RALEIGH, N.C. – As the 2014 U.S. Open to be played at Pinehurst Resort and Country Club approaches, many local golfers with connections to the Triangle are trying to qualify at sectional competitions taking place across the country on Monday.
Aside from two-time U.S. Open champion Lee Janzen, who has played in recent Rex Hospital Opens, and along with PGA Tour veterans Davis Love III (UNC) and Tim Clark (N.C. State), Jason Gore is probably the most notable name that many in the area and in Pinehurst will remember from the last time the USGA tournament was played there in 2005.
Gore’s trying to get into this year’s field to play on No. 2 again, the site of where he launched his career to the next level.
Though he didn’t win the tournament back then, Gore’s play early on earned him a spot in the final pairing on Sunday and a place in many golf fans’ hearts, particularly after carding a final-round 14-over par.
“It still amazes me how good people are to me – how many people remember the good stuff,” Gore said at last month’s Rex Hospital Open.
In addition to Gore, former Rex Hospital Open Champions Chesson Hadley (2013), James Hahn (2012), Kyle Thompson (2007, 2011), and Scott Gutschewski (2008) are in sectional qualifying fields along with Carter Jenkins, the 2013 Rex Hospital Open Junior Invitational champion who helped his UNC-Greensboro team to play in their first-ever NCAA regional tournament a few weeks ago.
Other notables looking to bring their families and friends to Pinehurst include area college grads and residents in PGA Tour and Web.com Tour pros Brad Fritsch (Campbell), David Mathis (Campbell), and Ryan Blaum (Duke).
Triangle-area connections – U.S. Open sectional qualifier location