Golf notes: US Open spots still available

Twenty-six additional players have received exemptions into next month’s US Open, but there will be dozens of spots available when 11 sectional qualifiers are held across the country on Monday.

As it stands, 78 players have qualified for the Open, which will be held June 13-16 at Merion Golf Club near Philadelphia.

With 156 expected to begin play, that’s exactly half the field. More could play their way in, by winning a second PGA Tour event since last year’s US Open or being inside the top 60 when the world golf rankings come out June 10.


Everyone else, from former major champions to unknown teenage amateurs, must get in through qualifying. A handful of players with local ties will be looking for two solid rounds on Monday, 36 holes that could be sending them to Merion.

Get Breaking Sports Alerts in your inbox:
Be the first to know the latest sports news as it happens.
Thank you for signing up! Sign up for more newsletters here

Michael Welch and Geoffrey Sisk headline the local group attempting to get through in Purchase, N.Y. Welch, a Quincy resident who is on the Tour, played in the 2009 US Open. Sisk, from Marshfield, has played in the Open five times, most recently two years ago at Congressional.

Welch and Sisk will be joined in Purchase by Evan Harmeling (Andover), Kenneth Lewis (East Sandwich), John Gilmartin (Andover), Jeffrey Dantas (Seekonk), Jesse Smith (Dover, N.H.), Nick Pandelena (Atkinson, N.H.), Bobby Leopold (Coventry, R.I.), Eddie Kirby (Wakefield, R.I.), Jonathan Brisbane (Killington, Vt.), and a trio of players from Westport, Conn. — Peter Richards, Cameron Chottiner, and Andrew Gai. Brad Faxon, an eight-time winner on the PGA Tour, is also in the Purchase field.

James Driscoll of Boston, who is competing in the Memorial Tournament this week, will stay in the Columbus, Ohio, area an extra day to play in a qualifier that will be littered with PGA Tour pros, and probably offer the largest number of qualifying spots because of the strength of the field.

The other qualifier packed with PGA Tour pros will be in Memphis, since next week’s tournament is down the street at the FedEx St. Jude Classic. Worcester native Scott Stallings is among those attempting to book a trip to Merion.


The 26 who received US Open exemptions on Monday were because of their position in the world golf rankings, and also Matteo Manassero, winner of the European Tour’s BMW PGA Championship.

Love named assistant

Fred Couples, who will captain the US team at this year’s Presidents Cup, has named Davis Love to be one of his assistant captains. Couples served as one of Love’s assistants at last year’s Ryder Cup. Jay Haas has also been selected as an assistant for the Presidents Cup, which will be held Oct. 3-6 at Muirfield Village in Dublin, Ohio, which is also the site of this week’s Memorial Tournament. Couples is playing in the Memorial, and will be paired with Tiger Woods in the first two rounds . . . The PGA Tour’s player advisory council, which will help decide, along with the policy board, if the tour will adopt the recent ruling banning the anchored putting stroke, met this week at the Memorial to discuss the issue. No decision is expected soon . . . Match that, Tom Brady: According to the Los Angeles Times, Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning played Augusta National Golf Club over the weekend with John Elway and Denver coach John Fox, and shot a 77. Manning also recently joined up with an unsuspecting threesome at Castle Pines Golf Club outside Denver, and promptly made a hole-in-one on the 166-yard seventh hole.

Never too young

Another 10-year-old has made news by qualifying for a national tournament. Lucy Li shot a 76 this week at a qualifier in Las Vegas to earn a spot in this year’s US Women’s Amateur Public Links. The WAPL, and its sibling, the US Amateur Public Links, no longer will be held after next year. Li isn’t the youngest to ever qualify for the event; Allisen Corpuz was a few months younger when she made the field in 2008, and Michelle Wie was a few months older in 2000 . . . Briana Vega of Andover missed out on qualifying for the US Women’s Open, shooting 76-81 at Heathrow (Fla.) Country Club.

Title twosome

John Tuffin, the director of golf at Pinehills Golf Club, teamed with Herbie Aikens to win the New England PGA’s Pro-Am Championship, held Tuesday at Pinehills. With a score of 11-under-par 133 (65-68), Tuffin and Aikens won by two over the teams of Michael Menery (Andover CC) and Gregg Bonhuer, Frank Dully (Kernwood CC) and Stuart Robbin, and George Goich (Turner Hill) and Keith Emery . . . The CVS Caremark Charity Classic has added four players to round out the field for this year’s tournament, which will be June 23-25 at Rhode Island CC. Michael Thompson, Russell Henley, Bo Van Pel t, and Nick Price have been selected. Tickets are available at select CVS locations and also at . . . Fund-raising efforts for the One Fund Boston as a result of the Marathon bombings continue among the local golf scene. Earlier this month, the Golf Club of Cape Cod held its inaugural member-three guest event, and donated $3,500 for the fund as a result of the tournament . . . Entries for this year’s Massachusetts Junior Amateur must be received by the Massachusetts Golf Association by 5 p.m. on Thursday. The tournament is July 29-31 at Essex County Club. To enter, or for information, visit . . . Those hoping to qualify for the US Senior Open must have their applications in by 5 p.m. on June 5. Players must be at least 50 before July 11, and there is a 3.4 handicap index limit. The only local qualifier is June 20 at the Kittansett Club; those who qualify will advance to the US Senior Open at Omaha Country Club July 11-14.

Michael Whitmer can be reached at Follow him on Twitter @GlobeWhitmer.