McCurry takes qualifying step toward U.S. Open

May. 22, 2014 @ 05:26 PM

Sanford’s Jonathan McCurry is one step, a big step without doubt, from playing in the U.S. Open Championship in three weeks at Pinehurst.

McCurry earned a berth through to sectional qualifying by shooting a one-under-par 71 at the Governors Club in Chapel Hill in local qualifying last Thursday and Friday.

McCurry claimed one of six qualifying spots through Chapel Hill. Local qualifying took place this month at 111 courses. Sectional qualifying is set for 10 courses domestically on June 2 along with qualifiers in England and Japan on Monday.

After trying to qualify for last year’s U.S. Open, McCurry said he likely would’ve tried again this spring no matter the site for the championship. The shot to play for the national championship at Pinehurst No. 2 makes the prospects more exciting.

“With it being close to home, with it being 45 minutes away and friends and family being able to be there, it would be beyond cool to make it,” he said.

“I could sleep in my own bed and play in the Open.”

The local qualifier at the Governors Club was set for Thursday but the day was cut short by rain.

McCurry, a Southern Lee and UNC Pembroke alum, played 11 holes Thursday and seven Friday. The interruption didn’t bother him, he said.

“With seven holes left, I just looked at it like starting a new round. I knew there were a few holes there (on Friday) I could birdie, so I was just trying to do that really,” he said.

“It was a pretty solid round. I played well from tee to green and it’s a course that fits me pretty well. It was a good round and I was definitely happy,” he said.

While McCurry feels good about his game, the most difficult leg of qualifying remains, so he’s not too anxious.

“I still need two really good rounds to get to the U.S. Open,” he said.

Sectional qualifiers are 36 holes in one day. McCurry doesn’t know where he’ll be sent yet. He requested to go to Colonial Country Club in Memphis, to Ansley Golf Club in Roswell, Ga. or to Quail Valley Golf Club in Vero Beach, Fla.

The golfers who advance on June 2 will have a week before coming to Pinehurst, or in McCurry’s case - practically coming home - for the championship week.