WESTERVILLE, Ohio — Michael Kim atoned for the University of California not winning the NCAA title by earning a spot in the U.S. Open.
Kim might have had the longest trip to get to Merion next week for the second major championship. Cal ended its dream season by losing in the NCAA semifinals on Saturday. Kim was in Ohio on Sunday to receive the Jack Nicklaus Award as the top Division I player – presented by Nicklaus himself – and then he returned to Georgia for qualifying.
He had rounds of 67-66 at Hawk’s Ridge in Ball Ground, Ga. to tie for medalist honors and earn one of three spots.
The final stage of U.S. Open qualifying stretched one end of the country to the other Monday with 11 sites hosting 36-hole qualifiers. The biggest was not far from where the Memorial finished because so many PGA Tour players were involved. Charley Hoffman led eight players who qualified, while 11 players were in a sudden-death playoff for seven spots.
The second-largest qualifier was in Memphis, Tenn., ahead of the St. Jude Classic on the PGA Tour. Kevin Sutherland, who missed most of last year with a neck injury and has yet to play on Sunday this season, had rounds of 66-67 to qualify for his first U.S. Open since 2009. Also advancing out of Memphis was Scott Langley, a PGA Tour rookie who got into the mix with a hole-in-one.
The day was not without a bizarre disqualification.
Two-time U.S. Open champion Lee Janzen was in the Rockville, Md., qualifier, but only for one round. After opening with 75, it was discovered he was wearing steel spikes, typical on the PGA Tour but not allowed at Woodmont Country Club.
All players were notified about the ban on spikes.
In other qualifiers:
• In Springfield, Ohio, Brian Stuard earned one of two spots with rounds of 65-64 to win medalist honors by six shots. It will be his first major championship.
• In New York, 18-year-old Gavin Hall birdied his last four holes to get into his first U.S. Open. He shared medalist honors with Jesse Smith in getting one of four spots.
• In Dallas, 19-year-old Jordan Spieth can add the U.S. Open to his burgeoning schedule. He ran off three late birdies and shared medalist honors with Edward Loar and Matt Weibring.