2024 U.S. Open Local Qualifying - Kirkbrae CC (RI) - MASSGOLF

Two Massachusetts Professionals And One Amateur Advance Through U.S. Open Local Qualifying IN Rhode Island

By: Stephen Hanjack

LINCOLN, Rhode Island (May 14, 2024) – On a perfect day for golf in Rhode Island, five players advanced through U.S. Open Local Qualifying at Kirkbrae Country Club. Professionals Eric Barlow (Winchester CC) and Owen Quinn (Worcester CC) were joined by amateur Carter Nunez (George Wright GC) in earning a spot in U.S. Open Final Qualifying.

Barlow is no stranger to Final Qualifying as he’s advanced through Local’s on several occasions. And Owen Quinn is now one step closer to a return to Pinehurst, where he caddied for his father at the 2014 U.S. Open Championship.

Nunez, a former member of the Mass Golf staff (USGA Boatwright Intern – Marketing & Communications), will be making his first appearance in Final Qualifying.

Online: Results | U.S. Open Local Qualifying Home | Mass Golf Home

Hopefully the membership at Winchester CC is okay with lessons being canceled on Monday, June 3rd, as their Head Teaching Professional will be a little busy. Eric Barlow will be making his (estimated) fifth trip to U.S. Open Final Qualifying.

Barlow started posting birdies early and often on Tuesday, in cruising to a relatively stress-free 67 (-5), which was good for co-medalist honors. In total, he made seven birdies on the day, which tied for most in the field.

Last season, as a member of the Mass Golf staff, Carter Nunez spent the summer holding a camera. This season, the camera will be pointed at him. After an impressive 69 (-3), which was capped off with a bogey-free, back nine 34, Nunez was forced to wait around to see if he would advance.

In the end, Nunez was forced into a 3-for-2 playoff for the final spots. On the first playoff hole, Nunez annihilated a drive up the right, towards a small collection of tress. After what felt like 5 different bounces between the pines, Nunez’s ball came to rest with a relatively clear look at the green. Playing first, Nunez carved a slow-rising beauty between the trees and safely onto the green. Competitor Bobby Leopold was unable to avoid the trees with his second, which led to a bogey, and allowed for Nunez to two-putt his way back home to New Jersey.

A recent graduate of Northeastern University, Nunez is excited to get back on the course this summer. In 2017 he qualified for, and competed in the U.S. Amateur Championship at Riviera. And in 2023 he won the USGA Boatwright Internship putting contest. Perhaps a trip to the U.S. Open at Pinehurst will be next on the resume.

Carter Nunez looks over a putt on the 18th hole at Kirkbrae CC. (Photo: Mass Golf)

In 2022, the Quinn Crew from Holden (Fran, Owen & Matthew) competed in U.S. Open Local Qualifying together at Taconic GC. That year both Fran and Owen advanced through to Final Qualifying, while Matthew missed the cut by just 3 shots.

This year, the trio made the trip to Rhode Island, again looking to advance together. And while Fran (-1) and Matthew (+2) played nicely, Owen was the best of the bunch.

Owen started the day with a birdie on one and an eagle on six, and closed out the front nine bogey free. Sitting squarely on the cut line, the back nine was a rollercoaster for Quinn. After a disappointing bogey on 17, he stepped up on 18 needing to make birdie and delivered. A perfectly struck, high arching approach shot came to rest six feet from the hole. When the ensuing birdie putt found the bottom of the cup, Quinn gave a subtle-yet-strong fist pump, knowing he earned a spot in the playoff.

In the playoff, Quinn again played the 18th perfectly, splitting the middle of the fairway, and hitting his approach inside of 10 feet. After Leopold made bogey, Quinn was able to comfortably two putt his way into Final Qualifying once again.

Owen Quinn celebrates his birdie on 18 with a subtle fist pump at U.S. Open Local Qualifying. (Photo: Mass Golf)

The five players who advanced on Tuesday will now compete in the 36-hole grind that is U.S. Open Final Qualifying.


QUALIFIER (Names; Cities)

Eric Barlow, Canton, MA; 67 (-5)

Bennett Masterson (a), Westerly, RI; 67 (-5)

Mike Caparco (a), Cranston, RI; 68 (-4)

Carter Nunez (a), South Orange, NJ; 69 (-3)*

Owen Quinn, Holden, MA; 69 (-3)*


Bobby Leopold (a), Coventry, RI; 69 (-3)

Brendon Ray, West Warwick, RI; 70 (-2)**

*Advanced in playoff with par on first playoff hole (no. 18)
**Advanced in playoff on second playoff hole (no. 17)


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  • The 2024 edition of the United States Open Championship will mark the 124th playing of the event.
  • This year 10,052 entries were accepted by the USGA, marking the third time that over 10,000 entries have been accepted for the U.S. Open.
  • Eligibility: Open to any professional or amateur whose Handicap Index® does not exceed 0.4.
  • Those to advance through Local Qualifying will advance to Final Qualifying, which will be contested on May 20 (3 sites) and June 3 (10 sites).
  • The Championship Proper will be contested at Pinehurst Resort & CC (Course No. 2) in Pinehurst, NC from June 13-16.
  • This will mark the third time that the U.S. Open will played at Pinehurst No. 2 (1999 – Payne Stewart; 2014 – Martin Kaymer)
  • The USGA announced on May 2nd that three-time U.S. Open champion Tiger Woods has accepted a special exemption into the Championship.
  • U.S. Open Local Qualifying was also held at Sacconnesset CC (Falmouth, MA) on Tuesday, May 7 and Longmeadow CC on Monday, May 13.


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