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2022 U.S. Open: 12 Qualifiers to Know Before Next Week in Brookline

2022 U.S. Open: 12 Qualifiers to Know Before Next Week in Brookline article feature image
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Photo by Jacob Kupferman/Getty Images. Pictured: Erik Barnes

There were 8,880 golfers who signed up for an opportunity to compete in the 122nd U.S. Open Championship, which will be contested next week at The Country Club in Brookline, MA.

Of them, 530 advanced to final qualifying, joining the 341 players who were exempt into this second stage. From there, 65 have advanced, most through qualifiers contested Monday — and some in weather-delayed editions, which bled into Tuesday.

It’s a long shot that one of these players will be holding the trophy next Sunday evening, as only eight qualifiers have won this tournament, the last of which was Lucas Glover back in 2009.

That doesn’t mean there aren’t some intriguing stories, even from a betting perspective.

While you already know about the likes of Davis Riley, Lanto Griffin, Joel Dahmen and Denny McCarthy — each of whom qualified on Monday — here are a dozen players not currently competing on the PGA TOUR who could be worth keeping an eye on next week.

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Erik Barnes

So far this year, Barnes has competed in 14 events on the Korn Ferry Tour — and he’s made the cut in all 14 of them.

He’s not just a high-floor type of guy, though. The 34-year-old already owns four top-five finishes. He also owns that nice combination of a big driver and a solid putter, ranking fifth in driving distance on the KFT and 15th in putting average.

Fred Biondi

A native of Sao Paulo, Brazil, Biondi just concluded his redshirt junior season at the University of Florida, during which he won twice and posted two other runner-up results.

The 48th-ranked amateur in the world won last year’s highly-competitive Florida Amateur and lost by just a single stroke at the Latin America Amateur Championship.

Brady Calkins

A legend on the Dakotas Tour, Calkins won that circuit’s POY award in back-to-back-to-back years from 2018 through 2020. The co-medalist at the Bend, OR qualifier, he played his final 27 holes at 8-under without a single bogey, which sounds like the kind of stuff that keeps a guy in the mix at a U.S. Open.

Sean Crocker

One of the few Americans who plies his craft full-time on the DP World Tour, Crocker endured a lengthy run of alphabet soup to start this year, posting eight MCs and a WD.

However, he’s gotten back on track recently, finishing T-7 and T-51 in his last two starts.

Though he’s yet to win on the Europe-based tour, he does own a pair of runner-up finishes.

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M.J. Daffue

Last year, the South African was a Monday qualifying artist, getting into seven PGA TOUR events and making the cut in four of them.

This year, Daffue is doing it the old fashioned way, playing on the Korn Ferry Tour, where he owns four top-fives and has already clinched his first PGA TOUR card for next season. He currently ranks third on the points list on the KFT.

Chris Gotterup

Remember this name. A former star at Rutgers, Gotterup transferred to the University of Oklahoma for his fifth-year senior season. He won the prestigious Haskins Award after finishing top-10 in each of his last four starts and six of his final seven.

He’s already competed in one PGA TOUR event this season, posting a T-7 result at the Puerto Rico Open. He will follow his co-medalist honors at the Purchase, NY site by competing in this week’s RBC Canadian Open as a professional for the first time.

Harry Hall

A nattily-clad Englishman, Hall recently won his second-career KFT title, posting three rounds of 65 to help win the NV5 Invitational just two weeks ago.

He already followed up that victory with a T-5 this past weekend, so he’s obviously running hot right now.

Brandon Matthews

Casual golf fans might believe Bryson DeChambeau or Cameron Champ is the longest hitter in professional golf, but Matthews might have a claim at this honor. His 315.1 average doesn’t tell the entire story, considering he’s prone to keeping driver out of his bag because it goes too far.

At sixth on the KFT points list right now, he’ll bring this prodigious length to the PGA TOUR next season.

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Taylor Montgomery

The son of Monte Montgomery — the Director of Golf at Shadow Creek, which recently held another edition of The Match — Taylor is a UNLV product who’s been red-hot on the Korn Ferry Tour lately.

In his last seven starts, he owns six top-15 results, including three top-fives.

Currently ranked seventh on the KFT points list, you’ll see him in the big leagues next season, as well.

William Mouw

If the name sounds familiar, it should. After helping Pepperdine to the NCAA team title last year, he was again part of the squad which recently reached the semifinals, as he finished runner-up in each of his last two events of the season.

Playing in the San Francisco qualifier at The Olympic Club, he posted scores of 67-63 to earn medalist honors by five strokes.

Michael Thorbjornsen

Somebody is going to need some extra tickets next week. A member of the Stanford University team, Thorbjornsen is from Wellesley, MA, just a few minutes down the road from Brookline.

The 2018 U.S. Junior Amateur champion also qualified for the 2019 U.S. Open, making the cut at Pebble Beach.

Charlie Reiter

True story: I first wrote about Reiter on Sept. 27, 2011, when he was an 82-pound golf-crazy 12-year-old competing in the Golf Channel Amateur Tour national championship as a 7.1 handicap.

Even then, the kid had some big-time goals.

“I want to get onto the PGA TOUR,” he said. “And I want to win a lot.”

Fresh off of his redshirt junior season at the University of San Diego, he’s played in three editions of The American Express already, but is still searching for his first made cut.

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