Year in and year out, the Columbus, Ohio, sectional is one of the strongest out of the 12 conducted as top professionals — most fresh off from competing in the Memorial Tournament at nearby Muirfield Village — and elite amateurs annually select this site. Because of the field size, two venues are utilized with The Lakes and Brookside combining to host for the 14th time since 1995. Founded in 1989, The Lakes was designed by former PGA Tour player Ed Sneed. The layout features water on 13 of its 18 holes. Brookside was founded in 1927 and the 18-hole course was designed on 227 acres.
Nine players from the Columbus site made the 36-hole cut in last year’s U.S. Open at Erin Hills, led by David Lingmerth, of Sweden, who tied for 21st.
This year, 2013 Masters champion Adam Scott headlines the 120-player field of professionals and amateurs. Scott just missed earning a full exemption via the top 60 on the Official World Golf Ranking as of May 21. Scott stood at No. 61 at the first cutoff, and if he fails to advance via qualifying, he could still get into the field at the second top 60 cutoff on June 11.
Two-time major champion Vijay Singh is also in the field along with 2009 Open champion Stewart Cink, who outdueled 59-year-old Tom Watson to win the title at Turnberry, and 2011 PGA champion Keegan Bradley. Six past U.S. Amateur champions are in the field. Danny Lee (2008) is joined by Kelly Kraft (2011), Byeong Hun An (2009), Ryan Moore (2004), Curtis Luck (2016) and Ricky Barnes (2002). Three U.S. Junior Amateur winners are competing as well: Kevin Tway (2005), Scottie Scheffler (2013), who was the low amateur at Erin Hills, and 2014 champion Wil Zalatoris, a member of the victorious 2017 USA Walker Cup Team. His Walker Cup teammate Maverick McNealy will be joined by 2018 Latin America Amateur champion and 2017 Mark H. McCormack Medal winner Joaquin Niemann, who turned professional after the Masters in April. Sam Triplett, son of PGA Tour Champions player Kirk Triplett, will also compete.
The qualifier is conducted by the Columbus-based Ohio Golf Association, one of 59 Allied Golf Associations supported by the USGA.
Designed by the legendary Donald Ross, Springfield Country Club is hosting sectional qualifying for a ninth consecutive year and for the 10th time in the last 11 years. Because of the high demand by players for the Columbus-area site, the USGA created an alternate 36-hole sectional qualifier in nearby Springfield to ease travel issues. In 2014, Tony Finau qualified out of the Springfield site and posted a tie for 14th at Chambers Bay.
PGA Tour winner James Hahn and reigning U.S. Amateur champion Doc Redman headline the 65 professionals and amateurs in the field. Redman, who just completed his sophomore season at Clemson University, gave up his full exemption into the U.S. Open in the hopes he can make his professional debut at Shinnecock Hills. Corey Conners, the 2014 U.S. Amateur runner-up, and past U.S. Open qualifiers Brice Garnett, Kevin Dougherty and Tom Gillis are also in the field.
Ethan Shepherd, the older brother of reigning U.S. Girls’ Junior champion Erica Shepherd and a rising sophomore at Indiana University, joins 2018 University of Illinois graduate Dylan Meyer and 2014 U.S. Open qualifier Will Grimmer among the amateur contingent.
The Miami Valley Golf Association, one of 59 Allied Golf Associations supported by the USGA, conducts the qualifier.