As a professional golfer, there is no greater achievement than playing in the major championships. They are by far the most prestigious golfing tournaments, and golfers are judged by the variety and number of major championships they win.
The US Open is the 3rd of the four major championships and has been around for over a century. The 2022 edition will be the 122nd, and like past editions, it will see 156 players fight for the covetous title.
On the 6th of June 2022, USGA confirmed that they added 12 exempt players to the US Open 2022. Total exempt players now stand at 91, leaving over 660 golfers to fight for the 65 remaining spots.
This article will look at a few of the most inspiring golfing stories of this year’s qualifying round and how these players earned a spot in the prestigious Championship.
There are few stories more inspiring than that of Fran Quinn. The 57-year-old Massachusetts-born golfer almost quit the sport in 2019 after fracturing his glenoid in a porthole accident.
He underwent surgery that same year but could hardly move his arm. In 2020, he underwent another surgery and started golfing again. His qualifiers at the Century Country Club & Old Oaks Country Club had 92 players fighting for five spots. Quin managed to make it to the eight-for-three playoff, and after hitting a birdie in his final strike, he qualified for his first US Open championship since 2014.
To further make the story interesting, it’ll surprise you to know that Fran Quin was born in Worcester, Massachusetts, just an hour away from The Country Club. His son Owen Quinn also played in the Final Qualifiers. Unfortunately, he wasn’t as lucky as his Dad.
Fran Quinn has participated in four US Open championships, with his best result being a 43rd finish in 1994. In an interview, Quinn expressed his joy of having qualified in his hometown. He also confirmed that the US Open 2022 would be his last.
2. Jonas Blixt
With 25 professional players from all over Canada fighting for just three spots at the RattleSnake Point Golf Club (CopperHead Course), no one expected Jonas Blixt to claim those spots.
But you can’t blame people; the Swedish golfer has been on a poor run of form for over a decade and missed the entire 2019-2020 season due to an undisclosed injury. The 2013 Greenbrier Classic winner played the 2021-2022 season on a medical extension, and he’s not been that good. In fact, he’s been poor. He’s only managed two cuts in thirteen starts this season.
A T-42 finish at the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am is his best finish in 2022, and he needs two extra starts before earning the required points to maintain his card for the rest of the season. Despite all these, he managed to make two bogeys that earned him top honors and a US Open qualification.
Japan’s Satoshi Kodaira and England’s Callum Tarren claimed the two other spots, with the latter earning his second US Open spot since 2019.
3. Brady Calkins
After eight full years as a pro, Brady Calkins will be making his first major championship appearance in the 2022 US Open. The two-time Dakota Tour winner is yet to start any PGA Tour-sanctioned events, but his 68-68 shot was enough to earn him one of three spots available to 66 golfers in the Pronghorn Resort (Nicklaus Resort).
He shares the medalist honors with Stanford’s Isaiah Salinda, who’s also making history in the Championship this year. The Pronghorn Resort (Nicklaus Resort) was a ground for inspiring stories as a commercial insurance agent, and Boise State alumni claimed the third spot.
4. Chan Kim
The Kinsale Golf and Fitness Club & Wedgewood Golf and Country Club in Columbus, Ohio, are probably the most competitive qualifying locations. One hundred six players have to fight for just four spots on a weather-disturbed course.
Chan Kim finished T-13 in the Memorial Tournament concluded a day before the qualifiers. Despite his lackluster finish in the tournament, the South Korean didn’t lose his spirit. A nine-under 62 opening saw him claim the medalist honors together with Lanto Griffin. Of the 28 players who competed in the Qualifiers and Memorial event, he’s the only one going to the Championship next week.
After his qualification, Kim admitted that his Memorial Tournament loss made the qualifiers easier. According to the seven times Japan Golf Tour winner, he killed his expectations and trusted himself before entering the course. He was quoted saying, “I just got rid of expectations. In a qualifier, you either make it, or you don’t. I just told myself to trust my game and give all I have.” It will be his fifth US Open appearance.
The US Open will be held from June 16-19 and will feature 156 of the world’s best golfers. Ninety-one of those players are exempt based on different USGA criteria meaning they all get automatic qualifications to the Championship.
Over 660 golfers will have to fight for the 65 remaining spots in 11 different courses in the US, Japan, and Canada. This article has managed to bring you some of the most inspiring stories from this year’s qualifiers, and we hope you enjoyed it.