"Golf's longest day" is winding down at some of the East Coast U.S. Open sectional qualifying sites. Four players at at the Purchase, NY site punched their ticket to Merion first, playing through a field of 79 players to grab those four invites to America's national championship. The biggest story coming out of Century Country Club and Oaks Country Club in New York is 18-year-old Gavin Hall, who birdied his final four holes to get to 4-under and capture a berth.
Hall's run bumped Brandon Matthews, a Temple product attempting to play in front of the home crowd in two weeks, down to alternate status. Matthews had to take an unplayable lie after his ball landed in the trunk of a greenside tree at the 18th. Undeterred, he sank an incredible chip shot from the right side to provide one of the highlights of the day. A few photos of the celebratory aftermath from the chip-in, courtesy of the Metropolitan Golf Association's A.J. Voelpel:
At 2-under, Matthews is the first alternate out of the NY site. But that chip-in celebration is the moment that will make all the recap highlights from the day, much like Dennis Miller's amazing putt last year.
Century Country Club and Old Oaks Country Club, Purchase, N.Y.
|Gavin Hall (a)||-4|
|Brandon Matthews (a)||-2|
Hawks Ridge Golf Club, Ball Ground, Ga.
Joining the 18-year-old Hall were two other amateurs who made it through the Georgia sectional to get to Merion. Michael Kim, a star for Cal's top ranked golf team, rebounded from the Golden Bears' disappointing weekend at the NCAA Championship by going low at Hawks Ridge to earn a berth in the national championship. After Cal bowed out in the NCAA semis, Kim flew up to Ohio to accept an award from Jack Nicklaus for being the top Division 1 golfer and then hustled back down to Georgia for Monday's impressive 36-hole run at the qualifier.
|Michael Kim (a)||-11|
|Grayson Murray (a)||-9|
Those are just two smaller fields of the 11 sites which have gone final, with playoffs ongoing in Columbus, Memphis, and Maryland set to put several more players through to Merion.