Shipping Off To Boston: Fran Quinn & Michael Thorbjornsen Qualify For U.S. Open - MASSGOLF

Fran quinn, Michael THorbjornsen to represent Massachusetts at 122nd U.s. Open in brookline

PURCHASE, NEW YORK – Massachusetts will have a hometown hero for the U.S. Open at The Country Club next week. Actually, make that heroes.

Wellesley’s Michael Thorbjornsen, a 20-year-old rising junior at Stanford University, and Fran Quinn, a 57-year-old PGA Tour Champions professional from Holden, prevailed in an 8-person playoff at the 36-hole U.S. Open Final Qualifier on Monday at Old Oaks Country Club and Century Country Club in New York. Quinn and Thorbjornsen both shot 2-under through 36 and made birdie on the second playoff hole (par-5, 18th at Old Oaks) as each guaranteed one of the five spots for the U.S. Open available in the qualifier.

More than a dozen Massachusetts players attempted to qualify across four different locations on Monday, including Georgia, Ohio and Oregon. As of 8 p.m. Monday, those qualifiers were not complete.

SCORING LINKS: Century CC & Old Oaks CC (New York) | Pronghorn Resort (Oregon) | Ansley GC (Georgia) | Wedgewood G&CC/Kinsale G&FC (Ohio)

Massachusetts natives Michael Thorbjornsen, left, Fran Quinn, center, qualified for the U.S. Open at the final qualifier in New York. Brandon Matthews won the playoff alongside Thorbjornsen and Quinn. (Metropolitan Golf Association)

For Quinn, qualifying for this U.S. Open is nothing short of remarkable. Not only will he play 45 minutes from his home in Central Massachusetts, it’ll mark 30 years since his first U.S. Open at Pebble Beach in 1992.

“To be able to play at home is a dream,” Quinn told Golf Channel after the round. “It was a long day, but it was definitely rewarding.”

In the playoff, Quinn couldn’t reach the green in two, but on his approach he landed it inside of 3 feet and sank the birdie putt. Thorbjornsen did reach in two and was able to two-putt for birdie, as did Florida’s Brandon Matthews. The remaining 5 players were unable to make birdie, putting the previous three in the championship. Maine’s Caleb Manuel and New Jersey’s Chris Gotterup split medalist honors at 3-under.

Monday’s success also comes two years after Quinn had major surgery to repair an injury to his shoulder socket that sidelined him for 18 months. At one point, Quinn was unsure of his future in the game. However, he returned at last year’s Cologuard Classic and finished top 20 in the U.S. Senior Open.


Quinn’s last appearance in the U.S. Open was 2014. Back then his son Owen Quinn, who finished 4-over on Monday, caddied for his father. Asked Monday about who will caddy this time, Fran said his wife Lori will be on the bag, as she was Monday.

Thorbjornsen also earned a return ticket to the U.S. Open, having played in 2019, also at Pebble Beach, following his victory in the 2018 U.S. Junior Amateur. Coming off wins at last year’s Western Amateur and Mass Amateur, Thorbjornsen will now have the opportunity to rewrite the story of Francis Ouimet, whose stunning 1913 U.S. Open victory in Brookline as an amateur changed golf in America forever. Thorbjornsen is also a 20-year-old amateur, is coming off a state amateur victory and will play the U.S. Open at The Country Club.

Last year, Thorbjornsen played 18 holes of the U.S. Open qualifier at Century Country Club but withdrew due to illness. But on Monday, he came flying out of the gates and surged to the top of the leaderboard early, shooting 3-under on his first nine, which included a chip-in on the 9th. He finished the first round 3-under 67 on the first 18. “Playing that course last year definitely helped me this morning,” Thorbjornsen said.

Despite a 1-over 71 at Old Oaks, Thorbjornsen managed four birdies, enough to get him above the eventual cutline at 2-under. “It’s just a long grind,” he said. “I’m glad that we’re finally done. I was just trying to stay in it mentally on every hole and keep thinking that you’re still in it.”

Michael Thorbjornsen hits his tee shot from the first playoff hole at Old Oaks Country Club. Thorbjornsen is back in the U.S. Open for the first time since 2019. (Metropolitan Golf Association)

Other notable Massachusetts amateurs battled well in New York. Westminster’s Ethan Whitney (Oak Hill Country Club), shot 4-over overall, but he closed with a 1-under 69 at Old Oaks. Whitney recently finished his first year at Temple University. Milton’s Ben Spitz (George Wright Golf Course), the low amateur at the Mass Open last year, finished 5-over, while returning amateur Jake Shuman (Blue Hill Country Club), of Boston, shot 7-over.

In Oregon, Hopkinton native Jimmy Hervol was 4-under through 18 holes and one stroke off the lead. With three spots on the line, Hervol was attempting to qualify for the second time in as many years.

In Ohio, Attleboro native Davis Chatfield shot 4-under (69-70–139) but finished one stroke shy of a playoff for one of the 13 spots up for grabs.

Haverhill’s Nick Maccario, the 2020 Mass Golf Richard D. Haskell Player of the Year, finished 75-80–155 in Georgia.

WATCH: U.S. OPEN FINAL QUALIFYING HIGHLIGHTS


a running log of UPDATES FROM monday’s U.S. OPEN FINAL QUALIFYING

Today, we find out how many Bay State golfers will be represented at the 122nd U.S. Open at The Country Club in Brookline. Nine 36-hole U.S. Open Final Qualifying tournaments will take place coast-to-coast as part of what’s called “Golf’s Longest Day”.

Mass Golf’s Stephen Hanjack is providing coverage on the ground at Century Country Club & Old Oaks in Purchase, New York, where more than a dozen golfers from Massachusetts will compete for one of five coveted invitations to Brookline. Golfers from Massachusetts will also be featured in the fields at Georgia’s Ansley Golf Club (4 spots), Oregon’s Pronghorn Resort (3 spots), and at Ohio’s Kinsale Golf & Fitness Club. & Wedgewood Golf & Country Club (13 Spots).

Check back to this page (and refresh) for continuous updates on all the golfers from Massachusetts competing across the country. We’ll also have updates on all our social media accounts: @PlayMassGolf on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook.

— 7:25 p.m. — It’s over! James, Sweeney, Phillips and Magnus all miss their birdie putts, meaning Michael Thorbjornsen and Fran Quinn will represent Massachusetts in the 122nd U.S. Open at The Country Club.

— 7:00 p.m. —

Thorbjornsen, Quinn, and Matthews all make birdie on the par-5 18th, while Kraft makes par. They’ll wait for the second group to see if anybody matches them.

— 6:40 p.m. —

Thorbjornsen and Quinn make par on the hole, as did Kraft and Matthews. They’ll all wait to see what the remaining four behind them finish the hole.

— 6:20 p.m. —

Michael Thorbjornsen and Fran Quinn are in an 8-for-3 playoff to determine the final spots in the U.S. Open. They’ll be joined by Ben James (Connecticut), Kelly Kraft (Texas), Michael Sweeney (Florida), Chandler Phillips (Texas), Haraldur Magnus (Iceland) and Brandon Matthews (Florida).

Live Stream: bit.ly/3HasxgJ

— 5:36 p.m. —

Meanwhile out in Oregon, Jimmy Hervol has finished his first 18 holes at 4-under-par and sits one stroke off the lead. Only three will get through so still plenty of work to do.

— 5:10 p.m. —

Fran Quinn comes in at 2-under, with 69s on both courses. Right now’s he’s tied with a handful of individuals at 2-under, and that group will most likely end up in a playoff. That would be contested at holes 1 and 18 at Old Oaks, where Quinn and Thorbjornsen finished their afternoon round. We’ll go live on Instagram if there’s a playoff.

— 4:40 p.m. —

Michael Thorbjornsen completed his two rounds at the Purchase, New York qualifier with a 2-under 138 after making par on his last two holes. Thorbjornsen is tied for fifth place, putting him in the final group above the cutline. Three players ahead of him have yet to wrap up their rounds, as do three others who are also tied for fifth, including Fran Quinn.

— 4:15 p.m. —

With two holes remaining, Michael Thorbjornsen has ground to make up in New York. Thorbjornsen bogeyed on holes 6 and 7, putting him four strokes behind leader Dylan Newman, two back of Michael Sweeney in second place, and one back of a four-way tie in third. As a reminder, only five move on to the Open.

— 4:00 p.m. —

Follow along as qualifying wraps up in Purchase, New York at our livestream here: https://www.instagram.com/playmassgolf/

— 3:40 p.m. —

James Hervol remains tied for the third-best score at the Bend, Oregon qualifier with a 2-under, powered by an eagle on 16 and a birdie on 3.

— 3:25 p.m. —

Fran Quinn made birdie on holes 2 and 9 to begin the second round at the Old Oaks Country Club qualifier, giving him a 2-under 33 on the front nine and putting him at T5.

— 2:38 p.m. —

Through 27 holes, Michael Thorbjornsen sits at 3-under, currently good for T3 in New York. Despite a double-bogey on the 17th at Old Oaks, he made birdie on the 16th and 18th, to put him at even for the round.

— 1:50 p.m. — 

After finishing the first round with a 3-over 75, Richy Werenski has withdrawn from the qualifier in Roswell, Georgia. 

— 12:53 p.m. —

Chris Francoeur finished the first round of qualifying in Powell, Ohio, with a 1-under after making birdie on his final hole. Francoeur tees off for Round 2 at 1:40 p.m. Interestingly enough, he’s paired with Attleboro native and Notre Dame graduate Davis Chatfield, who is currently 3-under.

— 12:39 p.m. —

A mid-day update from Stephen Hanjack, who’s on-site at the New York qualifier.

–12:18 p.m. —

The last Massachusetts player to begin play today is Jimmy Hervol, a Hopkinton native who turned pro in 2019. Hervol qualified for the U.S. Open at Torrey Pines through New York last year, but decided to go to out west to Oregon this year since he has status on the Canadian Tour.

— 11:30 a.m. —

Richy Werenski got off to a strong start in Georgia with three consecutive birdies on holes 2-4 and an eagle on 8. He wrapped up the front nine with a 2-under 34, good for a fourth-place tie. 

–11:23 a.m. —

Michael Thorbjornsen finishes his first 18-holes at 3-under 67, with five birdies and two bogeys at Century Country Club. That has him currently T2 and above the cutline. He’s scheduled to tee off from Old Oaks Country Club at 12:39 p.m.

— 11:09 a.m. —

The first 18 for Jake Shuman was a bit of a roller coaster ride, but he makes this putt on 16 to get back to even-par.

— 10:27 a.m. —

Nick Maccario, Mass Golf’s 2020 Richard D. Haskell Player of the Year, is also underway in Georgia. Maccario recently said on a podcast that he opted to play at Settindown Creek Golf Course at Ansley Golf Club because his cousin is a member there, and he’s played the course multiple times. He has also played in the Jones Cup in Sea Island, Georgia.

— 10:15 a.m. –

Three birdies on the back nine puts Amesbury’s Chris Francoeur at 2-under through nine at U.S. Open Final Qualifying, tying him for fifth place at Kinsale Golf & Fitness Club (Ohio). Francoeur, who spent the past year as a grad student at the University of Louisville, is looking for his first U.S. Open appearance. 

— 9:15 a.m. —

— 8:55 a.m. —

Richy Werenski is on the course in Georgia. Though he’s from South Hadley, Werenski attended college at Georgia Tech. He has played in two U.S. Opens, included 2020 at Winged Foot after winning on the PGA Tour for the first time. He totaled 39 points to capture the Barracuda Championship, which included a five-point eagle on the par-4 16th. Werenski has also competed in four U.S. Amateurs.

— 8:25 a.m. —

Yes, it’s early but Michael Thorbjornsen and Jake Shuman both are 2-under to start the day and share the lead atop the leaderboard. Thorbjorsen birdied 3 and 4 at Century, and Shuman birdied 2 and 4 at Old Oaks. Shuman, a Duke University graduate who regained his amateur status this year, is trying to play himself into the U.S. Open for the first time. Thorbjornsen is trying to make it two trips in four years.

— 8:15 a.m. —

Owen Quinn sinks an impressive putt to move to 1-under at Century Country Club. He’s attempting to qualify along side his father Fran Quinn, who plays on the PGA Tour Champions. Owen caddied for Fran at the 2014 U.S. Open at Pinehurst.

 

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— 7:45 a.m. —

The first scores we see from a Massachusetts player are from Lucas Spahl (Dudley), who started his day with three pars on the back nine at Century Country Club (NY). Spahl, is the Assistant Golf Professional at The Patterson Club in Fairfield, Connecticut. Fun fact: When he was young he also took part in the legendary caddy camp at Sankaty Head Golf Club on Nantucket.

— 7:09 a.m. —

Michael Thorbjornsen (Wellesley Country Club) is underway from Hole 1 at Century. The rising junior at Stanford University wowed us all last year with his stellar performance in the 2021 Mass Amateur final match, which he won in 30 holes. He played in the 2019 U.S. Open at Pebble Beach, and is currently the 24th-ranked amateur in the world. 

Michael Thorbjornsen, the defending Mass Amateur champion. (David Colt, file)

— 7:00 a.m. —

First tee shots have been hit at Century & Old Oaks in New York. Eric Mabee, the head golf professional at CC of Pittsfield, and Dudley native Lucas Spahl are in the first groups at Century.

— 6:50 a.m. —

We also have a handful of players trying to qualify around the country. 

Georgia: a-Nick Maccario (Haverhill) and PGA Tour pros Richy Werenski (South Hadley), an Ambassador of Mass Golf. 

Ohio: a-Chris Francoeur (Amesbury)

Oregon: Canadian Tour pro Jimmy Hervol (Hopkinton)

— 6:45 a.m. —

Here are the players with Massachusetts ties we’ll be following in New York: a-Michael Thorbjornsen (Wellesley), Owen Quinn (Holden), Fran Quinn (Holden), a-Jake Shuman (Boston), a-Ben Spitz (Milton), a-Nicholas Cummings (Weston), Mark Purrington (South Dartmouth), a-Sean Fitzpatrick (Walpole), a-Kevin Gately (Pembroke), a-Cooper Griffin (Auburndale), Bryan Adkison (Boston), Eric Mabee (Pittsfield), a- Ethan Whitney (Westminster), Kevin Rhoads (Chestnut Hill) Matt Baran (East Longmeadow), Lucas Spahl (Dudley).

(**a- = amateur)