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NORTON, Massachusetts – Three Bay State golf clubs were among the 112 named Wednesday when the United States Golf Association (USGA) officially announced its list of local qualifying sites for the 118th playing of the U.S. Open Championship, being contested at New York’s Shinnecock Hills Golf Club June 14-17.
Beginning April 30 and lasting until May 17, golf clubs in 45 states and Canada will serve as host spots where professional and amateur golfers alike will look to take their first steps at gaining entry into the U.S. Open Championship, the USGA’s premier Championship Proper of the season and their only tournament with a professional purse.
This spring, Mass Golf member clubs Pinehills GC in Plymouth and Stockbridge GC in Stockbridge will both serve as 2018 U.S. Open local qualifying sites, the first step of the qualifying process. In addition, the Rhode Island Golf Association (RIGA) will host a local qualifier at Pawtucket CC in Pawtucket (RI).
Pinehills Golf Club, which is hosting its 2018 local qualifier on Thursday, May 10, is one of 49 courses worldwide to be hosting a U.S. Open local qualifier for the second straight year. Last year, Lowell native Chris Gentle earned medalist honors at the Nicklaus course and was one of five competitors in the field to advance to the sectional stage of qualifying. In addition to hosting for the second straight year, this will also mark the eighth time in the past nine years that Pinehills has hosted this event. In addition to its connections with the USGA, Pinehills recently held the 2017 Massachusetts Amateur Public Links Championship and the 2015 B, C, D, and E Championships.
Making its return to the USGA qualifying schedule in 2018, Stockbridge Golf Club will be hosting its first USGA qualifier since a U.S. Mid-Amateur qualifier was held at the Western Massachusetts club in 2016. The 2018 U.S. Open local qualifier is slated for Monday, May 14.
While the number of qualifying spots will be unknown until the day of competition, both local qualifying spots can expect to see anywhere between one and five competitors advance to the sectional stage of qualifying. Following the completion of sectional qualifying on May 17, a total of 11 U.S. Open sectional qualifiers and one in England will be held on Monday, June 4 with positioning into the Championship Proper on the line. A 12th and final sectional qualifier taking place in Japan will occur May 21.
“We are thrilled to have Pinehills and Stockbridge serve as the host sites for local qualifiers ahead of the 2018 U.S. Open Championship,” said Laura Nochta, the Manager of NEGA Operations and USGA Qualifying for Mass Golf. “Both venues will provide a challenging, yet enjoyable layout that will test the abilities of all competitors and prepare them for the next stage of qualifying. Additionally, we are grateful for these two clubs stepping up to host this important event and we look forward to what will undoubtedly be a fantastic day of competition.”
In addition to the two Massachusetts clubs hosting local qualifiers, the Rhode Island Golf Association will conduct a U.S. Open local qualifier at Pawtucket Country Club on May 14.
To be eligible to compete in a U.S. Open local qualifier, players must have a Handicap Index not exceeding 1.4, or be a professional.
Online registration for all U.S. Open local qualifiers will begin the week of March 5 on usga.org. For a complete list of local qualifier sites, visit usga.org.