These days, it usually takes going exceptionally low to win on the PGA Tour, and it’s apparently no different in qualifying for the U.S. Open.
In the first final qualifier played in North America on Monday at two courses in Dallas, 11 under for 36 holes was the number to be the medalist—and there were four players who achieved that—while seven under was the score that got players into next month’s major at The Country Club in Brookline, Mass.
In a qualifier that featured numerous PGA Tour pros, the top 13 out of 98 entrants advanced, and a six-man playoff was required for the final two spots. Those positions went to Davis Shore and Roger Sloan, while Adam Hadwin and Austin Cook were the first and second alternates, respectively.
The day’s low score was a 62 fashioned by Matthew NeSmith, who made nine birdies in the morning round at Royal Oaks Country Club. NeSmith, a third-year PGA Tour player who has competed in only one major, shot 69 in the second round at Lakewood Country Club and joined Americans Kurt Kityama (65-66) and Sean Crocker (64-67), and Japan’s Jinichiro Kozuma (68-63) at 11 under.
Among the notables not advancing were 2010 U.S. Open champion Graeme McDowell, Matt Kuchar, Aaron Baddeley, Rory Sabbatini and James Hahn.
The other more ecognizable names to advance were Canadians Mackenzie Hughes (nine under) and Nick Taylor (nine under) and American Scott Stallings, who was solo 11th at eight under.
There was one amateur who reached from this final: University of Texas junior Travis Vick, who shot nine under.
The remaining nine final qualifiers—eight in the U.S. and one in Canada—will be contested on Monday, June 6.