Watch Today: Golf’s Longest Day
The U.S. Open means many things to many people. To some, it is the toughest test in all of golf. The U.S. open trophy has been earned by some of the biggest names in golf history, but it has also eluded many other top players.
Regardless, there’s no denying that the U.S. Open is truly is “the people’s” championship.
On June 13, a field of 156 players will tee it up at Merion Golf Club for the first round of the 2013 U.S. Open. The process of determining those 156 players, however, started with some exempt players and more than 9,000 entrants, including professionals and amateurs with a Handicap Index not exceeding 1.4.
Because narrowing a field of multiple thousands to 156 is quite a process, the United States Golf Association leans on state and regional golf associations to conduct qualifiers for both stages of qualifying, local and sectional.
For many hopeful players, the quest started between May 3 and May 16 with 18-hole local qualifying at 111 sites around the country. Players who survived – about 550 entrants – moved on to join exempt players in 36-hole sectional qualifying, taking place in England and Japan on May 27, and at 11 different sites in the U.S. today, June 3.
At sectional qualifying, about 1,000 players will play for 70 to 80 spots in the U.S. Open tournament.
This day, dubbed “golf’s longest day,” is an amazing opportunity, as any golfer who has dreamed of being a part of golf’s rich history and having their name etched on the U.S. Open trophy could end up playing alongside some of the greats of the game for the title.
This chance for any one of the over 9,000 entrants to move through qualifying and live that dream is what makes the U.S. Open the most democratic championship in golf.
The stories are always special and this year will be no different as a select few entrants will survive both stages of qualifying to earn spots in the 156-player field at Merion. Two players have made history – Ken Venturi in 1964 and Orville Moody in 1969 – by winning the U.S. Open after surviving local and sectional qualifying.
Tune in today to see who will pass this last grueling test on the road to the U.S. Open, as Golf Channel will be broadcasting live from the 11 qualifying sites beginning at 1 p.m. EDT.
Featured image courtesy of Getty Images