Former Xavier men's golfer Chris Burger
June 1, 2012
CINCINNATI - 2012 Xavier graduate and former men's golfer Chris Burger is set to tee off Monday morning at the 2012 U.S. Open Sectional Qualifier to be held at Springfield Country Club in Springfield, Ohio. Burger will tee off at 8:20 a.m. from the first tee.
Burger qualified for the 2012 U.S. Open Championship Sectional Qualifier after firing a 3-under-par 69 at Maketewah Country Club on May 14. 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.
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.