One Step Away
It's referred to as the Longest Day in Golf, but for some individuals, Monday will be one of the greatest days in golf.
A strong field of 102 golfers will play 36 holes Monday in a U.S. Open Sectional Qualifier, run by the SCGA. Competitors will play 18 holes at both Big Canyon CC, which was the host of the 2012 SCGA Amateur Championship won by Bhavik Patel, and Newport Beach CC, home of the Champions Tour Toshiba Classic. There will be five qualifying spots up for grabs. The 2013 U.S. Open Championship will be held at Merion GC in Ardmore, Pa. on June 13-16.
Monday's event is open to the public. Tee times begin at 7 a.m.
The field is highlighted by a number of familiar faces to Southland golfers, including 18-year-old Beau Hossler of Mission Viejo, who will look to make his third U.S. appearance. Hossler became a national name last year when he found himself on the top of the 2012 U.S. Open leaderboard midway through the second round of action. He went on to play on last fall's U.S. Junior Ryder Cup team.
However the golfer who may be the favorite to do well Monday is Max Homa, who arrives fresh off a NCAA Individual Championsip title. Homa, an SCGA and Valencia CC member, has been on a tear recently, claiming the Pac-12 Individual Championship title just a couple of weeks ago in an event that saw him shoot a Los Angeles CC course record 61 in the opening round of play.
Other competitors include:
Jeff Brehaut, Los Altos, Calif. - Has played on the PGA Tour and Web.com Tour. Brehaut, who celebrates his 50th birthday on June 13, will also attempt to qualify for this year’s U.S. Senior Open. Brehaut has played in two U.S. Opens and tied for 17th in 2007.
Sean Crocker, Westlake Village, Calif. - A 16-year-old junior at Westlake High who was medalist in U.S. Open local qualifying at La Purisima GC. His father, Gary, is a retired international Zimbabwean cricketer. Sean, who has been mentored by PGA Tour and Champions Tour veteran Nick Price, was low amateur at the Zimbabwe Open in April.
Steven Irwin of Arvada, Colo. - The son of three-time U.S. Open and two-time U.S. Senior Open champion Hale Irwin. Steven, who has caddied for his father in the U.S. Open, is president of Hale Irwin Golf Services. He made his first Open appearance at Congressional in 2011 and has also played in five U.S. Mid-Amateurs.
Erick Justesen of Murphys, Calif. - Worked as a caddie at Pebble Beach Golf Links for five years. A Division II All-American at Cal State Stanislaus, Justesen has played on the Canadian and Golden State tours.
Joel Kribel - Was the 1997 U.S. Amateur runner-up (to Matt Kuchar) and played on the 1997 USA Walker Cup Team. A four-time All-American at Stanford, Kribel also reached the 1996 U.S. Amateur semifinals, losing to teammate Tiger Woods.
Lyon Lazare, Villa Park, Calif. - A pianist and a musical composer. Lazare, who began studying piano at age 3, recently became the first Chapman University golfer to earn all-conference honors. Several of his musical compositions honor his late sister.
Johnny MacArthur of Newhall, Calif. - Was a medalist in U.S. Open local qualifying and is on the Pepperdine University golf team. He comes from an athletic family. His father, Matt, played baseball (Arizona) while his mother, Kelly, was a gymnastics standout (UCLA). His brother, Ty, was the leading receiver at the U.S. Air Force Academy in 2012.
Andy Miller, 35 - The son of 1973 U.S. Open champion and NBC analyst Johnny Miller. The four-time All-American at Brigham Young University tied for 62nd at the 2002 U.S. Open.
Chris Riley, San Diego - Has played in three U.S. Opens and was a member of the 1995 USA Walker Cup Team. He has won twice on the PGA Tour.
Alberto Sanchez, Nogales, Ariz. - Qualified for his first U.S. Open last year with his father, Alberto Sr., on the bag. He is a freshman on the Arizona State University golf squad.
John Urquhart of Glendale, Ariz. - Shared medalist honors in U.S. Open local qualifying at Encanterra CC. Urquhart received a kidney transplant five years ago after he was found to have an auto-immune disorder known as IgA nephropathy. He had to endure five-hour dialysis sessions before a donor was found.
*Please note: Champion Tour member John Cook, who was originally in the field, withdrew late Friday afternoon.
About Big Canyon CC
Robert Muir Graves designed Big Canyon Country Club, which opened for play in 1971. John Harbottle III directed renovations in 1998. The course features hilly terrain with five lakes that come into play on seven holes, and approximately 80 bunkers guard the Bermuda grass fairways and Poa Annua greens. A member-owned club,Big Canyon completed construction of a 65,000-square-foot, two-story clubhouse in 2009.
The United States Golf Association announced on May 18 that Big Canyon will host the 2014 USGA Senior Amateur Championship. This will be the second USGA championship held at Big Canyon and the first held in Southern California since 2008.
The club has hosted qualifying for eight U.S. Amateurs and three U.S. Women’s Mid-Amateurs.It also hosted the 2002 SCGA Mid-Amateur Championship, won by three-time SCGA Amateur Champion Scott McGihon and the 1996 Pacific-10 Conference Men's Golf Championship, won by Tiger Woods as a Standford freshman with the course record of 61. Woods used Big Canyon CC as his home club when competing and winning his three U.S. Juniors and three U.S. Amateurs.
About Newport Beach CC
Even the golf course reflects the grand Newport Beach heritage with its bold stand of pine trees, impeccably manicured greens and fairways, and picture-postcard views of the sparkling blue Pacific and the Newport Bay. This 6,600 yard, par 71, private course, originally built in 1953 by world renowned William “Billy” Bell, is now in the capable hands of distinguished golf course architect, Ted Robinson, the man responsible for some of the world's finest courses. The original design, known for its challenging water hazards and mature trees, is further redefined by Robinson's enhancements. Rejuvenated, the course continues to provide an alluring challenge not only to our members, but to professional golfers as well.
The Newport Beach Country Club is located along Pacific Coast Highway in scenic Newport Beach. The maturity of the nearly 50-year old course makes it a popular stop of the Senior PGA tour. The narrow kikuya fairways are lined with bold stands of aged pine trees, which puts a premium on driving the ball accurately off the tee. The challenging bent and poa annua grass greens create a small target for approach shots and putts often break deceptively toward the Pacific Ocean. Originally designed by William Bell in 1952, The Newport Beach Country Club underwent enhancements by Harry Rainville in 1973 and Ted Robinson in 1985, 1998 and 1999. Robinson's refinements on holes #3, #4 and #5 were completed for the 1999 Toshiba Senior Classic, and in 2000, we rebuilt the tee boxes on holes #3 and #6, added a fairway bunker on hole #6, renovated the driving range tees and redesigned the greenside bunker on hole #17.