Langley, Guthrie get their due
Steve Stricker and D.A. Points already were guaranteed spots in the U.S. Open.
Two more former Illini will join them in the field next week at Merion Golf Club in Ardmore, Pa.
Luke Guthrie and Scott Langley qualified for the 113th U.S. Open on Monday.
It marks the third time Langley, the 2010 NCAA individual champion at Illinois, will play in the major tournament, while Guthrie will make his first appearance in a major next week. He is guaranteed to play two majors this summer after he qualified two weeks ago for the 2013 British Open.
Guthrie — who played one round at Brookside Golf & Country Club and one round at The Lakes Golf & Country Club — qualified with dramatic flair Monday in Columbus, Ohio.
The Quincy native needed three playoff holes after already playing 36 holes Monday to secure his spot in Pennsylvania when he made a birdie on his final playoff hole. His 6-foot putt, which came with darkness descending, assured the 23-year-old the 15th and final qualifying spot after he shot an 8-under 136 (67-69) for the day.
“Wow! I’m so pumped for an opportunity to compete for the US Open,” Guthrie tweeted late Monday. “Pretty intense out there in the playoff!”
Langley, who drained a hole-in-one on his 26th hole of the day, tied for sixth at Colonial Country Club near Memphis, Tenn., to secure one of nine qualifying slots. Langley, 24, made seven birdies on the day to compensate for four bogeys and finish at 5-under 138 (71-67).
Seven other players with Illinois ties competed Monday at various qualifiers across the country. Illinois men’s golf coach Mike Small, current Illinois players Thomas Pieters, Alex Burge and Mason Jacobs, and former Illini Joe Affrunti, Zach Barlow and Jonathon Krick all took aim at Merion. Small withdrew from qualifying in St. Louis after 22 holes. He shot a 76 in his only full round.
Barlow and Krick each shot 7 over to tie for 11th at Old Warson Country Club in St. Louis.
Burge recorded an 8 over during his two rounds in St. Louis, which only took the top two golfers.
Affrunti compiled a two-round score of 2 over during his qualifying at Woodmont Country Club in Rockville, Md., but only the top eight golfers earned a spot.
Pieters, the 2012 NCAA individual champion who helped Illinois defeat California on Saturday in the NCAA semifinals, shot a 3 over during his stay at Springfield Country Club in Springfield, Ohio, where two golfers clinched berths.
Jacobs carded a 6 over during his play in Columbus.
Former Bismarck-Henning standout Michael Davan, The News-Gazette’s 2007 Boys’ Golfer of the Year, also took a crack at Merion on Monday. Davan, who finished his college career at IUPUI in 2012 after playing for two years at Parkland, shot 4 over in Columbus.