Every spring, thousands of good golfers from all walks of life—college players, club pros, regular amateurs and Tour players without automatic berths—attempt to earn a spot in the upcoming U.S. Open through local and final qualifying events. These tournaments are some of the toughest and most nerve-racking in the game, but also among the most exciting: everyone has the same shot at glory if they can find lightning in a bottle and play well enough at the right time.
There were 65 U.S. Open spots up for grabs through qualifying in 2022, and we followed four of the 8,880 hopefuls as they prepped for and played in their Final Stage events at different locations throughout the U.S. These are their stories.
For newly-minted University of Louisville grad Chris Francoeur, earning a spot in the 2022 U.S. Open wouldn’t just be a ticket to the ultimate home game (he grew up less than 50 miles from The Country Club in Brookline), it would represent a crowning achievement after a promising college career was cut short due to the pandemic and then restarted. He sailed through Local Qualifying and is now faced with much stiffer competition at the Columbus Final Stage.
Growing up the son of NHL star Martin Brodeur, Anthony Brodeur assumed his destiny was to become a hockey player, but after three years in the minor leagues, he switched his focus to golf. Now 26 and a regular on the PGA TOUR Canada, he comes into the Columbus Final Stage Qualifying as the medalist out of the Boynton Beach, Fla., Locals.
Who’s the most unexpected player to succeed in making it to the 2022 U.S. Open through Local and Final Stage Qualifying? A good case can be made for 57-year-old PGA Tour Champions player Fran Quinn, who hadn’t tried to qualify since 2014 but signed up for the 2022 competition on a whim because his son, mini-tour player Owen Quinn, was giving it a run. We caught up with Fran as he was preparing to tee it up at The Country Club for the bg event.