It's one of the best and most underrated spectacles in the game of golf. It comes to Central Ohio in early June every year. Of course, I am talking about the U.S. Open Final Qualifier.
The 2023 U.S. Open Final Qualifier is on Monday, June 5 at Brookside Golf & Country Club and The Lakes Golf & Country Club in Columbus. Admission and parking are both free. For more on the qualification process head to the USGA website. The very next day after winning the Memorial Tournament, Viktor Hovland caddied for his friend and former college teammate Zach Bauchou at Brookside.
The U.S. Open - is one of the four major events on the men’s professional golf calendar. It stands out among the rest, as it is truly an “open." Annually almost 10,000 of the top golfers in the world register for the national championship, which will be played June 15-18 at The Los Angeles Country Club. In a previous U.S. Open, a player who was living across the street from the course and worked at sporting goods store was the winner of the championship. So seriously, this is truly an “open.”
That list of 10,000 registrants is first reduced to around 100 through a series of qualifiers. Only 60-70 of the most accomplished golfers are given exemptions into the championship.
With the Memorial Tournament Presented by WorkDay being played the weekend before the qualifiers, the U.S. Open qualifier in Central Ohio to be the most convenient qualifier site for top PGA TOUR pros. In just the last few years, popular players such as Rickie Fowler, Colin Morikawa, Adam Scott, Max Homa and Joaquin Niemann have teed it up at this qualifier.
Netflix's golf documentary series Full Swing shined a light on this event in the fourth episode, Imposter Syndrome. Joel Dahmen stuck around after the Memorial and try to qualify for the U.S. Open by playing 36 holes at Kinsale Golf & Fitness Club, and Wedgewood Golf & Country Club. Spoiler alert: a strong second round helped him qualify and he went on to finish 10th at the U.S. Open.
You’ll be sure to see some recognizable names, but the fact that the event is an “open” creates an interesting dynamic as well. PGA TOUR pros are commonly paired with PGA teaching professionals, mini-tour professionals, collegiate players, and sometimes, even local high school golfers.
Another cool aspect for the fans is that there are no ropes at the U.S. Open qualifier. Effectively, spectators can walk in the fairways alongside the golfers as long as they give the players space to do their job. This makes it great for fans to see exactly what top-class golfers go through before, during, and after their shots.
Did you know? Columbus hosted the U.S. Open in 1926. Learn more about local golf history below.