U.S. Open Spots on the Line, Monday
The finishing hole at Old Oaks Country Club
ELMSFORD, N.Y. (June 4, 2021) – On Monday, June 7, the Metropolitan Golf Association will conduct final qualifying for the 121st U.S. Open Championship, with players competing at Old Oaks Country Club and Century Country Club in Purchase, N.Y., to earn their spot in the field at Torrey Pines Golf Course in San Diego, Calif., June 17-20. The final number of available spots will be announced on Monday morning.
The field of 79 competitors—50 professionals and 27 amateurs and 2 applicants for reinstatement to amateur status—includes top competitors from the Met Area and beyond, including USGA champions, standout collegians, club professionals and touring professionals.
Old Oaks and Century are one of nine sectional qualifying rounds that will take place across the country on June 7. Final qualifying already took place on May 24 in Dallas, Texas and Japan. The number of qualifying spots for each sectional is determined by the size and strength of the field. Final qualifying conducted by the MGA rotates between the Purchase sites of Old Oaks and Century and Canoe Brook Country Club in Summit, N.J., every three years.
Past Success in Purchase
Six players in the field have previously advanced to the U.S. Open from final qualifying at Purchase: Matt Dobyns (2014), Rob Oppenheim (2014, 19), Andy Pope (2019), Jim Renner (2014), Pat Wilson (2015), Cameron Young (2019). Oppenheim and Pope have also advanced from final qualifying at Canoe Brook; Oppenheim doing so in 2016 and Pope in both 2016 and 2017.
Another Major for 2021?
Met Area professionals Danny Balin (Fresh Meadow), Pete Ballo (Silvermine), Alex Beach (Westchester), and Rob Labritz (GlenArbor) are all aiming to compete in their second major of the season having competed in the PGA Championship on Kiawah Island’s Ocean Course in May. Ben Polland, formerly of Deepdale and now of Shooting Star (Wyo.), also competed in the PGA Championship.
The field contains a number of past MGA champions aiming to earn a spot on the national stage:
Danny Balin Met Open (2012)
Gregory Bisconti Boys (1988), Met Junior (1990)
Christian Cavaliere Met Junior (2016)
Mark Costanza* Boys (2003), Met Junior (2007), Ike (2020)
Matt Dobyns Met Open (2019)
Mike Gilmore Met Open (2000)
Chris Gotterup * Met Amateur (2019)
John Guyton Met Open (2006)
Joseph Horowitz Boys (1994)
Matt Lowe Boys (2010), Ike (2017)
Ethan Ng Carter Cup (2016, 17)
David Pastore* Met Junior (2006, 09), Carter Cup (2010), Ike (2014), Met Amateur (2014)
Ben Polland Met Open (2015)
Pat Wilson Met Amateur (2013)
Cameron Young* Carter Cup (2011), Met Junior (2013), Ike (2015, 16)
* Denotes past MGA Player of the Year. Former MGA Player of the Year and current Korn Ferry Tour player James Nicholas is also in the field.
Cameron Young won back-to-back Korn Ferry Tour events in May and will get to return to a familiar location to attempt to advance to his second career U.S. Open. Austrian Bernd Wiesberger also has a recent victory to his credit, winning the European Tour’s Made in HimmerLand event in Denmark by five shots.
Benjamin James (18, Milford, Conn.), Michael Thorbjornsen (19, Wellesley, Mass.), and Will Lodge (17, Darien, Conn.) stand as three of the youngest competitors in the field, but already have impressive resumes. James was the third-youngest player in last year’s U.S. Amateur and had a standout summer in 2019, winning his second straight New England Junior Invitational, competing on the U.S. Junior Presidents Cup and winning the Connecticut Junior Amateur. Thorbjornsen won the 2018 U.S. Junior Amateur at Baltusrol and advanced to the quarterfinals of last year’s U.S. Amateur. He finished 79th in the 2019 U.S. Open and just recently tied 13th in this year’s Pac-12 Conference Championship as a freshman at Stanford University. Lodge, a junior at Deerfield Acedemy, racked up a number of top finishes in AJGA events during the 2020 season.
After sharing medalist honors in U.S. Open local qualifying and earning medalist honors in Ike qualifying, Chris DeJohn has quickly made his presence known this season. The former professional regained his status in 2020 after several years pursuing professional golf. Cody Paladino has a similar story, as the two-time Connecticut State Golf Association Player of the Year regained his amateur status in 2020 following several years on mini tours. Matt Lowe and Pat Wilson stand as two players in the field in the process of regaining their amateur status.
Depth of Field
Other notable names in the field include NHL referee and past Western Amateur winner Garrett Rank, PGA TOUR player Tom Lovelady, Korn Ferry Tour players Bryan Bigley and Zach Zabach.
• Multiple scoring updates for the morning 18, followed by live, hole-by-hole scoring for the final 18 holes in the afternoon.
• Web updates on mgagolf.org
• Additional live coverage on MGA social media outlets, @MGA1897 on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook.