Las Vegas, Nevada (May 12, 2013)–Among those looking to move to the next stage of qualifying for the U.S. Open are several PGA Tour pros with strong ties to Las Vegas golf courses. Those scheduled to tee it up Monday at Las Vegas golf course TPC Summerlin are recent PGA Tour Well Fargo Championship winner Derek Ernst along with Tour veterans Craig Barlow and Bob May, and former UNLV Rebel and current PGA Tour player Andres Gonzales. Also in the deep field is 1988 U.S. Amateur champion Eric Meeks, 2005 U.S. Mid Amateur champion Kevin Marsh, and John Riegger, who currently plays the Champions Tour. The event is organized by the Southern Nevada Golf Association (SNGA), the area's United States Golf Association entity. OFFICIAL PAIRINGS. –By Brian Hurlburt
Las Vegas Golf Hall of Fame member Brady Exber believes the field is about as deep as any in recent memory for the local qualifier. Others in the field currently are 2011 Nevada Open Champion Drew Scott as well as UNLV Golf team members Carl Jonson, Blake Biddle, Kurt Kitayama, and Nicholas Maruri. Ernst and Riegger are paired together, and former UNLV golf star Mike Ruiz–who was the low player in the Local Qualifier in 2012 at DragonRidge Country Club–is also in the field playing in a group with former SNGA president Steven Fink and Jonson.
The private TPC Summerlin is a PGA Tour course and is the home of the PGA Tour's Shriners Hospitals for Children Open played each fall in Las Vegas. The course will be very familiar to many in the qualifier because the PGA Tour pros and other top amateurs play and practice at the course on a steady basis. The sister course to TPC Summerlin is Las Vegas resort golf course TPC Las Vegas.
The USGA received a record number of entries for the 2013 U.S. Open Championship at Merion Golf Club in Ardmore, Pa. The total of 9,860 entrants eclipses the previous mark of 9,086 for the 2009 championship at Bethpage State Park’s Black Course in Farmingdale, N.Y. Among the record total are 52 players, including 11 past champions, who are currently fully exempt into the field.
“The fact that we have a record number of entries, from across the world, is a testament to both the great appeal of the U.S. Open and the historic nature and grandeur of Merion Golf Club,” said USGA Executive Director Mike Davis. “We look forward to both local and sectional qualifying, conducting the 2013 championship in the Philadelphia area and identifying this year’s United States Open champion."
This year marks the fifth time that the USGA received more than 9,000 entries for the U.S. Open. There were 9,086 entries in 2009, while 9,052 golfers entered the 2010 championship at Pebble Beach (Calif.) Golf Links. For the 2005 U.S. Open at Pinehurst Resort & Country Club in the Village of Pinehurst, N.C., 9,048 entries were received. Last year, 9,006 filed entries for the U.S. Open at The Olympic Club in San Francisco.