May 12 – Weldon Spring, MO – It’s going to be one of the most historic United States Open Championships played when the 2014 U.S. Open makes it’s way to Pinehurst, NC. In an unprecedented fashion, the men’s and women’s championships are being held on the same golf course in consecutive weeks.
Unique to the United States Open compared to other major championships is the true Open nature of the championship. Anyone with the appropriate USGA GHIN handicap can take their shot at playing for our national championship.
For many aspiring title holders the journey starts tomorrow at the Missouri Bluffs Golf Club, site of the St. Louis area’s local qualifying.
The field is comprised of a combination of top amateur players, collegiate and high school golfers along with professional from the Gateway Section. Additionally, many of the area’s touring professionals come home to tee it up on a golf course many are familiar with, further adding to the competitiveness of the field.
While everyone teeing it up tomorrow has the skill to post a low enough number to advance out of Local Qualifying, we’ll offer a few names for consideration as Players to Watch.
Colby Yates of Tonganoxie, KS will be off the 10th tee at 7:30am. Yates has been a standout at the University of Missouri-St. Louis and earned the GLVC Player of the Year honor in 2014.
Chris Brant (Edwardsville, IL) – Brant has been competing on the NGA Tour in 2014 and while he hasn’t been able to cash a big payday, he has been refining his craft in anticipation of an opportunity like the one presented tomorrow at the Missouri Bluffs.
Justin Bardgett – Bardgett will be looking to advance out of Local Qualifying for the 2nd consecutive year having accomplished the feat in the Cincinnati qualifying in 2013. Bardgett has been bouncing around the development circuit for several years now and like Brant just looking for his break out opportunity.
Playing alongside Brant is one of the local favorites in Bellerive CC Teaching Professional, Brian Fogt. Fogt is already off to a solid start in 2014 having won a Gateway Section Pro-Open title and he has experience playing in major championships having competed in the 2013 Senior PGA Championship at Bellerive CC.
Justin Wrozier – The 2013 St. Louis District Champion will be off the 1st tee at 8:00am.
The 8:10am pairing off the 10th tee should get some attention as JC Anderson and John Kelly will be playing with Zach Peters. Anderson has been a dominant player in the Gateway Section and enjoyed success on the national stage in recent years in PGA of America championships. Kelly is former US Amateur Runner-Up and continues to compete on the development tours.
Alex Cusumano – Coming off a runner-up finish to Phil Caravia at the Old Warson Cup, Cusumano clearly has his game in shape for a run at playing in this year’s United States Open.
Warren Crow – Crow just finished his collegiate career at the University of Missouri-St. Louis when his team failed to qualify for the national championship at Fox Run Golf Club in the Regional Tournament last week. Crow is now playing for himself and for whatever reason that seems to free a player up sometimes.
Chris Naegel – Naegel already has a T4 finish on the NGA Tour in 2014 as he continues to learn to play professional golf on the development circuit.
Justin Bryant – The former Missouri Amateur Runner-Up continues to better his game on the development tours. His best finish on the NGA Tour in 2014 is T42.
Crimson Callahan – The junior player recently won an AJGA event at Kokopelli Golf Links and is growing into a very nice player.
Bob Gaus – Gaus recently lost to Mike Suhre in the Gateway PGA Match Play Championship at Annbriar Golf Club as well as recently qualified for this year’s Senior PGA Championship. Gaus’ game is in good form and he’s capable of posting the number needed to advance tomorrow.
Zach Barlow – A former University of Illinois standout, Barlow is definitely among the handful of players capable of winning the local qualifying.
Skip Berkmeyer – Teeing off at 1:00pm off the 1st tee, Skip will likely be forced to deal with windier conditions in the afternoon compared to the players off early in the morning. That being said, Berkmeyer has proven capable of winning in any condition.
Ty Zimmerman – The host professional will have an advantage as it relates to familiarity of the golf course. Zimmerman has been among the top players in the Gateway Section for several years but yet to break through with a big win. Could tomorrow be the day?
Adam Betz – The Meadowbrook Country Club Assistant Professional is apparently going to be taking another shot at Q-School in the fall. Betz has the game to play professionally, could this year’s U.S. Open be his breakthrough moment?
Sam Goulden – Goulden has been traveling the country playing in Monday Qualifying after Monday Qualifying in an attempt to breakthrough in professional golf. The United States Open is the perfect platform to parley a few good rounds into a chance to compete for one golf’s four major titles.
Would you like to play the Missouri Bluffs for a discounted rate? If so, visit www.golfaroundstl.com and register.