold Palmer. He has played in three U.S. Amateur Championships and one U.S. Junior Amateur.

Michael Johnson (Hoover, AL) - a high school senior who has committed to play golf for Auburn University. Johnson’s older brother, Bradley, was a standout player in high school and the runner-up in the 2005 U.S. Junior Amateur before he was killed in a car accident in March of 2006. Johnson marks his ball with his brother’s initials and wears a wristband in his honor. Michael also qualified for the 2009 U.S. Junior Amateur.

Billy Hurley III (Annapolis, MD) - graduated from the U.S. Naval Academy in 2004 and served his country for five years, including a stint in the Persian Gulf protecting Iraqi oil platforms. Before his active duty, Hurley played in two U.S. Amateurs and was a member of the victorious 2005 USA Walker Cup Team. Hurley advanced to the final stage of PGA Tour Qualifying School in 2010.

Joseph Bramlett (Saratoga, CA) - a rookie on the PGA Tour who, along with Tiger Woods, is one of two players on the Tour with African-American heritage. The former Stanford standout has played in four U.S. Amateurs, two U.S. Junior Amateurs and a USGA Men’s State Team Championship. He qualified for the 2010 U.S. Open as an amateur.

Kevin Hall (Cincinnati, OH) - has been deaf since age 2 from complications of meningitis. Hall played at Ohio State University and won the Big Ten individual championship by 11 strokes in 2004. He has played in one U.S. Amateur, U.S. Amateur Public Links and U.S. Junior Amateur.

Check out more stories from those teeing off here.

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U.S. Open Qualifying: Sectional Qualifiers Begin Monday For Golf's Second Major

Monday morning, one of the greatest traditions in American sports continues: sectional qualifying for the 2011 U.S. Open at Congressional Country Club from June 16-19 starts tomorrow.

This year, U.S. Open sectional qualifying will take place at 11 sectional qualifiers: Oakmont Country Club in Glendale, Calif.; Quail Valley Golf Club in Vero Beach, Fla.; Hawks Ridge Golf Club in Ball Ground, Ga.; St. Charles Country Club in St. Charles, Ill.; Woodmont Country Club in Rockville, Md.; Canoe Brook Country Club in Summit, N.J.; Brookside Country Club and The Lakes Country Club in Columbus, Ohio; Springfield Country Club in Springfield, Ohio; Tunica National in Memphis; Dallas Athletic Club's Blue Course in Dallas; and the Gold Mountain Golf Club's Olympic Course in Bremerton, Washington.

The field for these qualifiers has been winnowed from over 100 local qualifiers involving thousands of golfers with the proper USGA handicap. By playing well at those local qualifiers, the golfers earned invitations to these 11 sectional qualifiers. They consist of 36-hole stroke play, and award top finishers a combined 63 spots in the 2011 U.S. Open, which will have a 156-player field comprised of the 63 qualifiers and 93 players with exemptions, like defending U.S. Open champion Graeme McDowell or three-time U.S. Open champion Tiger Woods.

A number of notable names will be among the players who will be attempting to qualify for the 2011 U.S. Open are Sergio Garcia, British Open champions David Duval, Justin Leonard, and Ben Curtis, PGA Championship winner Rich Beem, and a slew of aging players like Fred Funk and Brad Faxon. The last golfer to win the U.S. Open after going through sectional qualifying was Lucas Glover in 2009.

For the latest information on 2011 U.S. Open qualifying, stay with this StoryStream.

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