Ohio teen earns bigger shot at Pinehurst
High school senior Will Grimmer isn't a Pinehurst native. He'll have plenty of right to feel at home during next week's U.S. Open.
Grimmer, a native of Cincinnati, Ohio, was one of 56 golfers who earned their spots into the U.S. Open Championships through 10 different courses across the country in sectional qualifying Monday.
The 17-year-old amateur already has a round at Pinehurst unlike what anyone else in the field has to his credit. Grimmer shot an 11-under-par 59 at Pinehurst No. 1 in last July's North and South Junior Championship.
Grimmer's 59 garnered national headlines but not the tournament title. Now the summer before he's set to enroll at Ohio State University, Grimmer was one of three players out of a 63-man field to advance through sectional qualifying at Springfield Country Club in Springfield, Ohio.
PGA Tour pro Brian Stuard was the medalist at Springfield with an 11-under 129 total through 36 holes. Grimmer totaled five-under-par 135 and pro Chris Thompson shot four under par for the last berth.
Sanford's Jonathan McCurry, who had advanced from local qualifying to the sectional stage, did not advance to the Open just down the road. Playing at Ansley Golf Club in Roswell, Ga., and playing for two qualifying spots at that site, McCurry, a professional and a grad of Southern Lee and UNC Pembroke, struggled in starting eight over par in his first nine holes and finished 17 over par with a 161 total.
Brad Fritsch, a PGA Tour pro who is a Canadian native, Campbell alum and lives in Holly Springs, missed the Open cut by one stroke at Colonial Country Club in Memphis. Fritsch, 36, shot a 72 on Colonial's South Course, followed by a five-under 66 on the club's North Course to finish five under par total but a shot shy of a playoff for the last qualifying places.
Sean Moore, of Southern Pines, shot 153 and didn't qualify at Ansley Golf Club.
In Rockville, Md. at Woodmont Country Club, Jack Fields, of Southern Pines, shot five-over-par 149 and Chris Hockaday, of Angier, shot 158 and didn't advance
Darron Stiles, of Pinehurst, shot a six-over 148 and didn't advance from Brookside Golf and Country Club and Scioto Country Club in Columbus, Ohio.
Many PGA Tour players were trying to go through the sectional qualifying route Monday. Among those who advanced to the championship event to be played June 12-15 at Pinehurst No. 2 are: J.B. Holmes, Joe Ogilvie, David Toms, Jeff Maggert, Justin Leonard, Paul Casey, Luke Guthrie, Robert Allenby, Aaron Baddeley, Alex Cejka and Kevin Sutherland.
Davis Love III, Brian Gay, Lee Janzen, Chesson Hadley, D.J. Trahan, Rory Sabbatini, Harrison Frazar, Duffy Waldorf, David Duval, Johnson Wagner, Chad Campbell, Billy Mayfair, K.J. Choi, Camilo Villegas, Ryo Ishikawa, Robert Garrigus, Charley Hoffman, Mike Weir, Stuart Appleby and Woody Austin were among those not qualifying.
Grimmer was one of seven amateurs to earn one of Monday's 56 berths to Pinehurst No. 2 along with Cory Whitsett, Robby Shelton, Hunter Stewart, Smylie Kaufman, Maverick McNealy and Brian Campbell.