Former Xavier men's golfer Chris Burger has qualified for the 2012 U.S. Open Sectional on June 4
May 15, 2012
CINCINNATI - Xavier graduating senior men's golfer Chris Burger qualified for the 2012 U.S. Open Championship Sectional Qualifier on Monday after firing a 3-under-par 69 at Maketewah Country Club. Burger, one of 11 site qualifiers, will now move on to the sectional qualifier to be held on June 4.
A 2008 graduate of LaSalle High School, Burger spent the past four seasons with the Xavier men's golf program. He served as team captain as a senior and ended his career tied for 14th in Xavier history in career scoring average at 75.23. Burger earned 2012 Atlantic 10 All-Conference honors and was awarded the Xavier Achieving Senior Award for being named to the Dean's List for at least seven semesters.
Every year, thousands of golfers - both professionals and amateurs with a USGA Handicap Index not exceeding 1.4 - file entries to compete in the U.S. Open Championship. For all but a handful of top players, the first stop in the process after the entry form has been accepted by the USGA is local qualifying at more than 100 sites across the country. In 2012, there will be 109 local qualifiers from April 30 to May 17.
Each local qualifier consists of 18 holes, with a select number of players advancing to the 36-hole sectional qualifying stage. The number of available spots is determined by the number of players at the local qualifier.
Sectional qualifying is the final stage before U.S. Open hopefuls get to the championship proper. The USGA offers 13 sectional sites - 11 in the U.S. and two overseas in Japan and England. Generally, about 750 golfers compete at the sectional qualifying level for about half of the 156 available spots in the U.S. Open.
Sectional qualifying is a grueling 36-hole one-day marathon, with only a handful of available spots at each site. Qualifying spots are determined by the field's numbers and strength. The USGA established two "tour" sites in Columbus, Ohio, and Memphis, Tenn., for members of the PGA Tour who either have just competed at The Memorial (Columbus) or are preparing to play the FedEx St. Jude Classic (Memphis).
In 2005, the USGA established two international qualifiers; one in Japan (Japan, Asia and Australasian tours) and another in England (European Tour). In its first year, Michael Campbell of New Zealand not only qualified in England, but went on to claim the U.S. Open title at Pinehurst No. 2 in North Carolina.
A small number of golfers manage to navigate both stages of qualifying to earn a spot in the 156-player U.S. Open field. And Ken Venturi (1964) and Orville Moody (1969) managed to claim the championship after enduring local and sectional qualifying. The odds are long, but qualifying is what makes the U.S. Open Championship the unique competition that it is. Former USGA Executive Director David B. Fay called the U.S. Open "the most democratic championship" in golf.
The qualifying process gives everyone with a dream a chance to tee it up with the best players in the world. And local qualifying is where that quest starts.