The 118th U.S. Open tees off on Thursday at New York’s Shinnecock Hills course with the usual representation of Chicago players among the 156 starters. This year it’s a little different, however, because two of local hopefuls are amateurs.
For Arlington resident Doug Ghim it’ll be his last event before turning pro. He got into his first U.S. Open the same way he got into his first Masters in April. Both spots were due to his runner-up finish in last fall’s U.S. Amateur and Ghim needed to maintain his amateur status to take advantage of the invite to Shinnecock.
Ghim did well in the Masters. He was only amateur to make the cut, finishing in a tie for 50th place and making three eagles along the way to earn some crystal souvenirs. Once his last putt drops at Shinnecock Hills Ghim will shift his focus to playing for money.
Thanks to his sterling record as an amateur – he won the Ben Hogan Award as the nation’s best collegiate player in his senior season at Texas – Ghim has already been awarded sponsor’s exemptions to three PGA Tour events – next week’s Travelers Championship in Hartford, Ct.; the Quicken Loans Invitational in Potomac, Md., the following week and the John Deere Classic in downstate Silvis next month.
Ryan Lumsden, who just completed his junior season at Northwestern, also will play in the U.S. Open as an amateur. Lumsden, from Scotland, survived the sectional qualifying tournament in Columbus, Ohio, but he has another year of collegiate eligibility remaining.
Dylan Meyer, who concluded his collegiate eligibility at Illinois, qualified for the U.S. Open with a second-place finish in the Springfield, Ohio, sectional. The U.S. Open will be Meyer’s pro debut, and he also has secured sponsor’s invites to play at Harford and Potomac.
Meyer will join his former Illini teammate, Nick Hardy, at Hartford. Hardy didn’t attempt to qualify for the U.S. Open, a championship he played twice as an amateur. He made his pro debut at last week’s Rust-Oleum Championship, a Web.com Tour stop at Ivanhoe Club, and earned $3,070 for a tie for 33rd place.
Hardy also has invites to play in Illinois’ other Web.com event – the Lincoln Land Championship at Panther Creek in Springfield – and the PGA Tour’s John Deere Classic in downstate Silvis., Ill. He also was invite made the cut at TPC Deere Run in 2017 athe Chicago area. Jon Jennings, the Shinnecock course superintendent since 2012, came to New York after serving in a similar position at Chicago Golf Club in Wheaton from 2000 to 2012.
Radix Cup on tap
The Radix Cup matches between the stars of the Chicago District Golf Association and the Illinois PGA will be played for the 57th time Wednesday (TODAY) at Oak Park Country Club in River Forest.
While the CDGA’s amateur stars won last year’s competition 10-8, that team will have eight Radix Cup rookies in its 12-man lineup this time. The CDGA unit has two veterans, however. Taylorville’s Dave Ryan is making his 15th appearance and Bloomington’s Todd Mitchell his 14th.
The IPGA has a notable Radix veteran as well. Medinah teaching pro Rich Dukelow has played in the matches 12 times, counting both his time as an amateur and a professional.
There’ll be six better ball matches, the first going off at 12:45 p.m. Though the IPGA owns a commanding 35-19-2 lead in the series the teams are both 4-4 in matches played over the last eight years.
Here and there
The 85th playing of the Illinois Women’s State Amateur concludes on Thursday at Aldeen in Rockford.
Chicago’s qualifying round for the first-ever U.S. Senior Women’s Open will be played on Monday (JUNE 18) at Conway Farms in Lake Forest. Thirty-three players will battle for five berths in the championship proper July 12-15 at Chicago Golf Club.
The 101st Western Golf Association Junior Championship begins its four –day run on Monday at Evanston Golf Club in Skokie. William Mouw of Chino, Calif., is the defending champion. Past titlists include PGA Tour mainstays Ricky Fowler, Jim Furyk and Hunter Mahan.
The Golf Scene, hosted by Steve Kashul, celebrated its 25th year on Sunday in its first show of this season. It’s the longest-airing golf show in the nation.
Entries are still available for the Blackberry Oaks Amateur, June 23-24 in Bristol.