It's not easy gaining a spot in the U.S.Open.
It's not intended to be.
When the USGA names its champion, it wants a strong player who combines physical skill, mental commitment, and emotional balance.
That's why sectional qualifying events for the U.S.Open require hopefuls to complete two 18-hole rounds in a single day.Stamina is as important as a strong swing and great putting.
Fifty-five players made their way to the soggy Lakewood Country Club in Dallas, Texas, on June 5.Their ambition was to score well enough to earn a berth at the U.S.Open, to compete against the greats.
The Open has only three spots for automatic qualifiers.
Play was delayed for two hours due to rain, so the last golfers didn't leave the course until after sundown.And even then, the day's business wasn't complete.Three players still had to compete in a playoff to dtermine which two would occupy alternate spots.
U.S.Open qualifying rounds are open to any golfer with a handicap of two or less.Stage one qualifiers consisting of 18 holes are played locally.Those who pass the first round face the 36-hole marathon.
The U.S.Open dates back to 1895, making it America's oldest national championship.It is widely seen as the pinnacle of professional golf.
U.S.Open Golf Practice Round by Keith Allison