The road to the 2019 U.S. Open is underway in Arkansas at Hot Springs Country Club, the only local qualifying site in the state. Arkansas natives, Mason Overstreet and Mitchell Ford secured two of only five spots in the 80-player field. They will move on to sectional qualifying at one of the twelve hosting sites around the country. Of those 80 players, 41 were from Arkansas.
“Playing in the U.S. Open has always been a dream of mine,” said Ford after claiming medalist honors. “I’m one step closer, so this is just awesome.”
Finishing the round of stroke play, seven contenders went into a four-hole playoff, all shooting 3-under par, excluding Ford (Little Rock, AR) who shot a 68. Players moving on to sectionals from the playoff are Overstreet (Lowell, AR), Austin Gean (Florence, AL), Andre Jacobs (League City, Texas) and Tanner Napier (Paris, TX). The designated alternates will be Kirk Thomas II (Shreveport, LA) and Leonardo Di Marino (Hot Springs, AR).
For Ford, today has been all about playing more aggressively than usual. “I saw a few putts go in early and as soon as that happened, I knew I had to keep the pedal down, keep hitting greens, and keep making putts.”
The United States Golf Association will announce players sectional sites later this month. Ford has big plans for golf the rest of this year and a strategy to keep the momentum up.
I’m going to try to get better every day, in all aspects of my game. Finish up school, then I have regionals and nationals, and hopefully the U.S. Open.”
For players to have been eligible for local qualifying, they must have had a Handicap Index not exceeding 1.4 or lower, or be a professional. The USGA offers special exemptions to 50 players who move straight along to Pebble Beach (Calif.) Golf Links, with remaining players needing to play their way into the championship via local and sectional qualifying. The U.S. Open will be held at the legendary course for the sixth time on June 13-16, 2019.
More information about the 2019 U.S. Open at Pebble Beach Golf Links, including local and sectional qualifying schedules, is available at usopen.com.