The good news is if you still want to try and qualify for the U.S. Open at Chambers Bay in June — plenty of golf courses around the country still have openings for local 18-hole qualifying tournaments.
The bad news, especially for golfers around the South Sound, is that both U.S. Open local qualifying sites in Washington — The Home Course in DuPont (May 11) and Wine Valley Golf Club in Walla Walla (May 12) — have already filled up.
After the USGA opened up online registration March 3 for local qualifying, it took four days for the 120 spots to fill up at The Home Course and eight days for the 78 spots to fill up at Wine Valley Golf Club, said Scotty Crouthamel, the Pacific Northwest Golf Association’s senior director for rules of competition.
“We were a little surprised how quickly they filled up,” Crouthamel said. “Usually they fill up much closer to the event (in May). But there is excitement for this U.S. Open … so you had to be on your game to get one of those (in-state) spots.”
What remaining options are recommended?
“Go to Boise or Eugene,” Crouthamel said.
Those are the logical options for golfers who are set on driving to a qualifying site. The one at The Club at SpurWing in Meridian, Idaho (May 11) also has 78 sign-up spots. As of Wednesday, 71 remained open.
Or you can opt to go to Eugene Country Club a week later. It is a 156-golfer tournament; more than 50 open spots remain.
Of course, there is a slim chance spots at The Home Course or Wine Valley come open through a cancellation. Crouthamel said there is no waiting list to get into those sites.
“You’ll have to get lucky and catch it,” Crouthamel said.
Four other local qualifying sites in California — Barona Creek (May 11), Ruby Hill (May 11), Industry Hills (May 13), Oak Creek (May 19) and Valencia Country Club (May 20) — have also filled up.
To sign up, a golfer has to carry a 1.4 handicap or lower. Cost is $175, and entries close April 29 at usga.org.