The U.S. Open is the most difficult golf tournament of the year. By definition, it is an “Open” tournament, meaning a larger number of players can qualify as compared to other Major tournaments throughout the year (such as the Masters). The player pool consists of the top 156 golfers who either qualified automatically or played their way in. Automatic qualification is based on the following:
- Players who have won a U.S. Open in the last 10 years
- Players who have won The Masters, The Open Championship (British Open), or The PGA Championship in the last 5 years
- Players who finished in the top-30 on the money list on the PGA Tour
- Players who finished in the top-15 on the money list on the European Tour
- And players who are ranked in the top 50 in the 2 weeks leading up to the U.S. Open
Those who did not qualify automatically must win an 18-hole local tournament as well as a 36-hole sectional tournament to gain entry.
* Oh yeah, just to be eligible to earn a spot in the U.S. Open, you must own a handicap index of 1.4 or better.
This means a player will shoot, on average, 1.4 strokes above par. In other words..they’re really freakin’ good at golf.
This format welcomes surprise success stories, such as Michael Campbell winning the 2005 U.S. Open. This year, although still early in the tournament, we are stumbling upon another completely unknown golfer. Allow me to introduce Xander Schauffele. Who?! Exactly. I’ll give you a hint – he’s the guy in the picture up there. Xander would be the 352nd ranked golfer in the world. His full name is Xander Victor Schauffele, and he is from La Jolla, California. He is 23 years old, and owns 1 professional win (2015 Northern California Open).
So why are we talking about this kid??
Because he is currently tied for 5th (-5) toward the end of the 2nd Round of the U.S. Open. There are currently a handful of unknown players littered across the leaderboard, but none are playing better than Xander. You can check the current leaderboard here. Only time will tell if he will climb into the spotlight over the weekend. For now, he can briefly enjoy making his 1st cut in a Major Tournament.
While the 1st 2 rounds of the U.S. Open have welcomed low scores, the majority of the top golfers are struggling. As of now, only 6 of the top-30 golfers in the world are in the top-45 of the leaderboard. Following today’s round, only the top-60 golfers will make the cut and advance to the weekend.
We could be looking at an interesting leaderboard come Sunday.
Who do you think will win The U.S. Open?? Give me your prediction in the comment section below.
HAPPY FATHER’S DAY EVERYONE!!
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