On Monday, the longest day in golf took place as golfers across the world competed in sectional qualifying sites, all vying for a coveted spot in this year’s United States Open Championship. The event will take place from June 10-16 at Pebble Beach Golf Links in Pebble Beach, California. Throughout the world, amateur and professional golfers played 36 holes of golf in one day, looking to advance to the third major championship of the season. Among those playing and in the mix for spots were former and current UGA golfers.
At Hawks Ridge Golf Club in Ball Ground, Georgia, three Bulldogs were in the field of 67, playing for four spots. Spencer Ralston, who will start his senior campaign for the Bulldogs in the Fall, shot rounds of 74 and 69 and failed to advance. From this site, two former Bulldogs narrowly missed out on a spot. Jaime Lopez Rivarola (2013-17) and Joey Garber (2010-14) both missed out on a qualifying spot by one shot after finishing at eight-under par. The two went to a playoff for alternate spots and Rivarola came out on top as the first substitute from the site.
Although two former Bulldogs barely missed out in Georgia, one however did advance up in Canada. In Milton, Ontario at RattleSnake Point Golf Club, Sepp Straka (2012-16) claimed co-medalist honors with Tom Hoge at five-under par to advance to his first major championship. Also, in contention at this site was former UGA All-American Harris English (2007-11). After leading through the first round, English stumbled early in the second round. However, he recovered well and birdied his final hole to force a three player for two spots playoff at four-under par. Unfortunately, English was the odd man out and settled for the first alternate position from the Ontario site.
English and Rivarola will not find out if they have gained a spot in the field until the week of the Championship.
Although Straka was the only Georgia Bulldog to advance to the U.S. Open on Monday, he joins four other of Chris Haack’s products at Pebble Beach Golf Links: Kevin Kisner, Keith Mitchell, Brendon Todd, and Bubba Watson.
Keep an eye out for these five Bulldogs in a couple weeks at the U.S. Open.