US Open at Pinehurst features six Triangle players as region becomes pro golf hotbed

By | June 10, 2024

US Open at Pinehurst features six Triangle players as region becomes pro golf hotbed

Aug 5, 2023; Greensboro, North Carolina, USA; Webb Simpson plays from the 11th tee during the third round of the Wyndham Championship golf tournament. Mandatory Credit: David Yeazell-USA TODAY Sports USA TODAY SPORTS

They started out in a group of four and a group of three, hitching a ride down the 18th fairway at Duke University Golf Course to join a seven-player playoff for two spots in the U.S. Open, to be played just down the road in Pinehurst. For Ryan Gerard and Carter Jenkins, the stakes could hardly have been higher. Both from Raleigh, both playing just below the PGA Tour level on the Korn Ferry Tour, both having competed in their hometown a day earlier in the UNC Health Championship. After 36 holes on Monday, it would still take at least one more to hand out the final spots in a major played in their backyard.

Jenkins survived, going birdie-par to clinch one of the spots, completing a six-player 919 contingent at Pinehurst Resort and Country Club this week as the Open returns for the first time in a decade. Two others made it through final qualifying at Duke without a playoff, Chesson Hadley and 2012 champion Webb Simpson. Brendon Todd qualified at another site, in Ohio, ahead of the Memorial. Ben Griffin just missed in Canada after finishing second in the Canadian Open. And Akshay Bhatia and Ben Kohles were both exempt, Bhatia from the Official World Golf Ranking, Kohles for finishing atop the Korn Ferry points standings last year.


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