By Weinman - Qualifying for the 2009 U.S. Open Golf Championship began last week with over 9,000 entrants vying for a chance to play Bethpage Black as part of the 156-player field. Players face 18 holes of local qualifying followed by 36 holes of sectional qualifying to earn one of hte coveted spots.
On Monday, Vanderbilt Head Coach Tom Shaw and rising sophomore Trey DelGreco both advanced through a local qualifying event at the Marietta Country Club in Kennesaw, Ga. In a field of 132 golfers, only nine places were available for the sectional qualifying rounds.
Shaw shot a two-under 68 to tie for third only one stroke off the lead. DelGreco's one-under 69 put him in a seven-way tie for the final three spots before a birdie on the first playoff hole punched his ticket for the next round. Shaw and DelGreco will compete in one of 13 sectional qualifying events between May 25-June 8.
Assistant coach Justin Emil and junior Hudson Johnson are competing in a local qualifier in Memphis this week, so check back for updates on those two. Local qualifying results can also be found on the USGA's web site.
And, of course, Johnson and his Commodore teammates will open NCAA Regional Championship play this Thursday at the Club at Olde Stone just up the road in Bowling Green, Ky.