Field set for U.S. Open at Pinehurst
Posted June 9
The United States Golf Association announced Monday that two additional players have earned full exemptions into the 2014 U.S. Open Championship June 12-15 at Pinehurst No. 2 bringing the number of fully exempt players to 74. Additionally, three alternates from sectional qualifying were added to complete the 156-player field.
Kevin Na earned an exemption based on the current Official World Golf Ranking. Na, who is ranked No. 40, is making his fourth U.S. Open appearance. The 30-year-old from Las Vegas recorded his best Open finish in 2012 when he tied for 29th at The Olympic Club. Na, who was born in South Korea, recently finished second at the PGA Tour’s Memorial Tournament and has five top-10 finishes this season.
Bernd Wiesberger, who is No. 60 in the OWGR, is playing in his first U.S. Open. The 28-year-old from Austria finished second at the European Tour’s Lyoness Open last week and moved up nine spots in the ranking. He lost in a playoff to Mikael Lundberg on the first extra hole.
The USGA held five spots in the field for those players who could potentially qualify by being in the current top 60 of the OWGR. Several pros attempted to play their way in over the weekend. Raleigh's Chesson Hadley, who entered the week 66th in the OWGR needed a T-4 finish or better at St. Jude's to enter the top 60. Hadley missed the cut after finishing T-13 at 5 under.
Also falling short were No. 68 Charles Howell III (T-28), No. 76 Scott Stallings (T-32), No. 79 Freddie Jacobson (T-60) and No. 74 Thorbjorn Olesen.
Since Na and Wiesberger were the only players to earn an exemption, three alternates from sectional qualifying were added to the field. They are Craig Barlow and amateurs Cameron Wilson and Brandon McIver.
Barlow was the first alternate from the Daly City, Calif., sectional. He will play in his sixth U.S. Open. His best finish was a tie for 26th at Winged Foot Golf Club in 2006. Barlow also played in the 2005 Open at Pinehurst No. 2.
Wilson, the 2014 NCAA Division I individual champion, was the first alternate from the Purchase, N.Y., sectional. He made a birdie putt on the sixth playoff hole in qualifying to earn the spot. Wilson, who earned first-team All-America honors at Stanford University this year, is playing in his second U.S. Open (he missed the cut in 2012 at The Olympic Club).
McIver, a rising junior at the University of Oregon, was the first alternate from the Creswell, Ore., sectional. He is playing in his first Open.
There were 111 U.S. Open local qualifying sites that led to 12 sectionals, including international sites in Japan and England on May 26. Sectional qualifying in the United States took place at 10 sites on June 2.